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Most addiction experts are flat out wrong. In fact, they usually trap you in a cycle of victimhood and helplessness that makes it impossible to ditch your addictions.

This is especially true when “triggers” are brought up. But you’re not a gun — so you don’t have triggers. What you’re doing is creating an excuse so you can feel better for falling back into your worst habits.

In this episode, you’ll learn the real cause of your triggers, how to eliminate them for good, and how to finally break free from any addictions you have.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • Why saying things in the dumbest way possible is the smartest decision you could make (1:58)
  • How thinking of your addiction as a disease is a guaranteed way to increase your suffering (3:13)
  • Why most addiction “experts” are brainless and incompetent noobs (3:23)
  • How you’re “milking” your addiction to dupe the people around you to get what you want (5:33)
  • How modern science subconsciously tricks you into making excuses for your addictions (6:23)
  • The real reason you feel like a helpless victim to your addictions (8:19)
  • The trick for making all of your triggers completely disappear (9:54)
  • The unlikely source of all your suffering (14:00)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.9]

Bob: Welcome back to the “Alive and Free Podcast.” Today, we get to say something dumb. I was once in a philosophy class in graduate school, up at the University of Washington in Seattle and I took this thing called the philosophy of art. Yes, I was studying, drawing and painting and I'd studied some metaphysics and, and things of that nature. And I thought, man, let me deepen into philosophy a little bit more. And since I'm doing art, let's look at art and we got around at one point in time to discussing some things around sculpture and what was and was not considered art. I mean, these are the questions and philosophers are great at being able to take one question and talk about it for about, you know, a millennium and no one's ever settled on the matter. And so we were in this class one time and the conclusion, like in order to really figure out whether or not something could go could or could not be considered art, they kept cutting away parts of the discussion until finally, at one point in time, the professor in really clearly stating his view said, this phrase, ‘A rock does not have feelings.’ [01:41.8]

And then he stopped himself and he backed up and he goes, you heard it here. Folks, a rock does not have feelings. And then he wandered off to go sit at the front of the room Like that was the stupidest conclusion we could make. And yet, somehow it was the decisive statement that made his argument final. We can say a lot of stupid things in order to really prop up our position and sometimes saying it in a really dumb way is the best way to say it. So I'm going to say it here. You are not a gun. You got it. You are not a gun. Why would I say something like that? Okay. Let's back up to the beginning. All right. Have you ever been in a family conversation and you watch, like somebody says something and another person like freaks out, man, that really triggered me and they say this over and over again, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger. [02:31.5]

This word has become co-opted. Now what's a trigger. I don't actually know its etymological origin, but on a gun it's a little bit of metal that when you pull, it creates a mechanical chain reaction that forces eventually an explosion in the chamber and a bullet to fly out the front end of the chamber, right? Hopefully it hits a target, depends on how good of a name you are, but that's an entirely different discussion. What we do know is that when a trigger is pulled, assuming everything in the mechanism is right, that it is inevitable. When a trigger is pulled, the hammer will hit the bullet. If the bullets had dud, we can't always control the explosion, but we do know that when the trigger is pulled, the hammer will hit the bullet and most often that causes an explosion. Well, this whole myth around addiction and that there is this extra other thing called a disease that we call addiction that people get and somehow can't cope with. Inside of this view of the helpless person that will never be able to leave that behind and can only manage or cope with it, which is the predominant prevailing view among all, all training around addiction that I've seen despite people believing and hoping that it's otherwise. [03:39.1]

And despite people not resonating with it, the prevailing view is no, addiction's just something you're always going to deal with, right? That that view has changed recently. And that the new DSM doesn't actually have a diagnosis for addiction. It says substance abuse disorder. So the word addiction isn't in there except in a section heading, and it calls it addictive disorders, which means in a weird way that you can get addicted to having a disorder. And I don't mean that in a negative way, but how many people do you know of really milk some of the diseases or, or chronic pains that they have, or even their headaches for all that they're worth? I know I do. Like I get a cold man. I milk it. I'm tired. Oh, I milked that. Like when I really want, I I'm assuming all human beings do this. At least the honest ones are willing to admit it. There may be some that don't, but by and large, we're really good at milking things, whatever things show up in our life, even the stuff we don't, we say we don't want, we're really good at milking them to get what we want out of life as best we can. [04:36.3]

