Why Kindness And Tenderness Are The Preserve Of The Strong

Are you confusing gentleness and kindness with weakness? Discover what weakness really is and how to acquire the strength to be kind and gentle.

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution.”

~Kahlil Gibran

Over the 42 years that I have been counseling individuals and couples, I have heard countless times:

“If I cry in movies people will think I’m weak.”
“If I’m kind, people will take advantage of me.”
“If I’m gentle, people will see me as weak instead of powerful.”
“Being emotional is a sign of weakness.”

It is always sad to me when I hear people say this. I can easily identify with them, as I was also brought to believe that kindness, tenderness, and deep feelings were signs of weakness.

What is particularly sad to me is that the exact opposite is true.

Is it strength or weakness to have your heart open, rather than closed and protected against your fears of rejection?

Is it a sign of personal power or a sign of weakness when you put up walls of anger and judgment to protect yourself from being taken advantage of?

Inner strength is about knowing and valuing who you are – what is good and wonderful about you, what is true for you, what is in integrity for you. When you know these things about yourself, you no longer take rejection personally. You are no longer vulnerable to compromising yourself to please others. You can now keep your heart open to love, compassion, kindness and tenderness toward yourself and others because your fears of rejection and engulfment are gone.

This is strength. This is personal power.

When you have this inner strength, you can cry when you are moved without worrying about what anyone else will think, because you know that what they think of you is more about them than about you.

Weakness is about making others responsible for your sense of self-worth. Weakness stems from refusing to take responsibility for defining your own self-worth. Once you make others responsible for defining whether you are weak or strong, okay or not okay, competent or incompetent, worthy or unworthy, lovable or unlovable, then you have to constantly try to control what they think of you. That’s when you might be afraid to cry when you are moved, or be kind and gentle with yourself or others, for fear of others’ judgment of you.

Inner strength is about taking away others’ authority to judge you and giving that authority to define you to the only entity who actually has that authority  – your own spiritual Guidance.

Twenty-five years ago I learned how to have a deep and consistent connection with my personal spiritual Guidance. This connection was so profound for me that I quickly understood that only my personal spiritual Guidance knows everything about me and can define my true Self and sense of worth.

Do you know how to have this connection? It’s not as hard as you may think. I teach people every day to have this profound connection with their inner authority. It is this connection that gives you the strength to be kind, loving, compassionate and gentle without fearing rejection, judgment, or losing oneself through being controlled by another.

The key to having this profound connection is your intent. As long as your intent is to control what others think of you and to get love rather than to be loving, this connection will elude you. When you shift your intent from controlling/protecting/avoiding to learning about what is in your highest good and the highest good of all, you will discover the loving Guidance that is always here for you. This is the pathway to personal power – and to loving kindness.

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.


What Makes You Think You’re Not In Love Now?

Do you feel empty and alone inside? Are you seeking a partner to fill this, or are you considering leaving your marriage to hopefully feel intimate with someone else? First, learn how to become intimate with yourself.

Over the 40 years that I have been counseling individuals and couples, I have very often worked with people who are considering leaving their marriage. Often they say things like:
  • I no longer feel close or intimate with my spouse. I love him/her, but I’m no longer in love with him/her.
  • The love we once had seems to be lost.
  • We don’t seem to have anything in common any more. We have gone off in different directions.
  • I’ve met someone that makes me feel alive again. I haven’t felt this alive with my husband/wife for years.

Generally, I try to find out if these two people once felt in love and passionate about each other. Most of the time they did. And often the person on the phone with me believes these feelings cannot come back, especially if he or she has met someone else.

For example, Brandon consulted with me because he was thinking of leaving his marriage of 18 years. He still cared about his wife, Jennifer, but he was no longer in love with her. He had recently fallen in love with Chandra, with whom he now had all the passion he previously had with Jennifer. The reason he hadn’t left was he was deeply devoted to his and Jennifer’s four children.

I asked Brandon not to make any decisions about leaving until we had a chance to work together for a few months with Inner Bonding.

It soon became evident that, while Brandon was deeply desirous of having an intimate relationship, which he believed he had with Chandra, he had no intimacy with himself. By this I mean that he had lived his life ignoring his own feelings and needs.

Brandon was a nice guy who was there for his wife and children, but never there for himself. He was completely out of touch with his own feelings and needs. He had abandoned himself. He was often judgmental of himself, which led to his relying on others’ approval for his sense of himself. He would care-take others in the hopes that they would give him the love, attention, and approval that he was not giving to himself.

