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Trauma creates drama. There’s no way around it.

But a traumatic event in your past doesn’t have to imprison you to a life of misery. It’s possible to completely get rid of both your past and future traumas.


Because trauma is created in your mind. Meaning, it doesn't exist. You can overwrite past traumas so they don’t stir up drama in your life today. And you can use this technique to free yourself of any future agony.

In this episode, you’ll learn the truth about trauma and how to finally overcome past traumas that keep you from living a happier life.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • Why the conventional wisdom around trauma is a dangerous lie (and how to regain control) (2:35)
  • How past traumas seep into your DNA and cause unnecessary misery (16:08)
  • Why your mind creates more trauma than the traumatic event (16:43)
  • How to “hack” your body to eliminate emotional baggage (18:03)
  • Why feeling bad about something is the stupidest idea on the planet (22:24)

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: All right, folks, today we get to talk about trauma. This is a topic that is so, so beautiful and a topic that is so misunderstood in my opinion, that just like anxiety and depression that we've talked about the last couple of weeks, this is a topic that stretches far and wide, and we have treated it like a disease, like something that doesn't go away, like something that really has control over a person's life. And what I want to do today is give you a different viewpoint on trauma than maybe you've considered before. One that's very much in line with everything else that I work with, teach and train my clients in. And yet one that allows a person to be free from it. Have you ever heard of people talking about how they are a survivor of something? Have you ever heard of retreats where people go and they band together with people who have been through similar experiences and they talk about their trauma and they're there to kind of deal with their trauma and work through it in a positive way. [01:32.6]

Have you ever heard of people who have PTSD or who have been through traumatic experiences whose lives are now governed by this trauma that they, that they had at one point in time or complex PTSD, where they have a past trauma that they're coping with and other mental struggles along the lines of like self-loathing and inability to function in certain environments and depression and anxiety and stuff like that? Well, all of these things come from the notion of trauma in many ways. And then there's another side of trauma, which is physical trauma. Well, we call blunt force trauma to the head, right? Or, or those types of things. And we have this word called trauma and what trauma does, trauma creates drama, there's no two ways about it. And so the question then becomes, how can we look at trauma in a way that will allow me to have life experiences that do not control me, that don't define me or anything else like that? [02:29.2]

Have you ever heard anybody say that, you know, their past has made them who they are today or that they're what's happened to them has really defined their life. And the answer that I would give to that question is going to fly in the face of a lot of people think and believe even a lot of the coaching industry in which I'm going to say, no, what you made of the past made you what you are today. And there's a big difference because two people can go through the same experience, the same exact experience they can have been there together at the same time. And yet have the impact of that experience, be very different on them. One of them can take it very negatively, another person can take it very positively, another person cannot even consider it as something that was all that important. Have you ever had a conversation with your friends where you're like, no, no. They said this and they're like, I don't remember it, wasn't a thing. It's because the way interact with the material around us, the way we interact with our environment and the way what we make of it, then the importance that you and I give to it, that is what makes it stand out in our mind. And if it stands out in our mind enough, it's going to start to control our thought processes, the way we filter material and information and behavior, the way we behave, the way we interact around things, the things we avoid, the things we prefer and so on and so forth. [03:40.2]

So I'm going to make a bold statement here at the beginning that might freak some of you out because there's all different kinds of trauma in the world. There is, you know, physical traumas from car accidents, from the, from other types of physical injuries, from sporting injuries, from beating and violence and stuff. There's physical trauma. There is emotional trauma that has come from bullying and, and things of that nature, psychological kinds of trauma, where people would consider abuse, being the main contributing factors to that kind of psychological trauma. There is betrayal, trauma, there's all kinds of different ways that people look at trauma. And what I want you to understand from the get go is that trauma doesn't exist. Hold on, Bob, hold on. Back, back the truck up like you're are you gas lighting me? Are you trying to make me believe that what I've been through hasn't happened? Are you trying to tell me that I've it's all in my head? No, no, no, no, no, no, no. What I am telling you is that what you've made of it, it doesn't exist. [04:39.0]

