As social beings, our desire for connection is a deep and powerful force within us. Babies who do not experience connection with a caregiver do not thrive or may even die. Deep connection with another is one of the greatest joys in life.
Yet for many people, this deep and joyous connection eludes them. Try as they might, they cannot seem to find the connected experience that they so deeply desire.
There is a very good reason for this.
Many of us were brought up to distrust our own feelings and experiences. I was consistently programmed to disconnect from and discount my inner feelings, experiences, and inner knowing. Instead, I was taught to trust an external source - my parents - to define what was right or wrong for me, good or bad for me. The more I learned to disconnect from my feelings and my inner knowing, the more I disconnected from my authentic Self and sought connection from outside myself.
I tried to connect with my husband through being whatever I thought he wanted me to be, and he tried to connect with me by trying to have control over getting me to be what he wanted me to be. We were a perfect pair! No wonder our deep connection with each other rarely lasted for more than a few minutes at a time!
The problem is that can cannot authentically connect with another unless we are connected with our authentic selves. If we are not defining ourselves from within, then we consistently attempt to define ourselves eternally, by doing whatever we can to have control over getting love, approval, attention, sex, agreement, and so on. We confuse true connection with the momentary good feeling that comes from getting what we want from another. We think that relating to another from the wounded ego part of ourselves and getting what we want to feel externally validated is connection. It is not.
Connection with another is a mutual experience of sharing our authentic selves with each other and each receiving caring, understanding, and support - the mutual feeling of being received and cherished for who we each really are. It is truly one of the highest experiences in life. But this wonderful experience is not possible unless we are both able to share as our authentic selves. It is only when we are deeply connected with our own feelings, our own thoughts, and our own inner knowing/spiritual guidance that we can authentically share ourselves.
Sharing our wounded ego selves is sharing who we have created ourselves to be to have control over getting love and avoiding pain. There is no reality, no truth, no authenticity to our ego wounded self. Authentic connection is not possible from an inauthentic part of ourselves. No matter how much you may want the joy of authentic connection with your partner or others, it cannot occur until you authentically connect with yourself.
The practice of Inner Bonding is a powerful way of healing the ego wounded self and discovering your authentic self. These transformational 6 Steps start with practicing noticing your feelings with compassion rather than with judgment. As you learn to embrace your feelings rather than avoid them, you can choose to take responsibility for causing them or for nurturing them. You can move into a deep intent to learn about what self-judgments and erroneous beliefs may be causing your painful feelings of anger, hurt, frustration, guilt, shame, anxiety or depression. You can learn how to open to learning with the highest part of yourself - your Higher Self - who is filled with love and wisdom. You can learn from your Higher Self to define yourself rather than to look to others to define you. You can learn to take loving action in your own behalf. And, finally, you can learn to share your authentic love, caring and understanding with your loved ones.
If you want a deep and joyous connection with your loved ones, then first learn to create that deep and joyous connection with your Self.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" and “Healing Your Aloneness.” She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone sessions available.
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