Stop Looking To Him For Happiness And Approval. Take 100% RESPONSIBILITY For Your Own Feelings

By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

You are emotionally dependent when your happiness, sense of safety, and sense of worth are dependent upon others’ love, attention, and approval.

When you were growing up, perhaps you heard statements like:

“What will the neighbors think?”

“What will__(so and so)__think if you do that?”

Were you taught that what others think of you matters? That you are okay if you are approved of and not okay if you are not? Was your worth tied to your achievements – such as your grades or sports? Did you learn to define your worth externally by your performance or your looks?

Most people were brought up to believe that others are responsible for defining their worth, and the media certainly plays on this, implying that if you buy this car or that product, you will get the approval that defines you as worthy. The media even implies that the product itself somehow enhances your worth.

This is a hard way to live, as you have to constantly prove yourself. And what happens to your happiness, safety, and sense of worth when you grow old and lose your looks, or you lose your money in a down market? What happens to your worth if you gain weight or never make it financially? Does this mean that you have no worth as a human being?

There are two major decisions you need to make to heal from emotional dependency:

1. You need to decide to learn how to take full 100% responsibility for your own feelings – your happiness and pain, your inner sense of safety, and your sense of worth.

2. You need to decide to define your worth – not by what others think of you or by your looks or by how much money you have, but by how well you love and what you contribute.


Taking responsibility for your feelings means that you stay aware of how you are causing your own feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, and fear by what you tell yourself and how you treat yourself. It means that you discover how you abandon yourself by judging yourself, ignoring your feelings, turning to addictions, and making others responsible for you. It means that you learn how to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself. The Inner Bonding process is a powerful process for learning to love yourself.

Taking responsibility for your feelings also means that you become kind and gentle toward yourself with the painful feelings of life – the heartache, heartbreak, loneliness, grief, and sorrow of life. It means that instead of avoiding these feelings by trying to control others or by turning to various addictions, to embrace them with deep compassion, allowing yourself to feel them and allowing them to move through you and be released, and stay open to what these feelings are telling you about others and events.


Taking responsibility for defining your own worth means that decide to define your worth internally – by your kindness, caring, compassion, and contributions to others – rather than by approval, looks and performance. It means that, rather than trying to get love, you make being loving to yourself and others your highest priority. It means that, instead of defining your worth by how thin you are, or by how much sex you have, or by the clothes you wear, or by the car you drive or the house you live in or by how much money you have, you define your worth by your kindness toward yourself and others, by what you contribute toward helping others, by your generosity of spirit, by your ability to love without strings attached.

In order to truly love others, you need to first learn to love yourself – taking emotional responsibility for all your own feelings.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Learn Inner Bonding now! Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course:, and visit our website at for more articles and help.

Don’t Resist Change. Life Is About Evolution

By Dee Gibson

If you truly want to be a person of influence you first have to embrace evolution. Wisdom will always let you know that fighting change is definitely a losing battle so it is imperative that you move towards being a more evolved enlightened human being. One of the great principle of life is stated this way; “Freedom and happiness are found in the flexibility and ease with which we move through change.”

If you truly want to transition or transform from someone who moves through life unconsciously to a person who becomes the wealthy individual who’s completely aware of and completely at ease with all things around him or her then you must embrace change. It doesn’t matter at all where you are from or what you’ve done in the past, you’re never trapped in any circumstance, relationship, cycle, or situation unless you say and/or believe you are. It’s always better to take each and everyday and treat it just as it is; a new day with new opportunities to do what’s right.

If you’re at a point in your life where you realize you’re going in the wrong direction which means you’re producing the wrong results then simply in most cases do the opposite of what you’re doing right now. Trust me this will make a world of difference and you’ll almost see small and/or big result quickly. I know this is easier said then done but when you add courage and persistent practice to your constant thought pattern that’s saying “it’s time to make the necessary changes” then I’m absolutely sure you’ll make great progress in living a more happy and fulfilled life.

