Are You Ready to Give Up Giving Yourself Up?

woman stands alone on field feeling sad
by Dr. Margaret Paul

Were you trained as a child to give yourself up to be loved? Did you learn to confuse love with approval? Did you learn to attempt to have control over how others feel about you by giving yourself up? Is it bringing you joy to give yourself up, or are you tired, drained, anxious and depressed?

Since giving yourself up is a form of self-abandonment, it is likely leading to anxiety and depression. Are you ready to give up giving yourself up?


What Are You Avoiding By Giving Yourself Up?

In order to give up giving yourself up, you need to be willing to accept and manage the responses you have been avoiding.

• I am avoiding conflict
• I am avoiding being judged and being told that I’m selfish
• I am avoiding someone’s anger, disapproval and blame
• I’m avoiding losing a relationship
• I’m avoiding my deeper core painful feelings, such as loneliness, heartbreak, and helplessness over others

What are you trying to control by giving yourself up?

• I’m trying to keep the peace
• I’m trying to be loving to others to get love and approval
• I’m trying to be seen as a good person
• I’m trying to be good and do the right thing so that God will love me

What are the results of giving yourself up?

•    I’m anxious and/or depressed
•    I feel alone and empty inside
•    I feel tired and drained a lot
•    I lack self-esteem and confidence
•    I feel unimportant and abandoned
•    I am often verbally and/or physically abused
•    My relationships don’t seem to work out
•    My relationship is filled with conflict
•    My relationship lacks intimacy and passion
•    I’m lonely in my relationship
•    My partner is more needy and dependent upon me than ever
•    I feel like everything is on my shoulders
•    I lack energy
•    I get sick a lot

In order to give up giving yourself up, you need to learn to:

•    Embrace conflict as a learning experience rather than continue to avoid it.

This means that you need to develop your loving adult to the point of being able to move into an intent to learn with another, and to loving disengage when the other is not available to learn with you.

•    Let go of trying to have control over how others feel about you and learn to define your own worth.

This means that you need to develop your spiritual connection to the point of knowing and loving the beauty of your own essence. It means that you know that loving yourself is self-responsible rather than selfish. It means that you give up defining your worth through fixing others and instead define your worth by your ability to love. It means that you let go of responsibility for others’ feelings and take care of your own.


The more you practice Inner Bonding, the less likely you are to continue to give yourself up.

The more you are in touch with your feelings, the more you experience how deeply unloving it is to yourself and to others to continue to give yourself up. By practicing Step 1 of Inner Bonding – practicing staying present in your body and wanting responsibility for your feelings – you will know the moment you are giving yourself up and you can begin to make new, loving choices.

When you have been practicing giving yourself up your whole life, it is very challenging to shift into taking loving care of yourself. Please do not expect yourself to just be able to stop giving yourself up. After all these years of practicing Inner Bonding, I still occasionally find myself giving myself up. But my inner child lets me know immediately by feeling so bad that I have to get the message! So accept that it is an ongoing learning process.

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