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Step 1: Willing to Take Responsibility for Your Feelings

By Dr. Margaret Paul
May 12, 2024



How devoted are you to taking responsibility for your feelings? Learn how essential this is for moving through the Six Steps of Inner Bonding.



feeling your feelingsStep One of Inner Bonding states:

Choose the Willingness to Feel Pain and Take Responsibility for Your Feelings:

Move into the present moment and focus within, tuning into your feelings - the physical sensations within the body. Choose to be mindful of and pay attention to all distressing feelings rather than protect against them with self-abandonment behavior. Make a conscious decision to take responsibility for your feelings.

Many people feel their feelings - and then stay stuck with them, wallow in them, or blame someone else for them. In relationships with others, most people believe that their feelings are coming from someone else's behavior.

"Of course I'm angry! I have a right to be angry. She ran up our credit card bill, again!"

"I'm hurt because he forgot our anniversary."

"When she gets angry, she calls me names and threatens me. This makes me feel very anxious, hurt and alone."

"He infuriates me when he puts me down!"

"I'm not happy in this relationship because he won't communicate with me."

"I feel turned off to him because he doesn't spend enough time with me."

"I'm angry because she won't take responsibility for her end of our problems."

"I feel disrespected because he is always late."

While it is easy to think that all your emotions are coming from another's behavior, this often isn’t the case. There are times when fear is directly tied to real and present danger, and times when other core existential painful feelings of life - such as loneliness, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others - are responses to others’ unloving behavior or painful life situations. However, feelings of anxiety, depression, blaming, anger, hurt, guilt, shame, aloneness, jealousy, and so on are usually coming from how you are responding - what you are telling yourself, and from how you are treating yourself.

Do You Really WANT Responsibility for Your Feelings?

Step One is about noticing your feelings and wanting to take responsibility for them.

If you do not want to take responsibility for your feelings, then you may automatically come from your wounded self and be a victim, blaming someone else for your feelings. Even if you think you are open to learning in Step Two, if you have not consciously decided that you want full responsibility for your feelings, you will not actually be open to learning about how YOU are causing your feelings.

Step One is about saying to yourself, "I'm feeling badly (or angry, etc.) and I want to take responsibility for causing these feelings." When you really want that responsibility, then you will be able to move through the Six Steps. But if you really believe that someone else is causing your wounded emotions, then the only way you will be able to utilize the Six Steps is by exploring your false belief that others are causing your wounded feelings. 

Step One Is an All-Day Practice

In the practice of Inner Bonding, you need to practice Step One throughout the day. This means staying present in your body so that you are always aware of your feelings, and the moment there is a painful feeling - or anything less than peace inside - immediately saying to yourself, "I want responsibility for causing this wounded feeling or for lovingly managing this painful existential feeling." Once you say this, then you can move into Step Two, choosing the intent to learn and inviting the compassionate presence of spirit into your heart, so that you are a loving adult when you move through the other steps.

If you do not want responsibility for your feelings, or if you continue to choose to believe that someone else is causing your wounded feelings, then the rest of the steps will not work for you. The steps work only when you want responsibility for yourself - for your painful feelings, for your health and wellbeing, for your sense of security, and for your inner peace and joy.

It is only when you truly want to take responsibility for your emotions that your inner child will feel loved, valued, and worthwhile.

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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