Dee Gibson is a person that loves to empower everyone on how to become better. Visit him at

Pain Personified! Where Is The Cry In You?

By Ayize Ma’at
Where is the cry in you?  The below video is known around the web as “The Best Cry Ever”.  It includes Rocky Lockridge and his son who has not seen him in 15 years. SNL has spoofed it, you tubers have remixed it, and many people are sharing it via a wide array social media platforms in an attempt to get a belly aching laugh.  Is it funny?….Maybe, especially if you isolate the content from it’s context.  Is it enlightening?…Definitely, especially if you allow yourself to be emotionally present and place the clip in it’s proper context.  This clip left an impression on me and led me to sit still and appreciate the magnitude of the moment.  What I saw in this video and what I know from doing the work of counseling/coaching individual and couples is that:

1. It takes courage to be vulnerable and emote.

2. The words I Love You are an empowering affirmation.

3. Forgiveness is the pathway to healing.

4. We are all emotionally fragile….some mask it better than others.

5. It hurts to change…but it hurts even more to stay the same.

Rocky Lockridge is not alone in his experience.  Pain is not exclusively reserved for him.  We all have it in us.  Identify it.  Get to know it. Accept it…..Where is the cry in you?

Rocky Lockridge (born January 30, 1959) is a former boxing champion who was discovered by Muhammad Ali. As a professional, he is best known for handing Roger Mayweather his first defeat—a first-round knockout after just 98 seconds—earning him the WBA super featherweight championship. Rocky is still called “the champ” by locals. But the success, pressure, and excesses of the boxing lifestyle proved too much for him, and he turned to drugs and alcohol. He lost everything–his marriage, his sons, his wealth, and his title. Now homeless and addicted to crack, Rocky needs to fight for something far more important than boxing glory–he needs to fight for his life.

Mary Mary Reminds Women To Take Time To Ask The Question “Who Am I, Really?”

By Mary Mary

It’s a question that we’ve all asked ourselves on more than one occasion and during different phases in our lives. Even if we don’t use those same words or don’t verbalize the question out loud, our actions, choices and doubts are fueled by this quest to answer this broad question. We pretty much start wondering this from the time we awkwardly enter the school cafeteria and look for a table where we belong. Trying to figure this out can make us style our hair a certain way, date that boy, break that rule, join that club or pursue that degree. It can ultimately take us to the life we have now.


Even as grown women, we still ask it. We just swap the cafeteria for adult circles amongst our friends, colleagues, co-workers and society at large. No matter how many years go by, we still ask: “Who am I, really?” And until we can answer that question, it’s impossible to believe we’re amazing.


People can have you thinking that asking this question and searching for the answer is a bad thing, like you’re selfish or something. But I think the desire and drive to figure this out was given to us by God. God knows that the search for that answer will ultimately lead us to who He created us to be — which will naturally lead us to our God-given purpose and fulfillment.

Read more here at ESSENCE 

MLK Jr. Day Of Service: A Day ON Not OFF.Find Out What You Can Do Differently Today.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.

The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.

After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The federal holiday was first observed in 1986, making 2011 the 25th anniversary of the King federal holiday.

In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.


Compassion – A Powerful Doorway To Personal Growth

By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

What if there was one choice you could make that would change everything in your life for the better? Actually, there is. It’s the choice to move out of judgment and into compassion for yourself and others.

Compassion is defined as a deep caring for the pain of others, often accompanied by a desire to help. There is nothing that feels more wonderful and comforting than experiencing another’s compassionate response to our painful feelings and experiences.

However, it’s interesting that compassion is never defined in terms of oneself. Yet, compassion is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves. In fact, when we give compassion to others but not to ourselves, we often end up feeling alone, worn out, and uncared for.

Jackie is a good example of a person who has compassion for others but not for herself. She is a very caring mother and wife. She listens compassionately to her husband’s work problems and does all she can to help him, even when she is having her own work problems. She is always there for her children, helping them with whatever problems arise, as well as for her co-workers. Everyone sees Jackie as a very loving person – and she is. So why is she often unhappy? Why is she often so fatigued and depleted? The problem is that Jackie is completely out of touch with her own feelings.

