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.
Bob: Alright, guys. Welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast. Today, we're going to talk about trust. We're going to beat it into the ground and we're going to start with the background of a couple of different scenarios. Okay? The first scenario is a guy that I know who was a client of ours who had gone through some really rough spots over the past year and a half, two years of his life, struggling with addiction as well as having his wife leave him, divorce him for a variety of different reasons - pornography addiction may have been one of them, but ultimately, it was a lot bigger issue than that and that may have just been one excuse, but even she doesn’t say that that was the main factor. [0:01:12.0]
So, he deals with this situation where he did everything in his power that he knew how to do, and he really did, to set aside time for, to care for, to give love to and to validate and honor this woman and she still steps on his heartstrings, so to speak, and divorces him. And so now he's in a spot where he's going to go back out and he wants to find a woman… he still loves her, deeply, and would love for her to come back but that's not really a possibility. So now, he's trying to find another partner, you know, somebody who he can date and now he's running into all this like fear of, "Oh my gosh - if I open myself and be vulnerable to another woman, this is what's going to happen again," that he can't trust them. That he can't trust himself to make the right decision. The trust has really come in there and he's not able to trust them. Okay? That's scenario number one. [0:02:01.8]
Scenario number two, and this has happened so many times, it's hard to…I don’t…I can't even count it, and this is I have a guy come to me who's struggling with porn compulsion/addiction/whatever and he's doing great, so to speak, but you know, he's still maybe angry at times and a lot of the emotional stuff, you know, as we're working through things, you know, he's kind of cleaning things up and he's still struggling right in the beginning to try and figure how to manage behavior because this happens, you know, but at the same time the focus is different in the way that we do things because we're just focusing on the roots so that the behavior will start to go away by itself. So then, the wife wants to know, and this is a very legitimate question, "I just want to be able to trust him again. When will I be able to trust him again?" And the answer that I give them is the answer that I gave my, our other client, the other fellow and it's the same answer that I'm going to give to you today, to the question, when am I going to be able to trust people - should I trust people and everything else. My answer to that is why do you want to trust them? That's dumb. [0:03:00.9]
Let's imagine a situation where you trust a person deeply. They know everything about you. They're your closest partner and they have, for some odd reason or another, a psychotic breakdown and it's like evening time. It's semi dark. You walk into the house. They're in a breakdown. They grab a knife and they start rushing at you. In that moment, is it smart to trust them, and if you said, "yes," uh, kudos to you, I guess. I would not trust them because you have no guarantee that they even know it's you. They might think that you're a burglar. This happened in Texas recently. Recently, there was a woman, there was an apartment building built where every single floor looked identical - so the elevators are in the same place, all the carpets look the same, the paint looks the same, the numbers on the door obviously are different, but everything else looks identical. Okay? A lady comes home at night. She's been out, you know, just whatever. She comes home at night. It's dark outside, so it's later. So she walks up. She goes to the place where her apartment door is and she finds it open. [0:04:07.5]
So she walks in and she sees a black man sitting on the couch, the television's on, and it's kind, I think the lights in the room were dark - I don’t remember all the details of the case and he gets up and sort of is like challenging her, like "What's she doing here?" and she sees this guy in her apartment and freaks out, pulls the gun from her handbag, fires and kills him. Only later do we realize that she had gone to the exact spot, the door to her apartment, but on the wrong floor. I think she was a floor down or a floor up. I can't remember if she was like absentmindedly got off on the wrong floor. Since the door was partway open or it was unlocked, since it was open, she didn't think to look at the number because she knows where her apartment is and everything looked the same. She just trusted it. She didn't get off. I think she was still sentenced and found guilty of, I don't know if it was man slaughter, murder or whatever it was - even though she was doing it in what she thought was self-defense, here's the main crux of the situation. [0:05:04.3]
She trusted that she was in the right apartment. She was on the right floor. Because she trusted that she was on the right floor and had gotten in the right space, then her actions came out of what she believed to be the case and because of that, she ended up killing an innocent man for no good reason, other than the trust that she had that her assumptions were correct. The idea of trust - trusting another person, trusting a situation, trusting an environment, everything about the idea of trust relies on a prediction, an assumption that what I see now is something that will continue to be the same as time moves forward. So if you want to think about trust and ask yourself what it really is, ask yourself this - when I say I trust somebody, what do I mean. What that typically means is that one - I like their behavior and I can be a little bit more myself around them and I expect or predict that when I am that way around them, it won't turn on me and I won't get hurt by them. [0:06:13.3]
It's a prediction. It's an assumption. Now, that being the case, have you ever had someone that you really trusted do something that really hurt you? You see and the problem with it is this - when you make a prediction, there's nothing wrong with making predictions - that's a survival mechanism. I'm looking at a situation and I got to predict what's going to come next and because of that prediction, I either make a good prediction or not one and I'm getting better at predictions as time goes on, but because I make a positive prediction, it allows me to survive and move into the next moment in my life. It's helping me live. There's nothing wrong with predictions in that regard, and you have to, in a sense, trust your predictions in order to be able to move on them. You have to like walk in faith - okay, this is why the thing is happening - I'm going to move forward. If you find out that you're wrong, then you adjust your predictions and move on. [0:07:00.0]
