It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

Join Soulspring for conscious insights... ...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

And receive this very special audio recording from Panache Desai on Breaking Bad Habits.

DR. MARGARET PAUL is a bestselling author, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows (including Oprah). Her book titles include Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved By You, Heal...
DR. MARGARET PAUL is a bestselling author, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows (including Oprah). Her book titles include Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved By You, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding" and the recently released Diet For Divine Connection and The Inner Bonding Workbook. Margaret has successfully worked with thousands around the world and taught classes and seminars for over 50 years.
More

“How Do I Ask For What I Need?”

Having-coffee-together

In a healthy, loving relationship, partners ask each other for what they need, and generally receive a caring response. But sometimes this can get tricky – depending on whether it is your loving adult asking, or your wounded self. This dilemma is expressed by Julie in the following question:

“How can I express to my partner that sometimes I need the time and attention he gives to other people without sounding jealous or selfish.”

While this might seem like a simple question, it has many subtle aspects to it.

Julie, the first question I would suggest you ask of yourself is, “Why do I need the time and attention that my partner gives other people?”

Continue reading

Relationships: “Why am I Struggling After All My Healing?”

sad-lonely-woman-outdoor-in-winter-picture-id917929642 “Why am I Struggling After All My Healing?”

I can’t tell you how often I hear from my clients that “I should be further along in my healing process,” especially when it comes to relationships.

Sophia is struggling with this:

“I’m finding my new relationship extremely challenging. After three years of being single, I thought I’d be further along with self-esteem challenges, but no! I can so easily find myself feeling needy with my partner AND abandoning myself – behavior that feels frightening and shameful. Suggestions on how to soothe myself in the moment? I do EFT and Heartmath exercises that help, but am still really struggling. Thanks!”

Sophia may have done much inner work during the three years she was single, but being in a relationship triggers old fears of rejection that likely never got triggered in the three single years. You can do a ton of work on yourself – learning how to take loving care of yourself in many different ways, but taking care of yourself in a relationship is a whole other thing.

Continue reading

Caretaking Others Prevents You From Knowing Yourself

couples-hand-tied-with-metal-chain-picture-id1176189249 Is your addiction to caretaking stopping you from knowing yourself?

“I have had to parent my whole life, never really able to be a kid from my childlike mother to my son-like husband. Everything seems to depend on me doing the right thing and staying on the straight and narrow. My husband is saying he is going to leave for many years and I know it is the right thing, but I’m scared of facing ME, I don’t even know Loretta. What is one thing I can do to let go? After 18 years with my mother and 21 with my husband, dysfunctional relationships are all I know, despite my years of therapy and self-help books.”

If you were brought up in a codependent family system and learned to be a caretaker, it is likely that you do not know yourself. Despite years of therapy, this is the position I was in when our guidance brought us Inner Bonding, and this is the position Loretta is in:

Continue reading

Can We Ever Heal From Childhood Abuse?

lonely-teddy-bear-sits-in-a-puddle-in-the-rain-picture-id1168703996 Can We Ever Heal From Childhood Abuse?

If you had an abusive childhood, will you always suffer from it? This is the question that Andrea asked me about:

“I had a terrifying childhood. I have had counseling, motion light therapy, and been hypnotized, and they have done wonders for me, yet I still long for completion in my mind over these things. My question is – is there ever an end to your struggle in dealing with such things?”

 

The answer is Yes, You Can Heal, But There are Challenges…

Major healing occurs when you practice Inner Bonding and learn to give yourself the love you didn’t receive as a child. You need to learn to be the loving inner parent that your inner child needs. This is what will create the inner safety and self-worth that are necessary for healing.

Continue reading

When it is Loving to You to Control – and When it’s Not

mammatus-storm-clouds-saskatchewan-picture-id587216208 Your Guidance is Always Here For You

The kind of control that actually blocks our ability to access spirit is when we try to control what we can’t control – such as others’ feelings and actions, and outcomes of events. We also block our access to spirit when we try to control our own feelings with our various forms of self-abandonment – staying in our heads, judging ourselves, turning to addictions, and making others responsible for our worth and safety. All these attempts to control lower our frequency and make it very hard to access our guidance. We cut ourselves off from the ongoing flow of love and truth when we lower our own frequency through our own unloving thoughts and actions.
I often hear from clients that they have a hard time connecting with their spiritual guidance, and they wonder why. They also get confused about when controlling creates a problem and when it doesn’t.

Continue reading

Staying Loving In The Face Of Others’ Unloving Behavior

farm-in-tuscany-at-dawn-picture-id181865645 Staying Loving In The Face Of Others’ Unloving Behavior

One of our greatest challenges in relationships is to not get triggered into self-abandonment when others are unloving – to stay connected with ourselves rather than getting triggered into our wounded self.