And so now we have this notion of addictive disorders, meaning a person can get addicted to the idea that they have a disorder. And that is a very, very true statement. And I get some people will be really upset at me for saying that, but it is very, very true. If we just look at the nature of how things are, I have an identity that I've built up around things, whether that's an identity around a disease, whether it's an identity around a race, whether it's an identity around a nationality, whether it's an identity around a religion, whether it's an identity around a hometown or a mass school mascot, whatever it is, I have an identity that I've built up around it and I can get addicted to having that identity, including having a disorder. And there are a lot of addicts that are addicted to being addicts, meaning they, they love it. They go back to it frequently because it's helping them in their life, right? They're getting something out of it. And I got a lot out of being an addict. It meant that I could pray. I could say that I believed in not doing something and yet I could still have an excuse to go back and do it. [05:42.8]

I got, I got a lot of mileage out of that. I could say that I believed in being an honorable virtuous man inside of a religion, I grew up in and at the same time, turn around and do the exact opposite. I could lie, I could shoplift, I could cheat, I could steal. You know, I could go look at pornography, which was definitely against the rules. I could do all these things and I could just repent, you know, I could pray and feel good about it. And so I could do both things. I got a lot of mileage out of being a sinner. Oh, I'm just a sinner. I'm imperfect, that's natural and things are built up around it. And it became a massive excuse for me at times at times, I'm not saying all the time. And so this was a massive thing for me. Like I got a lot of mileage out of addiction and a lot of people do and the culture around it that says, see, it's a thing that's outside of you that's controlling you gives people permission to just stay in it. And, and unwittingly, it's not like they want to stay in it all the times. You know, maybe unconsciously it's, it's easier, but it's not like they want to stay in it, but it gives them permission to stay in it. It gives them an identity around it or a reason or an understanding or an excuse or, Oh, I get it. See, that's what's going on. [06:48.2]

Now I understand, now I feel better because I'm kind of in control of the world. I know what's going on. The outcropping of that was the idea of triggers. Meaning that as a human being, I'm walking around and some external event, just like an addiction, which doesn't exist by the way. But some external event happens and it is a trigger. Meaning that as soon as it happens, there is nothing I can do about it. The hammer will hit the back of the shell. And explosion is only a matter of time. Maybe that one trigger was a dud. I had a dud bullet in, but it's only a matter of time before I start exploding everywhere. Before shells start going out, before the people around me start getting shell shocked at my behavior, right? It's only a matter of time. And how many addicts have you heard? How many people struggling with addiction would say this? [07:35.2]

In fact, how many people do, you know, struggling with panic attacks would say this certain circumstances, there's nothing they can do. They just, you know, I can't do that. I just panic when that happens. And this is not an indictment, it's a very real experience for them. And it comes from a misunderstanding of their own power. Is it easy to regain that power? Well, easier than people would have you believe, but it does take work, but I'm here to tell you that no matter how much somebody has told you that it is impossible to get rid of addiction, depression, anxiety, that it's impossible to get rid of the effects of trauma or an abusive childhood, that it's impossible to get rid of the effects of, of psychological abuse or anything else like that, or bullying that they're wrong, 100% wrong. It is not impossible. It never was. And the belief that it is is what creates this sense of helplessness and victimhood inside of a person. So today we're going to disarm all the triggers. Okay? [08:35.1]