Jackie is so focused on meeting everyone else’s needs that she never tunes into herself and her own feelings and needs. She doesn’t know when she is tired or when she needs time for herself. She doesn’t know when she is feeling sad, lonely, or anxious. Because she has no compassion for herself, she finds herself using food to fill the inner emptiness that is the result of not taking loving care of herself.

Richard, on the other hand, lacks compassion for both himself and others. While it may seem as if he has compassion for himself, he also is not tuned into his own feelings. It seems like Richard has compassion for himself because he does what he wants – buys what he wants, goes after what he wants, spends time the way he wants. But his choices are coming from his fears and his addictive need to fill up from outside with things and approval rather than from love and compassion for himself. In addition, he is usually unconscious regarding the effect his behavior has on others. He keeps people waiting, doesn’t do what he says he is going to do, and becomes judgmental rather than compassionate in the face of another’s difficulties. Instead of caring when his wife is tired or needs help, he gets resistant and resentful that she isn’t there for him or is asking something of him.

A lack of compassion for oneself and others is a major cause of inner and relationship unhappiness. In terms of personal growth, if you were to just focus on making compassion your highest priority – both for yourself and for others – you would find yourself progressing toward happiness, peace and joy more rapidly than you can imagine.

We move into compassion for ourselves when we know that we have very good reasons for our feelings and behavior, and into compassion for others when we know that others also have very good reasons for their feelings and behavior. These good reasons are the fears and false beliefs that we have absorbed from our growing up years that create our painful feelings and our defensive behavior.

Moving into compassion is a process that takes time and practice:

1. Moving into compassion for yourself starts with noticing your self-judgment. Judgment is the opposite of compassion. When you judge yourself, you are telling yourself that you are wrong or bad for your feelings or behavior, rather than that you have good reasons. Each time you realize that you are judging yourself, consciously open your heart to compassion for yourself. When your intention is to be compassionate rather than judgmental, you will discover that it is not as hard as you think to shift from judgment to compassion.

2. Moving into compassion for others is similar. Begin to notice your anger, irritation, judgment, resentment, or resistance toward others. These negative feelings are the opposite of compassion. Once you notice these feelings, you have the choice to open to caring, understanding – to compassion.

3. Each time you find yourself in judgment for yourself or others, instead of judging yourself for judging, move into compassion for the judgmental part of you. If you judge yourself for judging yourself or others, you will stay stuck. If you embrace with compassion the judgmental part of yourself, you will find yourself gradually becoming less judgmental and more compassionate.

Each time you are compassionate with yourself and others, it becomes easier next time. You will discover that focusing on compassion for both yourself and others will move you toward the peace and joy you are seeking. It all comes from your intent – to protect against pain with your controlling behaviors, such as anger, blame and judgment, or to learn about loving yourself and others. When your deepest desire is to become a loving human being, opening to compassion is a powerful doorway to that path.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?” She is the co-creator of a powerful self-help, 6-step emotional and spiritual healing process called Inner Bonding. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course:

It’s 2013 And It’s Time To Make Some Decisions

Happy New Year!!!! What’s up BLAM Fam how are yall feeling at the start of 2013?  Are you excited?  Are you scared?  Are you like, “it’s whateva”?  Well wherever you are emotionally, we want to take a moment to encourage you to get still and MAKE A DECISION.  That’s right…2012 may or may not have gone the way you desired, but now you have an opportunity to decide, commit, and accomplish something new or old.  Today you have an opportunity to begin writing your 365 page book.  If you want this year to look different than last year….MAKE A DECISION.  The opening, middle, and end of this years journey is up to you.  Write it and live it the way you wanna see it.





Try A Different Kind Of New Year’s Resolution This Year

By Margaret Paul PhD

There are two kinds of New Year’s Resolutions:

1. What you are going to do to accomplish your goals

2. Who you want to be

Many New Year’s Resolutions are of the first kind:

* I’m going to lose 25 pounds this year

* I’m going to exercise every day

* I’m going to learn self-discipline

* I’m going to double my income

* I’m going to learn to fly

* I’m going to take piano lessons

And so on….