The things happened and you don't deny what's happened in your life, but don't make it into something more than it is. That's the key element and the theme over the past few weeks, if you've noticed in this podcast, the series has really been around how you see things and the way that you interpret them, because ultimately your interpretation of reality. My interpretation of reality is what makes my emotions is what makes my behaviors and is what makes my experience of life. It isn't the event itself. That is just the raw material of circumstance. And some of them are a little more raw than others, but it's just the raw material of circumstance. Other people and world events can change the raw materials of circumstance. They can change the Legos with which you get to build, but you get to build something out of those and what you build out of them is up to you. [05:31.7]

So you have people right now, you know, it's 2020, they're coming out of economic downturns because of world pandemic and all of these different things. And they're, they're taking these challenges that say, you know what, we're going to bounce back from this. And they are choosing to use their challenges in a certain way. Other people are choosing to use them as a means to be afraid and fearful and hedge their bets and make certain decisions. There are people all over the planet, treating these current circumstances and a variety of different ones, ways. Many of them are ignoring them. Some people are only peripherally, interested. Other people are using them to their advantage in nefarious ways and in holistic ways. And so it doesn't really matter what's happening. What matters is what you do about it. And that's true for your whole life. So when I say trauma doesn't exist, I mean, it, if you were to cut open a cadaver and look at the insides, you would never, ever, ever see trauma ever just the same way that you would never ever, ever see addiction. [06:32.2]

You wouldn't, you wouldn't see depression. You wouldn't see anxiety. You would see the telltale signs of chemistry. So chemicals that have been through the system and eaten their way through certain things or organ function, even, even a smoker, right? You would see definitely tar in the lungs or something like that, but you wouldn't see smoking addiction. You wouldn't, you wouldn't see it at all. Trauma itself is not a physical reality, it's not an existential reality, it's not inherent in the world. It's something that we make out of it, meaning we look at this and we say, we're using this word trauma as a category, for of things that happen to us that made us that we were a victim to, right? And so it's a word that's used to describe events that we became victims to, right? Where some people wouldn't consider some of those events, traumas or traumatic, they might just consider them as events. It just sorta depends on the person. And so if you cut someone open, you're not going to see trauma, you're not gonna see addiction, you're not going to see depression, you're not going to see anxiety, you're going to see maybe markers of it, or in other words, physical structures, chemical traces, and other types of things. [07:39.1]

But you're not going to see it, it's not there. Even injury, blunt force trauma, car accidents, broken bones, you'll see broken bones, but you won't see trauma. Does that make sense? Trauma is an idea about it, it says something happened to me that I'm going to have to process and get over with. A broken bone is a literal reality. You don't have to process a broken bone, your body's designed to heal it any way, you just put it in place and that's it. But if you got traumatized by something, it means literally when we're talking about it in normal speak, it means it's something that you can't let go of that it's still in there it's caught. And the trauma is creating drama in your life. Does that make sense? And so if you've been struggling with betrayal trauma, if you've been struggling with abuse and molestation and, and bullying and rape and beatings and psychological conditioning and gas lighting, and anything else that's been going on in your life, the events happened and you and I both know how intense they were, right? [08:39.1]

And me and my life, you and yours, I don't have your life experience. Those events happened, I would never take away the fact that those events happened because they are the seed of something possibly incredibly powerful in your life. At the moment, they might be something that's a little bit dramatic. Now, some people, some people like they don't have a history where they've had tons of trauma in it. I don't like, you know, I've had injuries and stuff like that. So I'll tell you a little bit about my experience here in a second, but other people do have huge experiences. And so some people who don't have large experiences of trauma, you know, they're talking about how it was very, it was like a traumatic childhood, right? Cause their dad was never around. He wasn't emotionally available. And so they never learned how to handle their emotions or something like that. And if they make that into a trauma, meaning they see that as the cause of the reason why their life is the way their life is, then it creates a drama in their life instead of simply seeing it as, Hey, that happened at one point in time. Right? [09:34.0]