Here's the deal. There never was a trigger. Human beings are not machines. If we were robots, then someone inputs certain command. And yes, we would do the behavior over and over again. But I don't know that we would have guilt, unless that was also a part of the programming. Oh, look, machine now has guilt. Human beings are not machines. This has been a tenet of materialist science since the 1800s, since the 18th century, I mean, so yeah, 1800’s. It's really been a tenet that has never been proven, but is a prevailing dominant thought process inside of all materialist science. There are some scientists now that have been on the outside of that looking in for a period of time, everybody's always known that it's just a belief and not really actually a fact that has been proven in any way, shape or form, but they hold it that way so that they can investigate, right? [09:25.4]

If you believe that the world is a machine, then you will be able to investigate and pull it apart in a certain way. And you will think in terms of cause and effect, if you don't believe the world is machine, if you maybe see the world as having some machine like elements, but the life itself goes far beyond anything machine could be. And that there's pure intelligence there. Then your investigation into what life is, is going to be very different. And so you get Western culture versus Eastern cultures like India and China, which is very different. And the influence of those two creates weird hybrids and all kinds of other stuff. So a trigger is this idea that some outside circumstance is the thing that's causing you to relapse, which we destroyed last week, there's no such thing. But there's the thing that causing you to take that behavior. And if you look closely at the situation, we will see that the triggers not only get disarmed, but they completely disappear, they don't exist. [10:14.9]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [10:42.3]

Humans function a little bit more like what you would see in allergies. And I've talked about this before, but we're going to talk about it again. My son, my second son, he, when he was younger, he, we went to go to a cousin's house and they were playing in the backyard. And in, in Arizona, you know, they, they see different grasses in the yards in order to make it grow year round because in the winter time, certain grasses grow at summertime, certain grasses grow, we get in the car afterwards, he's, it's in like mad. We do everything we're telling addicts to stop doing, you know, like stop it, control it. Well, why don't you just stop, you know, sit on your hands, you know, put on a filter, you know, strap yourself down, you know, put curfews and controls in place passwords and all kinds of other things. Please, please, please, you know, make sure that you don't go near that area of town. You know, don't, don't associate with those friends who you used to get the goods from. You know don't look at pictures of it, those types of things, right? [11:36.9]

We were telling them all that stuff, sit on your hands. You know, we were trying to give him coping behaviors and everything else, but the reality was he had been in the grass or, and it might've been actually the spray on the grass, I don't know. And something inside of his body said, this is dangerous, and so it created an inflammatory response to itch it, to get it off, right? And so this, this rash was coming out of the skin and, and he was scratching it. So BOOM, the inflammatory response was rash. And then from that rash, he wanted to cope with that feeling of the rash. And the coping was the scratching, right? This is much more akin to what goes on inside of an addict, right? They're going through a certain situation. And they look at that situation in a certain way and interpret it in a way that creates a reaction, that reaction is called an emotion. They have thoughts and emotions going on inside them. The emotion could be fear, it could be this discomfort, disorientation, panic, dissociation. It could be happiness, it could be joy, it could be any number of emotions. And it's not just for people who struggle with addiction or depression or anxiety. This, everybody does this. [12:42.5]

So because we see a situation as meaning something, we react to it as if it means something. And that reaction starts in the form of emotions and thoughts. Some people, their mind starts racing and they don't notice the emotional side of things. Other people it's the emotional side that takes over and their mind. They're not really sure what they're thinking. Both are possible. So when you tell your kid, what were you thinking? And he says, I don't know, that might literally be true. He didn't know what he was thinking, he knew what he was feeling. When you tell someone and you ask a guy, like, what were you feeling like? I don't know what I was feeling. Okay. That might also be true. He might not have been conscious, he might've just been thinking. What were you, okay. What was going on in your head then? Right? Different questions. So this happens and we don't like the reaction. That's the first resistance that happens. You don't have to believe your thoughts. I mean, let's re let's be honest. Your thoughts don't exist in reality. You don't have to sit there and like give them credence or believe that they're true. Even if you have the thought all the time, even if you like the thought, you don't have to sit there and believe it's true. [13:41.6]