Love and intimacy almost always disappear in a relationship when we abandon ourselves by judging ourselves, by ignoring our feelings, and by making others responsible for our sense of worth. Because Brandon had been abandoning himself for years in his relationship with Jennifer, he was a sitting duck for an affair.

Chandra and Brandon were in the same profession and they met at a national sales meeting. Over dinner, Chandra gave Brandon the attention and approval that he was not giving himself and that Jennifer was not giving to him. Jennifer, an executive in a large company and a busy mother of four, did not want the responsibility of taking care of Brandon. The problem was that Brandon had not wanted the responsibility of taking care of Brandon either.

As Brandon started to practice Inner Bonding and learned how to attend to his own feelings, and how to give himself the love and attention that he needed, he started to feel much better inside. He discovered that the more he learned to value himself, the more he started to reconnect with Jennifer.

I have often found in my work that as a person starts to treat themselves with the love and valuing that they have always sought from others – when they become intimate with themselves – they find themselves experiencing intimacy with their spouse. A marriage they thought was over becomes renewed with the love that they had been seeking from someone else.

Before you leave your marriage, especially if you have children, do your Inner Bonding work and learn to have intimacy with yourself. You might be surprised at what happens with your marriage. Joining the membership community will give you the help and support you need to learn to be intimate with yourself.

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.

Are You Really In Love Or Is It Emotional Dependency?

Learn to distinguish the difference between being in love and being emotionally dependent on someone – between loving from your mature adult self or loving from your wounded self.

One of my clients, whose ex-girlfriend recently broke up with him, asked me the following question:

“I think I still love her, but is this love or just emotional dependency? Many times I ask myself if falling in love comes from the wounded self because (for me at least) it feels as if I can’t live without the other person. When I give love from the heart, I don’t expect anything back, but when I ‘fall in love’ I think this is a different energy.”

Falling in love can come from two different inner states. When you fall in love from the wounded self – the ego self – you are in love with how the other person loves you. You are handing over to the other person the responsibility for your self-worth and wellbeing, and if he or she does a good job of attending to you in the way you want to be attended to, then you may say you are “in love.” However, it is not so much the person you love, but how he or she loves you. When it feels as if you can’t live without the other person, it is emotional dependency. The part of you that is “in love” is really a child or adolescent who is needy for love because you are not giving love to yourself or to others. There is an emptiness inside that you expect someone else to fill, because you are not taking responsibility for your own feelings of self-worth. You are attaching your worth to another’s love, which is why you can’t live without that person.

When you fall in love as a loving adult, instead of as a wounded, needy child or adolescent, your need for the relationship is totally different. As a loving adult, you have learned – through the consistent practice of Inner Bonding – how to fill yourself with love and define your own worth. Instead of needing someone to fill you and make you feel lovable and worthy, you already feel worthy and full of love. You experience this inner fullness because you have learned how to take full responsibility for your own feelings and needs, and you have learned to fill yourself with love from a spiritual source. This fullness overflows and you want to share this love with another person, another loving adult who is also filled with love. Your desire is to share love rather than to get love.

The kind of person you will pick will be totally different when a loving adult is choosing, than when your wounded self is choosing. The people we pick have a similar level of woundedness and a similar level of emotional health. Obviously, the more you have done your Inner Bonding work to bring love within, and the more you have learned to take loving care of yourself, the more you will be attracted to someone who also does this.

When you pick someone from your wounded self, you will pick someone whom you believe wants the job of filling you up. The problem is that the other person may be attempting to fill you up in the hopes that you will also fill up him or her. Two people who each want to get love rather than share love will eventually find themselves very disappointed with each other. They will each blame the other for not loving them in the way they want to be loved. When relationships break up, it is often because one or both partners are not taking responsibility for their own feelings and self-worth and are blaming the other for their resulting unhappiness.

If you are so attached to someone that you feel you can’t live without that person, try learning to give to yourself and others what it is you want from this person. Your job is to become the person to yourself that you want the other person to be. Then you will be able to be “in love” rather than “in need.” You will be able to love another person for who he or she is, rather than for what this person can do for you. Instead of needing to get love, you can give love from the heart for the joy of it, and feel filled in the giving.

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.

I Love Him But He Just Doesn’t Turn Me On. Do You Know Why?

Do you love your partner but rarely feel sexually turned on to him or her? Do you have arguments about sex? Discover the possible cause of this and how Inner Bonding can help you to heal this common problem.

Erin married Dylan because he was the first man who expressed his love for her and was really nice to her. She was not sexually turned on to him, but she figured that this would come in time. Now, 15 years later, sex is a huge problem in their relationship.

Erin sought me for counseling due to this issue.

