THE BLOG

6 Steps To Bond with Yourself

Inner Bonding® is a six-step practice that leads to learning how to love yourself rather than abandon yourself.
06/17/2011 09:47am ET | Updated August 17, 2011
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

"Inner Bonding has helped me to evolve in my courage to love..."
--Alanis Morissette, singer/songwriter

"One of the most powerful tools I have come across..."
--Lindsay Wagner, actress, author

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"A psychologist."

"A psychologist! How do you even know what a psychologist is?

"I just know." I was five years old.

I was not a happy child and when I was five my parents took me to a child psychologist. He told me I should tell my mother to stop yelling at me. I thought to myself, "I'm five; she isn't going to listen to me. You tell her." And I decided right then that I could do a much better job than him.

I hated the psychology department at UCLA. It was not at all what I had in mind, so I switched to an art major and a psychology minor. Meanwhile, I was in psychoanalysis -- on the couch four days a week for four-and-a-half years. After all this time, with me talking and him listening, he said, "You're analyzed." I thought this meant that I was healthy -- even though I was still not happy, so I decided it was time to get married.

I was 23 years old when I fell madly in love -- which lasted for three weeks. I spent the next 30 years trying to get back what I had experienced for those first three weeks. Despite the pain, I am deeply grateful now for my difficult marriage; it taught me so much about myself and about relationships.

I taught high school art for the first two years of my marriage and then I started having babies. I was still not experiencing much joy in my life, so I started to work with every kind of therapist I could find. I tried spiritual groups and workshops. I voraciously read every self-help, personal growth, and spiritual book available at that time. I had to find out how to be happy and have a happy marriage.

Meanwhile, I was helping one of my friends with a sexual problem. She was seeing a psychiatrist and told him what I had told her. Out of the blue, he called me and said, "I have a patient with sexual problems and I'm not helping her. Will you see her?"

My success with her led him to tell many of his doctor friends about me, and pretty soon I had a full practice! I went back to school and received my M.A. in Marriage and Family Counseling and my Ph.D. in psychology. During this time my husband and I wrote a number of books, including the bestseller, "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?"

However, after working for 17 years as a traditional psychotherapist, I was not happy with the results. I prayed for a process that really worked -- both for me and for others. It was during this time that I met Dr. Erika Chopich, the co-creator of Inner Bonding® and my best friend. She had half the process and I had half the process, so our meeting had profound results.

We've been evolving Inner Bonding® for 26 years, and it has become a most powerful self-healing process for anxiety, depression, aloneness, emptiness, addictions, shame and relationship issues, as well as for becoming loving parents to your children.

The Six Steps of Inner Bonding®

Inner Bonding® is a six-step practice that leads to learning how to love yourself rather than abandon yourself. The practice heals shame, insecurity and feelings of unworthiness, creating the vital connection with the self, loved ones, and spirit that heals anxiety, depression, addictions, and relationship issues -- and unleashes love, joy, passion, and creativity!

Here is a brief description of the six steps. They are extremely powerful, and you can start to learn them immediately by taking the free inner bonding home study course at http://www.innerbonding.com/welcome.

Step One: Willingness to Feel Pain and Take Responsibility for Your Feelings

The first step of Inner Bonding® is the willingness to feel your painful feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, emptiness, aloneness, jealousy and so on -- with a desire to take responsibility for what you are telling yourself and how you are treating yourself, which is actually the cause of these feelings. Willingness also includes feeling the naturally painful feelings of life that you are not causing -- such as loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, helplessness over others and grief -- and taking responsibility for learning to manage these feelings, rather than turning to shame, blame or addictions.

Step Two: Move into the Intent to Learn

In Inner Bonding® there are only two possible intentions in any given moment:

  • To protect against pain and to avoid taking responsibility for it, through various forms of addictive and controlling behavior.
  • To learn about what you are doing or thinking that may be causing your pain, or what may be happening between you and another person or situation, so that you can move into taking loving action in your own behalf.
  • In Step Two, you invite the compassionate presence of spirit into your heart to help you learn what you are doing or thinking that may be causing your pain. You welcome and embrace all your feelings with compassion, recognizing that all feelings are informational.

    Step Three: Dialogue with Your Wounded self and Core Self

    Your ego wounded self is the part of you that is filled with false beliefs. Your core Self is your true, essential Self.

    In Step Three, you:

    • Explore the thoughts and false beliefs from your wounded self that may be causing your shame, anxiety, depression or anger

  • Release anger and pain in appropriate ways
  • Learn about the past that created the false beliefs
  • Nurture your wounded self and core self
  • Explore what may be happening with a person or event that may be causing loneliness, heartache, or heartbreak
  • Explore your core Self and learn about what brings you joy
  • Step Four: Dialogue with Your Higher Guidance

    Ask your spiritual guidance -- whatever that is for you:
    • What is the truth about the thoughts/false beliefs you may have uncovered in Step Three?
  • What loving behavior can you take toward yourself in this situation? What is in your highest good? What behavior is kindest to yourself and others?
  • When your heart is open to learning, the answers will come though you in words, pictures or feelings. The answers may not come immediately, but if you have a sincere desire to learn, they will come.

    Step Five: Take Loving Action

    Tell yourself the truth learned in Step Four, and take the loving action that came through from your Guidance. Without loving action toward yourself and with others, the other four steps will not lead to healing your pain.

    Step Six: Evaluate Your Action

    Check in to see if your pain, anger and shame are getting healed, and if your core feelings of loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, or grief are moving through you. If not, go back through the steps until you discover the truth and actions that bring you peace, joy, and a deep sense of intrinsic worth.

    These steps will come alive for you as you learn and practice the Inner Bonding® process.

    For me -- and for thousands of others around the world -- Inner Bonding® has brought the love, joy, passion, aliveness, creativity, and spiritual connection that I sought for so long!