“Intimacy begins with oneself. It does no good to try to find intimacy with friends, lovers, and family if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself.” – Thomas Moore, author, Care of the Soul
Most of us would love to have intimacy and connection in our lives, yet we often find this elusive. Why?
Thomas Moore puts it in a nutshell. Until we are intimate and connected with ourselves, we cannot experience the greatest joy in life – intimacy and connection with others.
The question becomes: what causes alienation and division within yourself? Just one thing – self abandonment.
To understand self-abandonment, let’s take an analogy. Let’s say you have a small child who comes to you upset or crying. There are four major ways you can abandon this child:
- You stay distracted in your mind rather than become present in your heart.
If you stay distracted in your left-brain thoughts, rather than getting with the child and being present in your heart with caring and kindness, the child will feel unloved, unimportant and abandoned – and maybe angry.
This is what you might be doing with yourself – staying in your mind rather being present in your heart, avoiding your feelings rather than compassionately attending to them. This is one form of self-abandonment.
- You judge the child.
If you judge the child, saying things like, “What’s the matter with you? It’s no big deal; I’ll give you something to cry about,” the child will feel unloved, shamed and abandoned.
This is what you may be doing to yourself – judging yourself for your feelings, rather than compassionately attending to them. You will likely feel alone, depressed, anxious and shamed when you treat yourself this way.
- You turn to various addictions.
If you turn to various addictions – grabbing a drink, a cigarette, food, turning on the TV or the computer – the child will feel alone, ignored and abandoned.
When you turn to addictions, rather than attend to your own feeling with a desire to learn and take responsibility for them, you will likewise feel alone and abandoned.
- You try to get others to take care of the child.
If you take the child by the hand and go from neighbor to neighbor, saying, “This child is upset. Will you deal with him or her? I don’t want to,” the child will feel deeply unloved, unimportant and abandoned.
Do you do this with your own feelings? Do you make others responsible for making you feel safe, secure, worthy and happy? Do you spend a lot of energy trying to have control over getting others to love you, rather than learning to love yourself? If you do, you will likely feel anxious, alone, depressed, angry and disconnected.
Think about your parents or caregivers. Did they role-model loving themselves or abandoning themselves? If they abandoned themselves, then where would you have learned to love yourself? You might know you need to love yourself, and even want to love yourself, but do you know HOW?
Inner Bonding is a compete process for learning how to stop abandoning yourself and start learning how to love yourself. It gives you all the tools you need to stop being alienated from yourself and start being intimate and connected with yourself. It develops your ability to tap into the profound role-modeling from Spirit which is available to all of us, and which develops your ability to take 100% responsibility for your own feelings.
When you learn how to be intimate and connected with yourself, your anxiety, depression, emptiness, anger, addictions and relationships will heal. Then you can be intimate and connected with others and experience the joy and aliveness that life has to offer.
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.