“I love Dylan. He is my best friend. I enjoy being with him and doing things with him. But the sex issue is causing too many arguments. I end up feeling guilty because I don’t want to make love with him. Is there something wrong with me?”

“Erin, are you ever attracted to Dylan?”

“There have been a few times when I was really attracted to him and sex was wonderful.”

“What was going on at those times?”

“Those were times when Dylan stopped pulling on me to have sex with him and make him happy and seemed to be happy within himself. Most of the time, he is unhappy because of the sex issue. I just don’t feel attracted to him when he seems so needy.”

“Yes, this is the issue. Women are attracted to a man when he is in his power – feeling good about himself – not when he is coming to you like a needy little boy wanting you to have sex with him to make him feel okay about himself. If he needs sex to feel good, then he is using you and sex addictively, and this will always make you feel used. Most women are not attracted to little boys, and when he is in a needy place, he is like a little boy rather than a strong man.”

“Yes, that is exactly the problem! So there is nothing wrong with me for not being attracted to him when he is needy! What a relief!”

“Is Dylan open to doing his inner work to heal his neediness?”

“I don’t know but I don’t think so. He refuses to go to counseling with me.”

“Erin, the way you can start to heal this issue is to stop feeling guilty and responsible for Dylan and start to take care of yourself by telling your truth. When he is needy and pulling on you for sex, you would need to say to him, ‘I am attracted to you when you feel good about yourself, not when you are needy and wanting me to make you okay by having sex.'”

“But I am afraid of hurting his feelings if I say that.”

“You are taking responsible for his feelings rather than taking loving care of yourself. As long as you believe you are responsible for his feelings instead of yours, you will not be able to heal this. Dylan will not address this issue until you are willing to tell your truth. You are not responsible for how he responds. He can choose to be hurt, or he can choose to be open and curious and learn about what you are talking about and how to begin to move into his power.”

“But what do I do if he is hurt and angry?”

“How do you feel about being with him when he is hurt and angry?”

“I don’t like it.”

“Then say that. Say ‘I don’t like being with you when you are hurt and angry. Let me know when you are open so we can talk about this.’ Then disengage by doing something else – reading a book, going for a walk, calling a friend.”

“Oh, he will be so angry if I don’t stay and talk about his hurt and anger!”

“Erin, notice that you are wanting to control how he feels rather than take responsibility for yourself. This is your end of this codependent system. He is trying to control you into having sex with him and taking responsibility for his feelings, and you are trying to control him by caretaking him. Until you are ready to let go of control over his feelings and take loving care of yourself, nothing will change or heal.”

Erin is working hard with her Inner Bonding practice to learn to let go of trying to control Dylan’s feelings and take responsibility for herself. In our last session, she told me that she is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel – that she felt herself really attracted to Dylan for the first time in a long time.

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.

How To Recover From Childhood Heartbreak In Your Adult Life

Discover how childhood heartbreak causes emotional and physical problems today, and what you can do to heal.

Celine, an only child, was seven years old when her mother died tragically in a car accident. She and her father were devastated. However, unlike so many of my clients who lost parents and no one was there for them, Celine’s father was completely there for her, even while dealing with his own grief and heartbreak. Celine could call him anytime at work and he would talk to her or come home to lovingly hold her. Because he was so completely there for her, her feelings of grief, heartbreak, sadness and sorrow did not get stuck in her body. Each time they came up, they were released due to the caring, compassion, tenderness, gentleness, consistency and understanding of her loving father.

As a result of her father’s love, Celine did not develop the fear of intimacy and loss that so many people experience as a result of the loss of the parent. She did not close her heart to protect herself from future loss.

However, most of us did not have loving parents to help us move through the heartbreaks of childhood. In fact, many of us had parents that caused much of the heartbreak with various forms of abuse. We needed to numb out and find protections/addictions to manage the heartbreak and loneliness of rejection, abuse and loss. As a result, the pain got stuck in our bodies, causing both physical and emotional damage.

Emotional Damage

Without a loving parent such as Celine’s father, we had no choice but to learn to buffer the pain. You might have learned to use food, drugs or alcohol at a young age. Perhaps you became addicted to TV, computer games, tantrums, fantasy or caretaking. You might have learned to stay focused in your mind rather than in your body, and to live in the past or future rather than in the present moment. In one way or another, you learned to disconnect from your deeper feelings of heartache, heartbreak, loneliness, helplessness over others, sorrow and grief, because you did not have the ability to manage these very painful feelings any other way.

