Part 3 of a 5-part series on how to save a marriage
In Part 2 of this 5-part series, I offered a simplified version of the Six Step healing process of Inner Bonding:
1. Willingness to feeling your feelings and take responsibility for them
2. Choose the intent to learn
3. Dialogue with the feelings
4. Dialogue with your Higher Power
5. Take loving action
6. Evaluate the action.
Part 2 described what it means to be in Step One – what it means to be willing to feel your feelings and take responsibility for them, rather than turn to protective, controlling behavior.
We will now move on to Step Two: Choosing the intent to learn.
In Step Two, you open to learning about the your thoughts, beliefs and behavior that are causing your pain. You let go of believing that it is your partner who is causing your pain and you want to take full, 100% responsibility for your feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, hurt, rejection, abandonment, numbness, guilt, shame, aloneness or depression. In Step Two, you open to your Higher Self so that you can compassionately embrace your painful feelings and learn about what you may be doing to cause them.
For example, Joan feels angry, alone, rejected and abandoned because Justin spends a lot of time at work. Joan has been nagging Justin, judging him for his long hours and blaming him for her feelings. The result of this is that Justin has gotten even busier. He is obviously going into resistance, not wanting to be controlled by Joan.
Joan is using her anger and blame to avoid feeling her pain. She is addicted to having her eyes on Justin and making him responsible for her feelings. When he spends time with her, she feels happy and worthy, and when he doesn’t she feels anxious and insecure.
If Joan were to practice the Six Steps of Inner Bonding, she would start with Step One – welcoming and compassionately embracing her anger, aloneness, fear and resentment. She would be with these feelings just as a loving parent would be with a hurting child – with deep kindness and compassion toward herself. She would make a conscious decision that she WANTS responsibility for being the cause of her own pain.
Then, instead of going into her usual protective, controlling behavior of blaming Justin for her feelings with her anger, nagging and complaining, she would move to Step Two, opening her heart to learning about what she might be telling herself and how she might be treating herself that is actually causing her own pain. She would open to her older, wiser inner self, her Higher Self, to help her stay open to learning. She would choose to be curious about her own beliefs and behavior, rather than judgmental toward Justin or herself.
When Joan moves into Step Two, she is moving out of being a victim and into personal responsibility. This intent shift will immediately begin to change the interactions between Joan and Justin. When Joan shifts her intention from trying to control Justin with her anger, blame and complaints to learning about herself, her energy will completely shift. Justin will actually feel this energy shift, even if he is not in the same room as Joan. Energy is not local. We all unconsciously pick up when others are angry with us and when they are accepting and loving.
This intention shift is vital for healing a troubled relationship. As long as your eyes are on your partner and you are trying to get your partner to change to make you feel better, you will continue to have a dysfunctional relationship. At those times when you are willing to feeling your feelings and take responsibility for how you are causing them, and you move into a deep intent to learn, you will notice that your relationship quickly improves.
The shift out of trying to control your partner and into learning about loving yourself is one of the most major shifts you can make in your relationship.
In Parts 4 and 5, I will continue through the Six Steps of Inner Bonding, showing you how Joan uses these powerful Steps to heal her relationship with Justin.
[Margaret Paul Relationship Toolbox]