I’m not at all diminishing these kinds of resolutions. It is often very helpful to set these kinds of goals for ourselves.

But perhaps this year, you can add another kind of New Year’s Resolution – the who-you-want-to-be kind.


What if your primary resolutions had to do with your thoughts and actions toward yourself and others? What if these resolutions centered around being loving rather than achieving something? What might these resolutions be?

* I’m going to become aware of my judgments toward myself and others and how I feel inside when I’m judgmental.

* When I’m angry, I’m going to go off by myself and take care of my own feelings rather than dump my anger on others.

* I’m going to stop taking others’ behavior personally and instead embrace the loneliness and heartache I feel when others are uncaring.

* I’m going to remember to be grateful for every small blessing rather than complain about what I don’t have.

* I will make being loving more important than avoiding the pain of rejection.

* I will attend to the painful life feelings of loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief, sorrow, and helplessness over others with deep compassion for my self rather than turning to addictions to numb them.

* I will keep my heart open to learning about what is loving to me and to others rather than close my heart to protect against the pain of life.

* I will be warm, kind and respectful toward everyone I meet, even if I don’t personally connect with them.

* I will take loving care of my body, the house of my soul.

* I will allow my higher self to guide me in what is in my highest good and the highest good of others, rather than allow my ego wounded self to be in charge of my thoughts and actions.

* I will take the time to be with those I love and express my love for them.

* I will remember to stay connected with my inner guidance, my feelings, so that I can take full responsibility for them.

* I will choose to love, even when I am afraid. I make love more important than control, than being right, than winning.

* I will attend to what brings my joy.

* I will be true to myself, neither giving myself up to others, nor expecting others to give themselves up to me.

* I will support my own highest good and the highest good of others, never deliberately acting in ways that harm me or harm others.

* I will be honest and trustworthy with myself and others, never compromising my integrity as a soul.

* I will constantly keep in mind what I want to contribute to others rather than what I want to get from others.

I’m sure you can think of many more who-you-want-to-be resolutions. Why not take some time right now to write them out?

Imagine the world we would have if each of us made loving ourselves and others our highest priority – higher than fame, higher than fortune, higher than being the best, higher than winning or being right, higher than avoiding the painful feelings of life.

Imagine the world we would have if we learned to love as God loves, to be the unconditional love that is God.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Visit her at

Can People Celebrate Kwanzaa & Christmas? Is Kwanzaa An Alternative To Christmas?

Source: Dr. Mulana Karenga/

Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday. And it is not an alternative to people’s religion or faith but a common ground of African culture.

One of the most important and meaningful ways to see and approach Kwanzaa is as a self-conscious cultural choice. Some celebrants see Kwanzaa as an alternative to the sentiments and practices of other holidays which stress the commercial or faddish or lack an African character or aspect. But they realize this is not Kwanzaa’s true function or meaning. For Kwanzaa is not a reaction or substitute for anything. In fact, it offers a clear and self-conscious option, opportunity and chance to make a proactive choice, a self-affirming and positive choice as distinct from a reactive one.

Likewise, Kwanzaa is a cultural choice as distinct from a religious one. This point is important because when the question arises as to the relation between choosing Kwanzaa or/and Christmas, this distinction is not always made. This failure to make this distinction causes confusion, for it appears to suggest one must give up one’s religion to practice one’s culture. Whereas this might be true in other cases, it is not so in this case. For here, one can and should make a distinction between one’s specific religion and one’s general culture in which that religion is practiced. On one hand, Christmas is a religious holiday for Christians, but it is also a cultural holiday for Europeans. Thus, one can accept and revere the religious message and meaning but reject its European cultural accretions of Santa Claus, reindeer, mistletoe, frantic shopping, alienated gift-giving, etc.