So thought comes or a feeling comes and you don't have to respond to it. But most of us do. Wooow! If it's a good feeling, a lot of times we want to cling to it. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying a lot of times we want to do that. If it's one that we don't like, well, then we just start to push it off or try and cope with it or ignore it or distract ourselves from it because we don't want it there. That resistance, the, I don't want, I don't like this, lifw should happen differently, it shouldn't be this way. That is the inception of suffering. That is the seed that creates all the emotional reactivity. And when that happens, people start to do behaviors to cope. Now, at first it might be like, they get antsy and jittery. If you're in a big crowd and you start like moving out toward the edge, or you start to breathe heavily, because sometimes that happens. [14:29.4]

If you're dealing with alcohol or something like that, and you see people, the drinking around you, and then maybe the internal dialogue starts up and you're like, ‘ah, you know, it's just, I've been good.’ And you start to pick up this internal dialogue. Okay, cool. That is a reaction that's starting to happen. And to cope with that, what do you do with it? Well, eventually you pick some kind of behavior, whatever that behavior is, including doing nothing is also behavior. And so any number of behaviors happen to cope with this. And for people who we call addicts and the behavior is drinking, smoking, doing drugs, looking at pornography, inhaling food without tasting it, adrenaline junkies, they go out and do adrenaline stuff. Or the people that are addicted to chocolate. We use this phrase, you know, they just started eating chocolate to solve their problems, which doesn't solve their problems at all. You know, they just filled their belly with chocolate, but it's just an attempt to cope with this. I don't like the fact that life has shown up this way. And that is where it comes from. [15:25.2]

It isn't a trigger. If you were asleep, when someone said that something, would you have done anything about it? No. If you were asleep or unconscious in some way or zoned out when a bunch of people were calling you names, would it have bothered you, affected you in any way? No. If you were unaware that there was an entire online forum dedicated to destroying your family and you were completely unaware of it, would it affect you in any way she performed? No, it wouldn't. It is not the fact that the outside world is happening that is creating in you the desire to do any of these behaviors. You and I create the desire in ourselves. And then, because we don't like it, we blame the outside source. The cool thing is it is also not the outside world that is creating in you the desire to do amazing things either. You and I are creating this desire in ourselves. And then we're giving credit to an outside source. [16:21.2]

So a person goes to look at pornography because they think it's going to solve their problems like I used to. What happens? Well, none of my problems are solved, but like the decision to go do it made me feel better. And then I go and maybe look at it or whatever else happened, used to happen. And I give credit to the pornography when really the feeling better already started with my own decision. Okay. Oh, eating this is going to make me feel better. It's, I'm going to feel included in the group. Well, you know, I've been on a diet for so long and everybody's eating the pizza and I just really want to eat the pizza and it's gonna make me feel better. And I make this decision to honor myself and to say, you know what? I deserve to belong and I start to feel better. And then I go and I eat the pizza and the pizza doesn't actually do anything for me. In fact, maybe it sits heavy in my stomach, but I give credit to the pizza for solving my problem. We misappropriate credit. There is no such thing as a trigger, unless you're going to call yourself the trigger. And you're always the trigger. You're firing blanks. You're firing full bullets. And if you look at your life and all the good that you've done, you are also the trigger for that. And I want to honor you for that. [17:23.8]

You and I, and everyone on the planet, we are the ones creating this issue because we are resisting life, we are afraid of life. We are afraid that it's detrimental to us, and that fear is what's causing the problem. I had to go study fear for a long time. I went up into Canada, into the Backwoods of Canada with some ex Russian spies who were teaching Russian Systema, amazing people. I searched out other teachers and instructors of that, have gone and done private lessons and weeks of private lessons and all kinds of other stuff to try and really embrace and look at what fear is in me. And what you'll notice is every time you feel fear, there's certain tension patterns that show up in your body, your breathing changes, your posture changes, and you get stuck. You get locked up. And that means that if something else happens, you're less capable of handling it. And what I needed to do was start to look at where the fear came from and what it was, and actually just learn how to deal with the fear in a powerful way. [18:26.9]