Lila asks:

“When I find myself in an unfriendly situation, I find it a challenge to take loving action towards myself. Even if I know the other person has a wound they are living out, I still become hurt and instead of tending to myself I demand an apology or cry or get angry. It’s difficult to search my mind for the loving action towards myself in the heat of the moment. How do I stay with myself in these moments?”

This is about becoming conscious of your intent and healing some underlying false beliefs. You demand an apology or cry or get angry because your intent is to control the other person rather than to be loving to yourself. You have not come to terms with your big false belief that you can control how others feel. And you have not defined your own worth through your spiritual connection. You are handing to the other person the responsibility of making you okay – they have to apologize in order for you to be okay.

Continue reading

Confronting an Abusive Parent

sad-woman-sitting-thoughtfully-outside-picture-id609903542

A woman wrote, asking:

“I am trying to connect with my family of origin. I’ve been working on my recovery for a bit over a year (ACA & Coda steps). I’d like to have a healthy relationship, with boundaries, of course, with my untreated family. But I can’t seem to have a relationship with my mother yet as I’m still processing my feelings from her abuse. I also feel that I need to confront her (when ready) to let her know my truth instead of ‘pretending’ that things are fine between us. This has been a DIFFICULT journey for me that affected my life. Though I know my mother can’t give me what I would like, I wonder if confronting her eventually would help ME with my relationship with her. I know some people don’t agree with confronting. I’m torn about this. I want to eventually have forgiveness for my mother, but I’m not there yet.”

 

The question you need to ask yourself is, “What do I hope to gain by confronting my a abusive mother or father?”

Here are some possible answers:

Continue reading

Healing the Lack of Loving Holding and Touch

multiethnic-female-friends-sitting-on-meadow-sadness-pain-picture-id1194267017 There are two ways to heal the lack of touch – with another person, and within yourself.

Were you deprived of comforting holding as a child? I was. I was held by my mother, but the energy of her touch was so needy and engulfing that I hated being held or touched by her.

Babies and toddlers especially need warm, tender, caring, comforting holding and touch to know they are loved and to help them learn to regulate their feelings. Without this loving physical nurturing, they feel deeply rejected and abandoned.

How can we heal this yearning for the nurturing loving touch that we might have missed out on?

Brandon asks:

“When I try to get in touch with my anger, the thought comes up “my mother.” I think I didn’t get touched, cuddled, and caressed as a child. Here I get stuck! I draw a blank. I don’t know what the next step of the Inner Bonding process is.”

There are two ways to heal the lack of touch – with another person, and within yourself.

Continue reading

You CAN Heal The Wounds of Abusive Parenting

childhood The outlook doesn’t have to be bleak for those of us who had abusive or neglectful parenting.

“There are clear links between an individual’s psychological coping strategies and his or her physiological coping strategies. Both are established in infancy and toddlerhood and tend to persist through life.” –Sue Gerhardt, “Why Love Matters,” p. 77

Sue Gerhardt paints quite a bleak picture of our chances of being whole and happy if we didn’t receive the love we needed as infants and toddlers. At the end of her excellent book, ‘Why Love Matters,’ she does say that people can heal with extensive and expensive psychotherapy. But what if you can’t afford expensive psychotherapy?

She states in her well-researched book that part of the brain – the part of the prefrontal cortex that is responsible for being able to manage and regulate very painful feelings – does not get developed when we have parents who were unable to lovingly regulate our feelings for us as infants and toddlers. Can this part of the brain develop in adulthood?

Continue reading

Does Another’s Wounded Self Trigger Your Wounded Self?

this-relationship-is-not-working-for-me-anymore-picture-id1165046683 Stay centered and connected
Jenna was angry that she kept getting triggered into her wounded self when her husband, Seth, was in his wounded self.

“I work hard with my Inner Bonding process to get into a centered and connected place. I’ll be doing great and then out of nowhere Seth blames me for something and it all goes out the window. I get so upset at him for blaming me and then I feel off center and down for days. Maybe I shouldn’t be with him? Maybe my guidance is telling me that I’d be better off without him so I can stay in a good space?”

“No Jenna, that’s not what your guidance is telling you. While it’s hard for you to see this right now, Seth is providing you with a wonderful opportunity to learn to stay centered and connected, even in the face of his wounded self. Can you imagine being able to do this? Can you imagine how good you would feel to not disconnect from yourself just because he is disconnected?”

