The Crazymaking Trap: Proving Your Worth Over and Over

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Marcus grew up the eldest of three, with a highly critical mother and an absent father. Marcus’s mother frequently told him or implied that he was too stupid to take care of himself – that he would be nothing without her. She programmed him to believe that she was his only source of love and safety, but that she wouldn’t give him the love he so desperately needed until he proved himself worthy of it by doing things “right”. She taught him to be confused between love and approval, and to be constantly trying to control getting love and avoiding the pain of rejection. Marcus was deeply addicted to self-judgment as a way of trying to have control over getting himself to do things right.

When we were small, our parents were supposed to be channels of the unconditional love that is God, and they were supposed to be role models of bringing that unconditional love to themselves so that we could have grown up learning to access the love that is always here for us. But this is the opposite of what happened to Marcus and to many of us.

Because Marcus never learned how to access unconditional love from his Source, he constantly tries to get women’s approval. When he is not in a relationship, he does a fair job of taking care of himself, but the moment he is around a woman he likes, he abandons himself in his efforts to get what he thinks is the “real” thing – her love. He is programmed to believe that he cannot tap into the Source himself – that a woman has to be his higher power.

Marcus is stuck in the crazymaking trap that his mother taught him – that he is incapable of opening to Spirit and bringing love to himself, that he has to get the love he so desperately needs from a woman, and that he has to constantly prove himself to be worthy of love by doing things right in order to have control over getting the love that he can’t live without.

Even though Marcus has been on a spiritual path for a long time, he cannot get beyond believing that God is like his mother – that he has to prove himself worthy before he can access the love that is God. And, because of his core shame programming and the resulting constant self-judgment, he is never worthy enough.

In his Inner Bonding work with me, Marcus discovered the dead-end bind that his mother had put him in. As long as he believed that he was incapable of accessing his Source and receiving love directly, he was stuck constantly trying to prove himself – over and over and over. And he was drawn to women like his mother – critical, controlling women who would withhold love until he did it “right.” He was deeply addicted to trying to have control over getting a woman like his mother to be unconditionally loving to him – a project that was always doomed to failure.

As Marcus learned to shift his intent from controlling a woman to get love, to learning how to love himself, he began to discover that his mother was wrong about him – that inside he is a good and caring person inherently worthy of love. He discovered that when his heart is open to learning about loving himself, he CAN access the love and truth of Spirit and fill himself with the love that he was constantly trying to get from a woman. As he healed his core shame, he found himself attracted to caring women rather than judgmental, rejecting women, and discovered the deep joy of sharing love.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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