And so what we're looking at here is the possibility of changing things around and saying, instead of poor pity me, or instead of saying, let's blame that guy, we're saying, well, what do I want to do from here? Cool. I've got this set of Legos. What do I want to build out of it? Or do I want to go get some more Legos or what else is going on, right? So I remember when I was in junior high and we had moved from Germany to Ohio and I decided to join the football team. Why did I join the football team? I joined the football team because I wanted, I wanted to be popular. I wanted people to like me and it seemed like football was the way in. Plus I enjoyed playing backyard football, tackle football I didn't enjoy as much but backyard football I did. And somehow at least I've convinced myself that this was the case I managed to sneak onto the first string, which means I was actually going to get field playing time. Now, at one point in time in practice, I was overplaying with the first string people and I caught the ball and it turned to run and somebody plowed into me with their helmet right into my solar plexus. [10:30.0]

So I was on the ground I'm looking up and there's tears kind of halfway in, halfway out of my eyes and I can't breathe. I'm doing this noise …Ehhhh Uhhhhhh. You know, like you can't get air in and out. And so I'm doing that noise and I'm looking around and they're trying to pick me up and get my diaphragm working and everything else. And that's all that happened, something simple. Okay. Someone hit me with a helmet and my diaphragm spasm did locked up and so I couldn't get air in and out because I didn't know how to mobilize at the time, all the other muscles around my breathing apparatus so that I could continue to breathe, even if my diaphragm was out of commission. Guys, just note this, it is possible to do that, if you ever want to learn these types of skills, just, you know, you should come to one of our events. So I was sitting there and I was, I was kinda terrified, I didn't want that to happen again. I felt like, Oh no, I'm weak. Look how wimpy I am. I can't even take a hit, but I got to pretend to take a hit because like I to, I still gotta be strong because I want to be popular, I want kids to like me. [11:32.2]

Yes I was a junior high boy, okay. And that, you know, that passed, I got my breath back and whatnot. Nobody really mentioned it again, they probably didn't even think about it that much. But then sometime later we have our homecoming game. Now I was stoked for homecoming because the girl that I was really interested in that I really had a crush on her name was Christine and she and I had been sitting next to each other at lunch for a while and she was coming to the game and we had lost pretty much every game with every other team. But you know, this time homecoming, you know, we were really excited for it. And she came and she had my number, number 42 painted on her cheek or maybe it was 47, I think it was 42. It painted on her cheek and she was sitting there in the stands and I felt like I was on top of the world, right? Football had solved all of my life problems. [12:21.5]

And then part way through the game, the coach sent me in, he was going to play play number 91, number 91 meant that I, as a wide receiver on the right hand side of the field was going to immediately turn and catch the ball and then run as far as I could, right. It wasn't a sprint off the line and go kind of thing, it was literally just turned catch and run. Well, he sent me in to call that play and I was going to be on the right hand side and I was terrified of getting hit, right? Whatever had happened at that point in time, I had determined that I was not capable of handling it and so what I did was I went in and subbed in for the left side guy. And so JJ caught the ball and then he ran some, I don't know, four or five, maybe seven yards. It got tackled and that was it, that was the play, that was it and I didn't handle that one. Now, ironically later in the game, the quarterback threw an interception and we had to tackle their linebacker. It took two of us, my friend, Jay laid behind the guy and I tripped him by basically cloud over the top of him, tripped over Jamie. We got him, the receivers took out the linebacker, but at the time I was afraid of getting hit, I was afraid of being tackled in all of those pads because the pads were traumatic to me. [13:33.3]

Backyard football, being knocked over, tackled by my friends playing day in and day out for hours, not a problem. It's not that I enjoyed like getting hit, but it was just like run, catch, you know, if they trip you, whatever you fall, you get back up. But when it came to the pads on, I was terrified of them. And because I was terrified of them, my behavior and my thoughts and my emotions were uncontrollable. I literally went onto the field afraid. And then I went in and made the decision to avoid that circumstance. Now, people who have been at war who have been in situations where bombs are going off around them, where they're being ambushed in city streets, where certain smells are associated with those things. And certain sounds are associated with those things where they're being shot at, where friends of theirs are losing their lives and these are graphic images seared into their brains. People who have been through stuff like this or people who have been beaten, and abused in vile ways or treated miserably for long periods of time. So that they've been trained to just think of themselves as these horrible individuals, you know, it's the same process. I know it's not the same degree as my little football experience, but it's the same process. And I've rehashed all of my addiction type experiences enough for now to, let's take a different example. [14:51.8]