But addictions and inner disconnection cause other problems – loss of a sense of self, low self-worth, fears of rejection and engulfment. The more you disconnect from your feelings, the more you are dependent upon others for approval and acceptance. This leads to relationship problems and to more addictive behaviors. The result is living with anxiety, depression, fear, anger, guilt and/or shame.

Childhood heartbreak has hugely devastating effects that need to be healed as adults. Now, we can go back and learn to give ourselves what we didn’t receive as children – compassion, caring, tenderness, gentleness and understanding – and heal much of the emotional damage. We can learn to manage the deeply painful feelings that we could not manage as children.

Physical Damage

When children are physically and/or sexually abused, the energy it takes to survive causes a huge amount of stress in the physical body. When stressed, the body goes into flight or fight, which means that the blood leaves the organs, brain, and immune system and goes into the arms and legs for fighting or fleeing. However, when we cannot fight or flee, we freeze, causing the blood to stay stuck in our arms and legs. This gradually erodes the immune system, preparing the way for illness. Much current illness is the result of childhood abuse.

While we can currently eat well, get enough exercise, and heal the emotional stress, sometimes the physical damage is deeply challenging. It is not easy to heal the years of damage caused by the stress of abuse. It is vitally important for you to not judge yourself for the illnesses you might be suffering that started as a child from being abused or from suffering unbearable loss.

Today, you need to be gentle with yourself. Judging yourself for the emotional and physical damage of heartbreak only causes more heartbreak. Instead, you need to be deeply caring, tender and gentle with yourself, consistently giving the love and acceptance to yourself that you did not receive as a child. This is what heals.

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.

How To Find The Perfect Partner For You

Are you seeking the formula for attracting your perfect partner? Here it is!

Rochelle asks:

“If I assess myself quite objectively, if I know my accomplishments as well as my drawbacks, is there a chance to be loved by a worthy solid and wholesome man – the one I feel I`d be happy with? By the one who is objectively stronger and wiser and kinder? `Cause it seems to me that I`m not worthy of him, because I know really bad sides of myself such as envy, unhealthy jealousy, pride, cowardice… And I am still trying to do away with them and do not know how much time it will take to get rid of them for it is a life-time process.”

Rochelle, in order to find the man of your dreams, you need to become the person you are seeking – the strong, wise and kind person you want to partner with. We all have positive and negative qualities, because we all have an incredibly wonderful essence as well as a wounded ego self.

As long as you tell yourself that you are not worthy because of the qualities of your wounded self – envy, unhealthy jealousy, pride, cowardice – you will not be able to find him. It is your judgment of your wounded self and trying to ‘get rid’ of these qualities, rather than heal them, that is causing your problem.

We cannot ‘get rid’ of our wounded self. This part of us is programmed in and is part of our survival system. But we can certainly heal the false beliefs that fuel envy, jealousy, pride and cowardice.

So the journey you need to be on is to heal the judgmental part of yourself who tells you that you are unworthy. If you tune in, you will discover that it is your own self-judgments that actually create the fear that leads to envy, jealousy, pride and cowardice.

The best thing you can do for yourself to become the stronger, wiser and kinder person that you are seeking in a partner is to be dedicated to awareness of how judgmental toward yourself you are, and to move into compassion for both the judgmental part of you and for all the painful feelings that result from your self-judgments.

It is compassion rather than self-judgment that will heal your feelings of unworthiness. While you may have absorbed these feelings from parents, teachers and peers as you were growing up, It is you who are currently causing your feelings of unworthiness through your self-judgments. Self-judgment is a form of self-self-abandonment, and it is abandoning yourself that causes your current feelings of feelings of unworthiness.

Since we attract someone at our common level of woundedness, you cannot attract a strong, wise and kind man who values himself, unless you learn to value yourself. A man who values himself is not attracted to people who do not value themselves.

It is important for you to discover all the ways you don’t value yourself. Do you say focused in your head and ignore your feelings? Do you turn to various addictions to avoid responsibility for your feelings? Do you make others responsible for whether or not you feel worthy or lovable? Do you ignore your physical health – eating junk, not exercising, not getting enough sleep? Do you keep your environment messy? Are you always late? Do you live on the edge financially? Do you have too much debt to feel safe financially? Do you give yourself up in relationships? Do you ignore your inner guidance? These are all ways of abandoning yourself that will lead to not feeling worthy or lovable.

Learning to take loving care of yourself – physically, emotionally, financially, organizationally, relationally and spiritually – is what will make you strong, wise and kind, enabling you to attract a strong, wise and kind man.

Yes Rochelle – it does take time, but it doesn’t have to take a lifetime. Diligently practicing Inner Bonding is the way to get there!

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.