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Dr. Paul and Dr. Chopich Healing the Soul of
Our Nation

by Margaret Paul, Ph.D. & Erika J. Chopich, Ph.D.

Margaret Paul's
Newest Book

Are We Becoming a Soulless Nation?

As we move further into this millennium year, we are drawn to take stock of where we are both individually and collectively. On a personal level, do the majority of us see life as a sacred privilege or do we experience life as a burden and a sentence? As a society, are we healing the nation’s ills and addressing the critical issues of our time? And are these two questions interminably connected in a crucial way?

Judging from what we read in the news and from the thousands of individuals whose healing we have facilitated over the past 30 years, too many of us experience life as a burden instead of the privilege it is meant to be. There is a good reason for this: most people, even if they believe in a Higher Power/God, do not experience a direct, personal connection with a spiritual Source of love, power and wisdom. They may attend church or temple, they may pray or meditate, but a personal connection to a reliable source of love and guidance eludes them. They do not know how to experience this connection, especially when they most need it. Without a deep, powerful, and personal connection to a Divine Source of love and guidance, we are left feeling like children crying in the night, desperate and alone. From this inner aloneness springs the problems of our society: anxiety, depression, illness, substance abuse and other forms of addiction (gambling, spending, sex, and so on), divorce, crime, and all forms of violence, from rape and child abuse to racism, torture and murder. Are we becoming a soulless nation?

This internal disconnection extends outward and leads to collective disconnection on a massive, unconscionable scale. We are living in an emotionally challenged country where millions of Americans rely on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication for internal stability. We are living in an increasingly violent country: A recent FBI Uniform Crime Report announced that over 17,000 murders (12% which were juvenile murders), 2.4 million burglaries, 93,000 rape cases, 450,000 robberies, and 975,000 aggravated assaults took place in 1998 alone. This intolerable trend shows no sign of waning. To add to the country’s seemingly insidious disintegration, the US Department of Health and Human Services reported marriages evaporating at an alarming rate, with over 98,000 divorces accounted for in 1998 as well.

It is time to become aware that each of us as individuals carry a responsibility for the collective whole. As unappealing as it may be, we each play a part in the disintegration of our time. A soulless nation is comprised of soulless individuals, and while we may not be directly responsible for the external crimes and violence, each personal choice and act we make reverberates on the global web that connects us all. If we want to turn the tides and heal the planet, it is time for us as individuals to turn our attention within and commit to our inner work. It is through this inner attention that we will begin to regain our souls. And it is through regaining our souls that we will affect sustainable change for the collective whole.

Yet what does it really mean to turn our attention within and commit to our inner work? While we know that we cannot continue to live under the existing unsuccessful paradigm, we may not know how to change it. There is actually a simple concept that is capable of bringing about enormous change within our society. This concept concerns our intent. Our intent is our primary motivation—what is most important to us—in any given moment. There are only two intents from which we can choose:

• The intent to protect ourselves through some form of control—over others, outcomes, or our own feelings—in order to get love, avoid pain, and attempt to feel safe in the external world.

• The intent to be loving and learn about what would be loving to ourselves and others, thereby creating internal safety.

Our intent is the most powerful tool we have. It is the intent to learn about love that opens the door to personal connection with spiritual guidance. Unfortunately, most of us have learned--from our parents, peers, TV and movies-- to operate from an intent to protect ourselves with anger, blame, withdrawal, resistance, violence, substance abuse and other addictions. The intent to protect is responsible for our disconnection from a spiritual Source. This results in unbearable inner aloneness and leads to many of the problems of our time.

It is a viscous circle: we grow up learning to protect rather than learning about loving ourselves and others; the intent to protect closes us off from experiencing Divine love and guidance, which leads to inner aloneness; our unbearable inner aloneness leads us to protect in ways that harm ourselves and others, which further cuts us off from our own souls, leading to deep feelings of fear and anxiety, which lead to further protections, and so on and so on.

A simple concept, with such profound results. Our society has been protecting to try to feel safe for a long time; clearly, it is not working. Instead of feeling safe, we are feeling more frightened all the time. We will not feel safe until we do not feel alone within, and we will continue to feel alone within until we develop a personal, ongoing spiritual connection.

We feel this connection when we open our hearts, but the door to opening the heart lies within. What opens or closes our hearts? Our intent. The intent to protect automatically shuts us down, shutting out the very love and guidance we so desperately need. On the other hand, the moment we choose the intent to learn about loving, the heart opens and the Divine Spirit of Love and Wisdom rushes in, just as air enters our lungs when we take a breath. At that moment, with a spiritual source surrounding us and filling us, we know that life is a privilege through which we are given the opportunity to heal and grow. Life never ceases to present us with challenges, but the intent with which we meet these challenges will determine whether life becomes a constant burden or a learning adventure.

Our Creator gave us free will, which ultimately means the freedom to choose our intent. Let us use the millennium to begin to notice our intent. If each of us changed our intent from protecting and controlling to learning and loving, this internal change could eventually change the world!

©Copyright 2000 Margaret Paul, Ph.D. & Erika J. Chopich, Ph.D.  All Rights Reserved. 

* * * *

Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
is the co-creator of Inner Bonding, a transformational six-step spiritual healing process. She is a best-selling author, noted public speaker, workshop leader, consultant and Inner Bonding facilitator. She has been leading groups, teaching classes and workshops, and working with individuals, couples, partnerships and businesses since 1973.

Margaret is the co-author of Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You? (over 400,000 copies sold), Free to Love, Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?, Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?...The Workbook, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, and author of Inner Bonding and recently released, Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Her books have been translated into ten languages: German, Italian, Danish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch and Hungarian. Healing Your Aloneness and The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook are best-sellers in Germany. In her spare time, she is an artist. She has three grown children.

Contact: 310-390-5993, 888-6INNERBOND (888-646-6372), Margaret@innerbonding.com, www.innerbonding.com, Inner Bonding® Educational Technologies, Inc., PMB #42, 2531 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064

* * * *

Rev. Dr. Erika Chopich is the co-creator of Inner Bonding, a transformational six-step inner healing process. Dr. Chopich a best-selling author, Chaplain and founder of Hope America Ministries Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to re-integrating the homeless and providing assistance to disaster victims. In addition to having practiced as a psychotherapist, she was formerly an administrator for the Los Angeles Free Clinic. She works with individuals, groups, and business mediation, and is an accomplished speaker and seminar leader.

Dr. Chopich is co-author of Healing Your Aloneness and the Healing Your Aloneness Workbook. Her books have been translated into five languages: German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, and Japanese. Healing Your Aloneness and the Healing Your Aloneness Workbook are best-sellers in Germany. Dr. Chopich lives and works in Santa Fe, NM. She is an accomplished pilot and experienced chef.

Contact: 888-6INNERBOND (888-646-6372), erika@innerbonding.com, www.innerbonding.com


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