The problem is, you make a prediction for one moment of time what's going to happen next. If you hold on to that prediction and assume that will be the same case for the rest of your life, this is where blindness sets in because your mind stops paying attention to what's really going on. And when you stop paying attention to what's really going on, you don’t have enough data to make good predictions. If she had paid attention to the numbers on the floor or the number of the floor on the sound when she got out of the elevator or the…I mean, she might have even pushed the right button to her own floor, but just gotten off on the wrong floor. If she had paid attention and instead of assuming, then all of the rest of it wouldn't have happened - if she had paid attention and not trusted that her assumption was correct. If a woman trusts that her husband will never look at porn again, and then he does, what happens? Nothing changes in the event, but the woman suffers it. [0:08:00.2]
She wants to trust him, meaning she wants to know that he'll never do it again, meaning that her ability to feel safe - and I'm not saying this is bad, I'm just saying let's look at what trust is - her ability to feel safe and sound and loved and connected to her husband is dependent on him behaving a certain way. That's called codependency. And it happens in all kinds of different relationships, all over the place. So it's pretty prevalent, in minor degrees at least, and in major degrees a lot of times. So, when this happens, she's saying, "Look, I want to be able to trust him," meaning, "I need to feel safe and I can't feel safe unless he behaves a certain way." The problem is if you feel safe and then someone blindsides you, it hurts more. If I believe I'm safe walking across a floor and then the floor falls out from under me, I actually fall. If I don’t trust the floor necessarily, if I'm not predicting it, but I'm paying attention, then what happens if I start to get signs that there's something off about the floor, I'll adjust. [0:09:00.7]
I'll adjust my actions and I may not actually fall through the floor. I'm thinking of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade at the moment, with the name of God trusting that he was spelling it right with a "J" and then forgetting that oh yeah, the alphabet, it starts with an I, not a J and he was, luckily, he didn't fall all the way through and he managed to pull himself off and go a different way. So the trust is the key here. So when these wives ask me, why, you know, when can I trust him? I say, "Don't." And a lot of them are Christians, so I'll quote Psalms to them, and I'll say, "Look, in Psalms it says 'trust in the Lord with all your heart.' Now, the Lord, the source of all life, trust in life, it's holding you. It's keeping you alive, this whole time. Yes, give your heart to that. Trust that that's the case." But the scriptures also say, "rely not on the arm of the flesh." So then, I'll ask them, "What's your husband made of?" And the answer is "flesh." "Don’t trust it. If he's behaving like a 2-year-old, treat him like you would treat a 2-year-old. If he's behaving like a 30-year-old, treat him like you would treat a 30-year-old, like you want to. [0:09:59.4]
If those are 10 minutes apart, enjoy your 10 minutes of 30-year-old and then send him to time out when he's a 2-year-old or however else you want to behave around a 2-year-old, but keeping paying attention. If things start to go south, keep paying attention and keep adjusting your behaviors so that that's where safety comes from." True safety doesn’t come from trust. True safety comes from clarity of perception. That's the only way that you will feel safe and you will feel protected is when you can see things coming. If you're standing on train tracks and you don’t hear the train, you don’t feel the rumble of it on the tracks, you feel totally safe. There is no safety in that, but if you're paying attention and you feel a rumble and you investigate and you hear a sound and you investigate, there is safety, potential safety, in that. If you look at it and you see something and you're like, huh - okay, cool - well, let me get off the tracks. And you don’t have to deal with the pain of disappointment or the pain of surprise or the pain of lack of expectation. This doesn’t mean to become paranoid at all, and a lot of times it goes that direction where a guy who is struggling with addictive behaviors comes out of them, or a girl, and because you're no longer using a coping mechanism, which was the behavior, in order to like manage it, now all of that nasty chemistry and feeling is building up on the inside of a person to the point where they start to get more angry or more frustrated. [0:11:25.1]
I used to snap at my kids a lot, a lot more, a lot more angry at times. I used to be so impatient with things. I used to look at people in harsh ways and be super critical about things and I'd get really frustrated with stuff a lot, just because there was all this buildup on the inside I hadn’t dealt with the root cause of the whole thing at the beginning and I had to learn the key skills and so when I took away the coping mechanism for that year and half, where I was like, okay cool - I'm not looking at porn, I got more and more depressed, more and more suicidal. I was more afraid of things. I was more frustrated. I was beating myself up more. I wasn’t able to function at work. All this stuff was happening. Now a lot of this happens typically inside of a relationship and the wife is used to having a certain… like a lot of women are super, super sensitive - I mean, it's probably the case for guys too, if they'd just let themselves actually honor their sensitivity. [0:12:13.7]
You know, because there's times where my wife feels a certain way and I feel something and I'm like, oh, something changed here. So women feel this with guys too, and they feel something change. It may not be, however, that they don’t trust your prediction that oh, that means he went to this. Just trust your perception, and that's what I mean. Like when you're perceiving something, "Oh, I feel something changed between us," that's true. That's a direct perception. That's clarity. Something changed between us; therefore, he must have gone and looked at porn again and he must be being unfaithful to other women and he must this and he must that. That's all stories. Those are all predictions of a negative kind and they don’t help either because even if he shows up and hasn’t done those things, the predictions have like spoiled your experience of your relationship. So when you're busy inside of a relationship, expectations, predictions, assumptions, trust. If you really, really want safety, instead of trying to trust the person beyond like that moment, can I trust them in this moment to do the thing I'm asking them to do - I'm not talking about momentary decisions of trust. I'm talking about a decision that I will forever trust this person. That is not helpful. What is more helpful to your own well-being is to pay attention and as things move forward, honor what you see, honor what you feel. You may be getting skewed perceptions. You may be paranoid. You may be worried, but if you continue to pay attention that will work itself out, instead of making stories out of it. [0:13:38.3]
If you, or someone you know, is looking to drop the F Bomb of Freedom in your life, whether that's from addiction or depression and anxiety or just anything that's making you feel flat out stuck, but you have no clue how to shake it and just want help doing it, head on over to LiberateaMan.com and book a call, where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you've been missing.