Continue reading

Are You Resistant To Loving Yourself?

unrecognizable-woman-shielding-her-face-from-camera-concept-of-of-picture-id1191731623 Self-Abandonment Is Handed Down Through Families
Do you want to love your inner child when you are in pain, or do you reject and abandon yourself in the face of your painful feelings?

Lauren, a client of mine, has been practicing Inner Bonding for a number of years but she was still resistant to taking emotional responsibility for herself. She thought she was taking care of herself because she treated herself to massages, got places on time, exercised regularly, was kind to people and mostly took care of money matters. But when it came to her painful feelings, she abandoned herself by projecting on to others and blaming them when they didn’t do what she wanted, and pulling on them for attention. She also avoided responsibility for her feelings by eating junk food.

It became apparent when working with her that she was addicted to others validating her and making her feel special because she rejected and abandoned herself – her inner child – when she was in pain. She would do anything to avoid feeling her painful feelings and learning how she was causing them. Unable to compassionately manage the inevitable pain of life, she stayed focused in her mind rather than her body where her feelings are. Judging her feelings as wrong, she turned to various addictions, and she made others responsible for her feelings – rejecting herself in all of the four major ways we abandon ourselves.

Continue reading

What Do You Do When Someone Hurts You?

butterfly-mating-in-nature-picture-id1003137420 When someone does something that scares or hurts you, do you lovingly manage your pain or do try to control them?

When I was a very young child, I quickly learned to jump out of myself whenever my mother was angry at me – which was often. Her anger was very scary to me and I wanted to get her to stop. Sometimes I felt so crushed and shattered by her anger that I felt like I was going to die. So I would jump out of myself to try to please her, hoping that this would get her to like me instead of hate me.

Of course, I continued doing this in my marriage, as my husband’s anger scared me just as much as my mother’s. I didn’t realize that any time I went out of myself instead of going inside and tending to my own feelings (which I couldn’t do as a child and didn’t know how to do as a young adult) I was abandoning myself.

Today I’m so grateful that I know how to go in instead of go out. 

I want to share with you exactly what I do now.

Continue reading

Are You Codependent With Your Higher Power?

feng-shui-balance-daybreak-picture- Are you expecting your higher power to do for you what only you can do for yourself?

Hilary wrote:

I am eating very clean and working out five days a week. I try to meditate every day. Despite this, I feel disconnected and unloved by my Higher Power. I know this is just how I FEEL and not reality. I tell my little girl it’s not true…but I can’t seem to change this belief. I know connection will help me. I need some guidance from you to hear my Guidance!

It’s wonderful that Hilary is eating well, exercising and meditating. But taking loving care of herself involves much more than that. The fact that she feels disconnected from and unloved by her higher power indicates that she is disconnected from her feelings and not loving herself – that she is operating from her wounded self.

Telling her inner child that something isn’t true is not at all the same thing as living from the truth. If she is abandoning herself by ignoring her feelings – staying in her head rather than in her heart – by judging herself, by turning to various addictions (even meditation can be an addiction if the intent is to bliss out and avoid her feelings, or to control God), or by making others responsible for her feelings, then she is operating from a closed heart. There is no way to connect with her guidance when her heart is closed.

Continue reading

Triggers: Acting Out or Acting In

daytime-thunderstorm-picture-id165823307 Triggers: Acting Out or Acting In

Most of us have at one time or another been ‘triggered.’ A trigger is an event, situation or interaction with a person or group of people that activates the fight, flight or freeze stress response. A trigger is usually related to a past event, interaction or situation that was very painful or traumatic

One of the eventual results of practicing Inner Bonding is that, over time, we develop a strong loving adult self – capable of being aware of when we are triggered, rather than acting unconsciously in response to a trigger. Our consciousness of when we are triggered gives us the choice to act in rather than act out.

 

Acting Out

When we act out in response to a trigger, we do what we naturally do when the stress response is activated: we get angry, blaming, agitated, impatient, annoyed or irritated, or we shut down, withdraw, numb out, go away or disassociate. These are the natural actions of the wounded self during a threat to survival.

Continue reading

“I Can’t Receive Love.”

bleeding-heart-flowers-picture-id669064378 “I Can’t Receive Love.”

Lindsay wrote during one of my webinars:

“I can’t receive love. Physically, not even a kiss or stroke of kindness. I was never told ‘you’re awesome, great job, you’re beautiful, you can do anything.’ Therefore it’s hard for me to receive love and feel worthy.”

Lindsay, it is very hard to grow up with no love. You are certainly not alone in this experience. Growing up without any physical affection or emotional support is a very sad and lonely thing.

However, your conclusion – that you can’t receive love because you weren’t loved – is false. I work with many people who were not only not loved, but who were very badly abused, and yet they are still capable of giving and receiving love.

