When I met my husband, we fell madly in love.
And we were madly in love for three weeks. I then spent the next 30 years trying to get back those three weeks. Sometimes I would succeed, but most of the time I wasn’t able to have the connection I knew was possible.
Yet I learned so much about relationships in that time.
I saw that in every moment, we are either open to learning and loving, or we’re contracted in fear trying to avoid pain. This fear causes us to engage in all sorts of controlling behavior, and some of it can be very subtle:
We can twist and mold ourselves in order to get someone’s love (“Do you like me now?”)
We can shut down or retreat (“Maybe if I create some distance, I won’t get hurt.”)
In my case, I was a caretaker—doing, doing, doing for everyone else but me. If people needed me, I was sure they’d never leave.
Meanwhile, I was practicing traditional psychotherapy, but here I was unhappy in my life and my marriage.
I was in all kinds of therapy for years, and not one therapist told me that 1) I was responsible for my feelings, and 2) they never taught me how to connect with a higher source of truth.
I was desperate to know how I could stay open in the face of fear. When my feelings were triggered, how could I remain open to learning about myself and others so I wouldn’t go into controlling behavior? How could I learn to give myself my own validation and sense of worth? How could I truly love myself so I wasn’t trying to grab it from someone else?
And this was the beginning of the Inner Bonding process.
I prayed for a process that I could do—and that anyone could do as well—to stay open, heal ourselves, and heal our relationships.
It was then that I met my friend and fellow therapist Erika Chopich. I had half the Inner Bonding, and she had half, and so we had to meet!
That’s when my life really changed.
I learned to start taking care of my inner child, the feeling part of me (and you). It took practice, because I had ignored myself for so long. But it was the best thing I ever did.
Since then, Inner Bonding has helped hundreds of thousands of people heal shame depression, anxiety, guilt, emptiness, aloneness, and anger where other therapies have failed. Inner Bonding is especially useful in relationships because your unhealed wounds only get triggered when you’re with a partner.
That’s why I urge people never to leave a relationship until you’ve healed your end of the relationship problems — unless there is abuse.
When you heal yourself, more often than not, the relationship also heals.
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