This point can be made by citing two of the most frequent reasons Christian celebrants of Kwanzaa give for turning to Kwanzaa. The first reason is that it provides them with cultural grounding and reaffirmation as African Americans. The other reason is that it gives them a spiritual alternative to the commercialization of Christmas and the resultant move away from its original spiritual values and message.

Here it is of value to note that there is a real and important difference between spirituality as a general appreciation for and commitment to the transcendent, and religion which suggests formal structures and doctrines. Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but a cultural one with an inherent spiritual quality as with all major African celebrations. This inherent spiritual quality is respect for the Transcendent, the Sacred, the Good, the Right. Thus, Africans of all faiths can and do celebrate Kwanzaa, i.e., Muslims, Christians, Black Hebrews, Jews, Buddhists, Bahai and Hindus as well as those who follow the ancient traditions of Maat, Yoruba, Ashanti, Dogon, etc. For what Kwanzaa offers is not an alternative to their religion or faith but a common ground of African culture which they all share and cherish. it is this common ground of culture on which they all meet, find ancient and enduring meaning and by which they are thus reaffirmed and reinforced.

Dr. Maulana Karenga is the Creator of Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach, Chair of The Organization Us and The National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO). His organization maintains and the material on the site is summarized from Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture. Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press (

Listen To Your Heart

By Lana Moline

You’ve got to dig deep to reach authenticity of life.  Without it, we can get stuck in the cycle of  doing the same thing night after night to the point where change won’t even seem necessary.  As a writer, I make sure that I reach for personal truth and holistic honesty.   Everything I write means something specific to me and deposits into the vault of destiny.  It’s like when I watch my son play basketball.  I see his heart and his willingness to map it out in his mind even before he gets the ball himself and especially as he guards other players.  It’s that level of intention that makes him a great player.  It’s also something that I genuinely admire and hope to convey with each article or post I write.   It’s not an easy task to share openly or aim for transparency but I do so in hopes that someone is reached, a mind is enlightened or maybe that someone’s life is changed.

I had a conversation with a very smart young man recently and I asked him what he wanted to accomplish in life.  I asked that question because it was clear to me that he has quite a few options.  Although he told me about school and specific academic disciplines, that’s not the answer I was looking for.  At 20, he had the intellect and capacity to compare 2 different fields of medicine in detail and clearly articulate the merits of both.  That touched my heart simply because his passion shined through.  The more he shared, the answer to my question became obvious.  He wants to solve a problem and judging from the research that he had already done, his success is imminent.

After that conversation, I started thinking about the fact my desire has always been to encourage others to think and offer their best.  So much so until for a while in college my major was psychology with a track to grad school and then medical school but there was one problem with that.  I don’t really find science extremely fascinating.  I think the people who do are brilliant.  But when I thought about my motivation to go down that road, it was simply because I desired to encourage others. You see, there are many things that we can all choose to do but there is always only one true passion.  When we understand what that passion is, then it will shape every single decision we make and interaction we have.  If anyone were to look at my resume they would see that I’ve taught school, written for a couple of publications, facilitated workshops and trained  all of which have the same common thread – people.  Simply put, I love people and I genuinely believe that I am my brother’s keeper.  So sharing with others comes from the exciting way our Heavenly Father blessed me to receive knowledge based on the way He wired me.  The knowledge doesn’t just bless one life and one mind and one soul.  It multiplies over and over again.  So the stories that I share and the lessons that I learn are able to be used again and again and again.  Truth is, I have no idea how far my words go but it is always my sincere prayer that it will bless.  I pray over this blog as well as the other sites that I am blessed to contribute to.  I pray that God will minister to the hearts of my readers just as He continuously ministers to mine.

So right now wherever you are, I want to take a moment to encourage you to listen to your heart’s true desire and think about how God has orchestrated your steps thus far.  Count it all joy because God is faithful to finish what He has started in you.  Listen to your heart, God is there filling it with His never-ending love.  Allow Him to use every aspect of your life and then stand in amazement as you are transformed into all that He created you to be.

Lana Moline is an integral part of the writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.