Continue reading
Tags:

Overwhelmed and Frazzled

Overwhelmed and Frazzled Overwhelmed and Frazzled

Do you get overwhelmed and frazzled when too much is going on? Does your system feel on overload when too much hits you at once?

This is a common experience for introverted and highly sensitive people.

The surprising thing is that this appears to be true from birth. In her book, “Quiet,” Susan Cain describes a long-term research study done by Professor Jerome Kagan at Harvard, with 500 four-month-old babies. Kagan asserted that he could tell which babies were introverts and which were extroverts, based on a forty-five-minute evaluation. The babies were subjected to stimuli such as balloons popping, colorful mobiles, tape-recorded voices, and the scent of alcohol on cotton swabs. About 20 percent of the babies were what he called “high-reactive” – waving their arms and legs and crying. About 40 percent were quiet and placid – which he called “low-reactive”, and another 40 percent were somewhere in between.

Kagan predicted that the high-reactive group would turn out to be introverts, and that the low-reactive group would be extroverts, with the other 40% going back and forth between introversion and extroversion, and this is exactly what happened. Highly sensitive introverts comprise about 20 percent of the population, which is what Elaine Aron, Ph.D., discovered in her research and wrote about in “The Highly Sensitive Person” and other books.

Continue reading

COVID-19: Are You Trusting Yourself or Trusting Authorities?

the-altar-picture-id161842421 COVID-19: Are You Trusting Yourself or Trusting Authorities?

We are all blessed with access to an infallible source of truth and guidance. If you tune into your feelings – which is the main way the aspect of your your soul that is within you communicates with you – while listening to or reading the news, you can actually feel what is true and right, and what is false and wrong. The problem is that many people have learned not to trust these feelings – to listen to ‘authorities’ rather than to the truth that comes directly from our soul within.

We also all have our soul that is all around us – our higher self.

Our soul is way too big to fit into our body, so some of our soul is within and some is all around us. We are within our soul and our soul is within us. The part of our soul that is all around us is also an infallible source of truth and guidance, and it pops the truth and the loving actions into our mind when we are open to learning about the truth, and about what is in our highest good.
When I see news (I don’t watch it but I do scan it), I tune into my gut feelings and I also tune into my higher self, asking about what is true and what isn’t, and what is loving to me, and I can feel and hear what is true and right.

Continue reading

Goals: Guiding Your Course or Attached to Outcomes

jump-high-and-express-yourself-over-the-sun-picture-id1170296864 Goals: Guiding Your Course or Attached to Outcomes
Do you say to yourself, “I will be happy when…”? Discover that you can be joyful right now, even before achieving your goal.


People are often confused when I suggest that they let go of attachment to goals. “Shouldn’t I have goals? Isn’t having goals important?” they ask.

“This knowledge commands us to stay in the present moment, which brings awareness to all that we do… It teaches us to stay focused on the process and use our goals as stars to guide our course. When we make staying focused on the process our real goal, we experience a sense of success in every moment.”  
~”The Practicing Mind” by Thomas M. Sterner

Yes! It’s vital to have goals! How will you know where you want to go if you don’t have goals? However, there is a huge difference between having your worth and happiness attached to the goal, and using your goal to guide your actions.

Continue reading

You Can Change The World

You Can Change The World You Can Change The World
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead, 1901-1978, Anthropologist, Writer and Speaker

Do you have any idea how much your caring and kindness change the world each and every moment? Do you understand that your joy, as well as your misery, goes into the energy field that we live in and has an effect on the entire planet?

Energy is not local. Many of us have had the experience of picking up the energy of someone we are very close to, even if they were thousands of miles away. You might have had a sense of the moment when someone you loved died. You might have picked up the phone and called a loved one just as they were thinking about you. We live in a universe of energy, and our thoughts, feelings and actions are a part of this energy.

Continue reading

Intuition vs. Instinct

swallowtail-picture-id504293443 Intuition vs. Instinct

There is a huge difference between instinct and intuition, and it’s important to differentiate between them, especially right now with so much uncertainly on our planet.

Instinct Is About Survival

Instinct comes partly from the amygdala, which is a small gland at the base of the left-brain. Part of the job of the amygdala is as a survival mechanism responsible for initiating the stress response of fight, flight or freeze. The amygdala is the seat of the wounded self – it stores emotional memories that can get triggered in stressful situations. When instinct kicks in, we are not operating from thought, but from survival needs. For example, a newborn infant, as well as all mammals, will instinctively suckle as part of its survival. Instinct is essential for the survival of any species.

Continue reading