I was having a phone session with Nick. As usual, Nick was in his head, talking about loving himself but not actually loving himself.
"Nick, there must be a good reason that you spend so much time in your head, talking about Inner Bonding but not actually doing it. Please open to learning with your wounded self and ask him what he is afraid of in actually doing Inner Bonding?"
"I'm afraid I can't do it. I'm afraid I will fail at being a loving Adult."
Nick is married with 3 young children. He adores his children and is a very devoted father.
"Nick, does the fear of failing at being a father stop you from loving your children?"
"No! Of course not! I want to be a really good father, and sometimes I worry that I'm not, but I think I'm mostly loving with my kids."
"So your wounded self is not in charge when it comes to your children, but it is in charge when it comes to your inner child, is that right?"
"Yeah, I think that's right."
"So with your children it's more important to you to be loving, even if you make mistakes, but with yourself, it's more important to protect against failure than to be loving?"
"I haven't thought about it like that, but I think that's right. This must be what's keeping me stuck in my head rather than being present in my body. I'm always present with my children, but not with my own feelings."
"Right. With your children, because you WANT to be loving to them, you are present as a loving Adult. But with yourself, because you WANT to avoid failure, you stay in your head to protect yourself from doing it wrong. What if, right now, you decided that it is more important to you to be loving to yourself than to protect against failing? What if you make it okay to make mistakes, okay to fail?
"You know, that's a big one for me. I've always defined myself by my success and accomplishments. Failure has always been something to make sure never happens."
"Yes. That has been the way your wounded self has defined your worth. But it's not your wounded self who can ever be a loving Adult. Your wounded self has no capacity to connect with Spirit, and it is only when we are connected with our spiritual Guidance that we are a loving Adult. And it is only through our Guidance that we can learn how to be loving to ourselves. So your wounded self can't do it and will definitely fail at it, but your loving Adult can develop and learn to take loving care of yourself."
"So the fear of failure is coming from my wounded self?"
"Yes, always. The loving Adult doesn't think about success or failure - only about the journey of learning and loving. The loving Adult defines you by your intrinsic qualities of caring, compassion, kindness, and so on - not by success or failure or accomplishments."
"So until I make it okay to just learn about love rather than about whether or not I can do this, I will stay stuck in my head. I think I'm ready to let go of worrying about failure and practice Inner Bonding. I'm so tired of pontificating about Inner Bonding and knowing that I'm not really doing it."