The loving Adult knows that it is self-abandonment, not being abandoned by others, that creates our fear, anxiety, depression and emptiness.
For example, Harrison had been practicing Inner Bonding for a while when the following situation brought home to him what really creates good feelings and what creates bad feelings.
More from YourTango: How Far Am I In The Narcissism World?
Harrison had been dating Kathleen for 6 months when they mutually agreed to end the relationship because Kathleen wanted children and Harrison didn't. It was hard for them to break up because they were physically attracted to each other, but the both knew that the children issue was a deal-breaker.
A month or so after breaking up, Kathleen called Harrison to get together. He knew in his gut that they would end it up having sex if they got together. He heard his inner child say, "No, this is not what I want," but his wounded self wanted to feel loved for a few hours.
"I just wanted that good safe feeling that comes from having sex and feeling cared for. But afterwards I felt awful. I'm not quite sure why I felt so bad."
"Harrison," I said, "When you decided to have sex with Kathleen, weren't you handing your inner child over to her? Isn't this what you have generally done in your relationships?"
"Yes, I have. But it feels so good to feel loved."
"But it feels so bad to abandon yourself. Are you convincing yourself that your bad feelings are coming from not seeing Kathleen again, rather than from abandoning yourself?"
"Oh! I see! I'm feeling bad because I abandoned myself! I can see that I always do this in relationships thinking that my best feelings come from being loved, but I always end up feeling smothered and engulfed in my relationships because I abandon myself to get that momentary good feeling. This is why my relationships are not working!"
While getting love from others always feels good for the moment, when we abandon ourselves to get love we will always end up feeling bad. The wounded self wants to believe that our bad feelings are coming from not being loved by the other, but they are really coming from having abandoned ourselves to get love.
To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week home study eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" – the first two weeks are free! Phone or Skype sessions with Dr. Margaret Paul.
More from YourTango: Using Your Inner Strengths To Become More Intimate