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

“Why Am I Procrastinating?”

procrastinate

Fran asked me the following question:

“I am a Ph.D. student and I have chosen my profession because I like it and not because of my parents’ influence. However, I am procrastinating every day more and more to the point where some days I don’t work at all. This really scares me and I don’t understand why I would procrastinate in doing something that I have chosen to do and is supposed to be my passion. I realize there is some fear of failure behind this, but it is irrational because I know I am capable of doing my work. I am really frustrated and scared and don’t know what the underlying cause is.”

The clue to her procrastination is this: “I realize there is some fear of failure behind this, but it is irrational because I know I am capable of doing my work.”

The fact that she is calling her fear ‘irrational’ is stopping her from learning from it and understanding it.

Her fear is likely NOT about whether or not she is capable of doing the work. Her fear is likely about whether or not she is going to judge herself if she doesn’t meet a certain standard.

Please take a moment to take in what you just read.

Continue reading

Self-Worth: A Reflection of Self-Love or Self-Abandonment

beautiful-in-nature-picture Self-worth suffers when you behave in ways you regret and then judge yourself.

A woman asked me the following question:

“Why am I worthy at all? Saying I am a divine being does not answer to the underlying issue of self-worth in physical world reality. My daughter did something she is very ashamed of and has been suffering from low self-worth. I have had a hard time explaining why what she does is not who she is.”

 

There are a number of things that are important to understand about self-worth.

The daughter is suffering primarily because she is harshly judging herself for whatever it is she did. Instead, she needs to forgive herself, learn from her mistake, and be compassionate toward herself for being human and making mistakes – which all humans do.

Continue reading

The Powerful Choices That Create Inner Peace

innerpeace
I have found that there are five choices we can make to release stress and create inner peace. None of these choices are hard in themselves, but they can be challenging due to the insistence of the wounded self to do the exact opposite.

Be Present with Feelings and Guidance

Unless there is actually something dangerous happening in this present moment, being fully in the moment brings a release of stress.

The wounded self is addicted to focusing on the past or future – ruminating about the past, perhaps with regret – and worrying about the future – trying to control it. If you notice your body while you are ruminating or worrying, you will notice that your body is tense. The tension is your inner guidance letting you know that your wounded self is in charge and you are abandoning yourself.

When you notice this, shift into being in this present moment and notice the peace and relaxation that floods your body.

Continue reading

Resistance to Healing

resistance “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Chinese Proverb

Do you believe that if you intellectually understand Inner Bonding without practicing it, change occurs?

Think of it this way: If you read a lot of books about working out, but you don’t actually work out, will your body get into shape?

If you read nutrition books but don’t change to a healthy diet, will you get healthier?

If you read about playing an instrument but don’t practice the instrument, will you learn to play it?

Inner Bonding is no different. It is a practice.

Resistance to Practicing

If you are resistant to practicing, there are good reasons for it. Actually, exploring your resistance is part of the practice. Here are some of the reasons you might be resisting the practice of Inner Bonding:

  • If I open to my feelings, they might overwhelm me.

If this is your fear, then you need to do some groundwork first. You might need some trauma therapy, such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or SE (Somatic Experiencing) to de-escalate the intensity of your feelings and help you learn to regulate them.

Continue reading

Learning to Trust Yourself and Your Guidance

trust If you were hurt as a child, you likely have trust issues that need to be healed.

Were your parents or caregivers trustworthy? Mine weren’t. I could not trust their love. I could not trust that they had my highest good at heart because they didn’t. They betrayed me over and over in many ways.

When we didn’t grow up with trustworthy parents – parents whose love we could count on and who had our highest good at heart – it’s a challenge to trust God – whatever God is for you. We tend to project our early experiences onto our concept of God and to then believe that our higher power is not supporting our highest good.

In a Facebook post about God and love, someone said, “…love is love. ‘God’ is control.” This attitude is exactly what I’m talking about, and what makes me feel so sad. Obviously, the writer of that statement is projecting her experience of her controlling parents, or others who controlled her, onto her concept of God, and now she has no trust in God.

How do we learn to trust again, when our trust was betrayed over and over?

Continue reading

How to Define Your True Self-Worth

woman-holding-snowball-picture-id102284322

Do you believe your self-worth is in your looks and performance? If you do, is this working for you and bringing you joy?

Marilyn asked in one of my webinars:

“I’ve noticed there are times I define my worth in a way that seems not good. For example, if I see a picture of myself and I like it, I’ll define myself as cute or thin or something positive like that. If I don’t like the picture, I will define myself as frumpy or unattractive. So, while I’m defining my worth, it seems dependent on how a picture comes out. The picture is just an example. I may do the same thing with how I feel after interacting with someone. If it’s lively, I’ll see myself as social or interesting. If the interaction doesn’t go well, I may see myself as boring or awkward. So, while I’m defining my own worth, it still seems not quite right. Any suggestions for me?”

The problem is that Marilyn is defining her worth externally – by her looks and performance – rather than intrinsically by her enduring soul qualities.

 

Continue reading

The One New Year's Resolution I Hope You Make...And Keep

2021 This one New Year’s resolution can change your life, heal your relationships, create health and well being, and heal our planet.

One of the most important aspects of Inner Bonding is opening to a compassionate intention to learn. I think a lot about love and compassion. Compassion is often more than people think it is.

Compassion does include the standard definition: the ability to feel empathy with another or others who are suffering, to be moved by the suffering and to want to help alleviate it.

 

But compassion is so much more…

It’s my experience that like love, we don’t generate it within ourselves; we open to it. Compassion, like love, peace, joy, grace and true wisdom, are gifts of spirit that we experience when we are open to learning about loving ourselves and others. These gifts are what the universe is. Compassion is a bright, light, loving energy that deeply connects you with yourself, others, animals and the planet.

Continue reading

Are You Perpetuating a Controlling Relationship System?

control

For example, Sadie found herself in the same interaction over and over with her husband, Benjamin. The interaction would go something like this:

Most of us in relationships have an easy time seeing how the other person is being controlling, and a very hard time seeing it in ourselves. We also generally don’t recognize that any time we are trying to control, we are creating an energy loop that perpetuates the dysfunctional relationship system.

Benjamin, in a judgmental voice: “You never seem to want to cuddle or make love anymore. What’s wrong with you?”

Sadie, in a kind voice: “Benjamin, are you aware of how often you criticize me? Don’t you see what you are doing that is causing problems in our relationship?”

Benjamin: “I’m fine. I’m not the problem. Maybe you need some hormones or something. You’re the one with the problem.”

Continue reading

What to Do If You Are Alone for the Holidays

finger-art-of-lonely-woman-is-crying

Being alone for the holidays is a major challenge for many people, and this is especially true during the pandemic. For many people, holidays  conjure images of family, of warmth and the sharing of special time. Loneliness can be overwhelming when you have no one with whom to share holiday time, or you can’t get together.

Most people know that the point of the holidays – and what makes them so special – is not about what you get, but what you give. The joy of the holiday season is about the love you share. Our hearts get filled to the brim with love when we give and share love – way more than when we get love.

Continue reading

“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