Bob: So, in many, many ways, it's better to stop adding trust as an extra step. When you want to rebuild your relationship, just simply pay attention to the person and dance with them. If you're on a dance floor, right, if the guy's leading - let's pretend guys have learned how to lead, even though that's not really taught in school these days - guy's leading, it gives a little bit of pressure in a certain direction on the lady's back and he starts to turn his body and the lady can not pay attention and just have pressure on her back and that means she's just doing the steps that she thinks she needs to do. And so then the guy has to push and push more and more in order to get her to go. Other times, the lady is leading, meaning she is not paying attention to the guy at all. She's going to…she's just going to take him in whatever direction they want to go and the guy can get frustrated and that's where you start stepping on toes and bonking heads and it's cute in a relationship in the beginning on the dance floor at times, though it can be frustrating if you're in competition. [0:15:01.3]
But really, ideally what's happening is whoever is leading in a dance situation, most of the time it's the guy, but that probably came out of a patriarchal society, we could talk about that in a totally different way some other time - masculine and feminine energy or something else like that - but if the guy's leading and he adds a little bit of direction and the girl just simply feels what's going on and adjusts to compensate, what happens is they stop tripping over each other. They can do cooler and cooler tricks and experience the whole different way of dancing than they ever could when they're busy fighting, going "Well, should I trust you, should I not trust you, I'm hoping you'll do this, I'm hoping you'll not do this and I'm predicting that this is going to happen or not." All that's coming out of this dance with your partner is when one person moves, the other person responds. I remember one time, I was swing dancing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We used to go there after high school to these nighttime swing dances because I used to love swing dance at the time, and I wasn’t the greatest at it. I had learned the Lindy Hop basic step and I was like, dude - I'm good - I'm going to go show off my Lindy Hop, but that was all I knew how to do. [0:16:00.3]
And so I got there and there was this one girl who was really good. I was like, oh, I'm going to go dance with this girl. And so I get there, and I go and I start dancing with her and I'm so focused on my own steps that I'm not really actually enjoying the dance with her. So she's like, hey, you can look at me - it's okay. Nice. Oh, awkward. Anyway, and then as I'm dancing with her, I start…I do a spin and then I feel her, she spins and I feel her push off of my back because I did a spin too - I feel her push off my back and I turn my head just in time to see her do an extra little fancy move. And then I like was able to catch her other hand and then we kept dancing from that point in time. All of this was possible because she followed my lead, saw an opportunity inside of it, and did a cool, fancy move on her on. All inside of the middle of me trying to lead. And because she did that, I was able to take that cue that she had given me back and then meet her in a different spot. Now, was I the greatest dance partner she had that night? No, probably not. She was pretty darn good at what she did, but it taught me a really big lesson, just in my body about what that meant - leading and following and responding to things. [0:17:07.1]
This is what builds a good relationship, in my experience. It's not about trusting the other person. It's about dancing with the other person and when you're there to dance, not to win, not to exert force over them, not to get your way, but you've decided, you know what - this is a person I want to dance with. When you're there to dance, the only thing that makes that dance super enjoyable is when you pay attention to each other, meaning, yeah, actually look at each other while you're dancing. And then also pay attention to the cues you're giving each other so that you can do amazing tricks. You can have a wonderful experience and breathlessly at the other side of your life laugh and go to the, you know, the drink table and get yourself a little bit of juice or something, excited about the memories you built. Not because one person was right or one person was leading, but because you actually danced with someone and had a real present moment interaction. [0:17:58.8]
So, should you trust people? I'm sure there's lots and lots of ideas around this. If you ask me, having to trust someone is an extra and unnecessary step in a relationship. Dance with them. If you want to dance with them, just pay attention, and magic can happen. And you don’t even have to trust that magic happens. Magic can happen because both people are paying attention.
And that's it for today's 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, and plus, it's just nice to be nice.
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