How To Become FreeBy Dr. Margaret Paul
April 19, 2021
Do you feel free? Do you want to feel free?
I used to think that to become free you had to practice like a samurai warrior, but now I understand that you have to practice like a devoted mother of a newborn child. It takes the same energy but has a completely different quality. It's compassion and presence rather than having to defeat the enemy in battle. -- Jack Kornfield, "The Question"
I love this statement by Jack Kornfield. Did you know that becoming free has to do with compassion and presence?
The compassion and presence needs to start with yourself – with becoming "like a devoted mother of a newborn child." This is exactly what Inner Bonding is all about.
Step One of Inner Bonding is about learning to stay present within your body, connected with your feelings. I've often stated that Step One is about having your 'inner baby monitor on'. If you were a devoted parent with a newborn, you would always have the baby monitor on when you were not holding your baby. You would want to know the moment your baby cried so that you could attend to his or her needs. A devoted parent doesn’t leave a helpless baby to cry and cry. A baby feels terrified, traumatized and abandoned when someone doesn't attend to his or her needs.
The same is true within you. Whenever you ignore your own feelings - by staying in your head rather than being present in your body and aware of your feelings - you create much anxiety within. Only you can hear the cry of your inner child. Only you can be the devoted parent to your inner baby. Only you can take the loving action that your inner child needs in order to feel safe and loved within.
Becoming free means that you are no longer needy and dependent on others to take loving care of you.
Do you realize the freedom there is in being able to take loving care of yourself? Do you realize how un-free you keep yourself when you make others responsible for your emotional wellbeing? Are you aware of the anxiety you create when you wait for someone else to make you feel worthy, safe and lovable?
The ability to take loving care of ourselves is a sacred privilege.
Do you see it as a burden rather than as a privilege? If you do, then you are missing the incredible freedom that is available to you.
When you were five years old or twelve years old or somewhere in between, if your parents made you responsible for a baby, it was a huge burden. But now you are not five or twelve. When you feel burdened by the thought of loving yourself and taking responsibility for your own well being, it's because you are operating from your five year old or twelve year old wounded self. Taking loving care of yourself IS a burden for your wounded self, but it's not at all a burden for your spiritually connected loving adult, and it is the responsibility of your loving adult – not the responsibility of your wounded self.
When you are open to learning about loving yourself and connecting with your spiritual guidance (Step Two of Inner Bonding), then you can experience the delicious freedom there is in being a compassionate, present, and devoted parent to your inner child. Like Jack Kornfield says, you don't have to "practice like a samurai warrior" to be free, but you do need to put the same amount of energy into practicing being a loving adult with your inner child.
This is the path to freedom.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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Courage is taking the loving action in the face of fear, rather than letting fear govern your choices. If there was no fear, there would be no need for courage. Therefore, fear is no reason to wait to take the loving action in your own behalf and in behalf of others.
By Dr.Margaret Paul