The Crazymaking Trap: Proving Your Worth Over and Over

Marcus grew up the eldest of three, with a highly critical mother and an absent father. Marcus’s mother frequently told him or implied that he was too stupid to take care of himself – that he would be nothing without her. She programmed him to believe that she was his only source of love and safety, but that she wouldn’t give him the love he so desperately needed until he proved himself worthy of it by doing things “right”. She taught him to be confused between love and approval, and to be constantly trying to control getting love and avoiding the pain of rejection. Marcus was deeply addicted to self-judgment as a way of trying to have control over getting himself to do things right.

When we were small, our parents were supposed to be channels of the unconditional love that is God, and they were supposed to be role models of bringing that unconditional love to themselves so that we could have grown up learning to access the love that is always here for us. But this is the opposite of what happened to Marcus and to many of us.

Because Marcus never learned how to access unconditional love from his Source, he constantly tries to get women’s approval. When he is not in a relationship, he does a fair job of taking care of himself, but the moment he is around a woman he likes, he abandons himself in his efforts to get what he thinks is the “real” thing – her love. He is programmed to believe that he cannot tap into the Source himself – that a woman has to be his higher power.

Marcus is stuck in the crazymaking trap that his mother taught him – that he is incapable of opening to Spirit and bringing love to himself, that he has to get the love he so desperately needs from a woman, and that he has to constantly prove himself to be worthy of love by doing things right in order to have control over getting the love that he can’t live without.

Even though Marcus has been on a spiritual path for a long time, he cannot get beyond believing that God is like his mother – that he has to prove himself worthy before he can access the love that is God. And, because of his core shame programming and the resulting constant self-judgment, he is never worthy enough.

In his Inner Bonding work with me, Marcus discovered the dead-end bind that his mother had put him in. As long as he believed that he was incapable of accessing his Source and receiving love directly, he was stuck constantly trying to prove himself – over and over and over. And he was drawn to women like his mother – critical, controlling women who would withhold love until he did it “right.” He was deeply addicted to trying to have control over getting a woman like his mother to be unconditionally loving to him – a project that was always doomed to failure.

Ad Marcus learned to shift his intent from controlling a woman to get love, to learning how to love himself, he began to discover that his mother was wrong about him – that inside he is a good and caring person inherently worthy of love. He discovered that when his heart is open to learning about loving himself, he CAN access the love and truth of Spirit and fill himself with the love that he was constantly trying to get from a woman. As he healed his core shame, he found himself attracted to caring women rather than judgmental, rejecting women, and discovered the deep joy of sharing love.

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. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding course: and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!


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