Maybe I couldn't always control whether or not I felt fear, but if in that moment, the fear was, Oh, no, I shouldn't. This shouldn't be happening. If in that moment, I was able in that moment to address it, then it would never arise to the point of view of having a massive emotional attack and then having to cope with it, and then doing all kinds of behaviors that were the after effect of it and causing all the collateral damage in my life. That's how I developed emotional ninjitsu, was to take all of this 30 years of martial arts training and mindfulness training and, and alternative therapies and craniosacral training and energy work and all the other things that I had done over the years and studying in psychology and things and piecing them together into a simple system that allow, would allow me in any moment to handle any of my reactions in such a way that it didn't escalate into a behavior, or it would escalate into the behavior that I chose. [19:17.9]

You're not a gun, I'm not a gun. We don't have triggers what we, we have our rules in our head about what's okay in life .and what isn't. And a belief that we can't handle it, if it's not, if it doesn't follow our rules, then our expectations. And if you can just handle it there, I'm not saying that your rules are good or bad, but if you're demanding that everything else in life live, according to your rules, your it's going to happen that all the time that they just decided that your rules aren't as good for them as theirs are. Shoot, have you ever played a board game with someone who just like has their own rules and keeps playing their own way? You just stop wanting to play with them. And if you notice that the more people struggle with triggers, they're the people that recoil and reserve themselves and pull away from life. They stop wanting to play in certain arenas because they don't trust themselves anymore. And they, they don't feel like they can handle life that way, or they don't like life that way. And I'm not saying it's bad to choose a life that direction, but if you don't want to be controlled by your environment, if you don't want to have triggers anymore, the solution starts with you. [20:14.9]

And that starts with determining where this is coming from in the first place in dissolving a lot of those belief systems that are not helpful doesn't mean that you have to dissolve all of them, just the ones that are not producing the life that you want That's great. But also training yourself in an entirely different way of approaching life so that you don't continue to build new problems for yourself. Retraining how you respond to that initial dislike, that initial worry, that initial fear, that initial sense of like, Oh, this isn't supposed to happen because if you can start to handle yourself in that one moment, what happens is all the rest of it is under your control. You have a choice, all the rest of how you experience life is within your choice. That's why we called our program, our initial program, ‘Choose Your Own Emotion, and if you're interested in that, go to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and go really honestly like just three, four weeks. And you'd be surprised what a difference it makes to have some foundational skills that enable you to make those choices, to retrain your habitual mood, to retrain how you react to things and to get rid of the things that used to cause you worry, meaning eliminating triggers. [21:22.2]

All of this stuff is very, very possible. It's very real and if you're in the middle of a struggle and it feels like there's no way out and it feels like you're helpless and it feels like everyone has taught you that the only way to view reality is that addiction is permanent, that you'll never be free of it. The triggers are very real and that you are a victim to them. I am here to tell you and so our hundreds of our clients and my business partners and everybody else, that is one way to view the world. It is not the most empowering way for most people. Some people like it. And it is definitely not the universal truth. In fact, you don't ever have to fight it again. In fact, you can live a life where you don't lose any of the wisdom that you've gained from all your years of experience, but where you don't, that can be as if you learned it from a textbook and it doesn't form a part of who you are anymore. [22:11.0]

You can literally walk away free of it without ever having to fight it again. If you simply handle it in a way that makes a little bit more sense. If that's what you want to do, go to thefreedomspecialists.com let's schedule a chat and let's help. If you know somebody who needs help send them along but by all means, as you're walking through your life this week, please, if you feel like you got triggered or something happened that made you mad or made you angry or made you upset, or you sound sad, take a step back and question it. Did that thing make me sad? or did my reaction to it make me sad? You're not a gun folks, that means you never have to go off on anyone ever again.

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [23:11.3]

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