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. [15:19.4]

What’s happened is, an event happened and out of that event, I made up a story that said one I'm weak. Two, I've got to do this, but I got to pretend to be able to do this. But three, I'm not capable of doing this at all, this is painful, it hurts or whatever. So whenever the prospect came from me to get tackled by somebody else, when that moment arose, I was not in control of my decision making, not, not at all. I was aware of it to a certain degree, but I was not in control of it. I couldn't have chosen to be on the right hand side if I'd want to do at that point in time, I don't think. Now we'll never know, but I couldn't have, because I didn't, I literally walked on the field afraid I subbed in for the other person and then I beat myself up about it for being so weak that I couldn't even handle a simple play like that. And how many people who have been through trauma have made something out of it, have had their lives controlled by what they made out of it, and then turn around and feel horrible because they're still experiencing this thing. You see what I mean? So if your husband cheated on you or your wife cheated on you, you can turn that into a trauma by saying, look, they broke everything. And that what that means is that you're not beautiful, or you're not handsome enough, or they don't want you, or that you're not lovable or that there's something wrong with you. And that is the trauma. [16:39.3]

Real trauma is what you make of it. Now, it doesn't exist in reality, but the more you make it up in your head, the more it sears its way into your muscles, into your bones, into your joints, into your bloodstream, into your organs, into all of the fluids, into your body, into your connective tissue, all of those thoughts change your posture and your breathing patterns and everything else going on. And as a result, it warps your antenna so to speak. So if you imagine a satellite dish, that's a little bit distorted, it can only pick up certain kinds of signals and others are not going to come in very well and they're gonna be staticky, right? So, because this is distorting your body and how you hold yourself. It's literally distorting how you can see the world and it starts with what's going on inside you, and it's not your fault, I want you to know that. How you made sense of it was literally your mind and body are working the way they were designed. You are literally coming up with a way of understanding what's happening so that you can avoid it in the future. And if you've been traumatized by men and you have this sense that all men are dangerous, that is you trying to protect yourself. [17:45.7]

If you've been to war and certain smells meant danger was imminent, or certain sounds meant there's something going on and you got jittery and panicky like, like something was going to happen then avoiding those is you protecting yourself from what appears to be a threat that simply hasn't been looked at. So there's a couple of ways to handle this. Ultimately the same process that happens that you go through for eliminating root issues and snarls and things like that, when we talk about addiction and depression and anxiety, that same process that I developed and I've been refining and honing and testing over time is a really powerful process for eliminating the emotional baggage that comes with those things. But the problem with, with these types of events is that they're, they're not like, language-based. [18:32.6]

It isn't like it's a smell or it's a sound, or it's just a flash of a color in your eye or something like that, and that's what causes it. Or it's a certain feeling in the room or a certain position like when the guy is between you and the door or things like that. And those things trigger certain feelings and experiences in your mind and what happens then is that you're no longer able to be present with what's happening. Your body goes inward to protect itself, and it's starting to respond to your mind's workings instead of responding to what's happening in reality. And so you become less and less capable of handling simple events like that. The good news is I developed ways of handling the, those types of visceral responses as well and to disarm those types of triggers, both the sound ones, the site ones, all of those things, right? And it's not really that difficult, you simply have to retrain your nervous system and repattern your nervous system with better information about what those things mean. It doesn't take away the experience. It just says, yeah, this could mean that, but it could also mean something very, very different. [19:34.1]

And so when you're no longer controlled by an emotional reaction to things, it means that like, when something happens, you can just deal with it as it is without overreacting or underreacting or collapsing or imploding. So as we wrap this up today, as we're discussing the truth about trauma, what I hope you recognize is that one trauma is completely 100% self-made. The events that happened in your life, they happened and in many ways, we even contribute to those events by how we're acting and behaving, but those events happened and they weren't all in your control. In fact, many of them probably were not in your control at all. What you made of those events that is in your control, but you didn't know, it's not like somebody sat down and helped you process through those things right away. I remember when I got in a car accident once, I'd done all this training and I got in a car accident on the freeway getting onto highway not Highway 60, but getting on to 202 headed North in Phoenix, Arizona from Highway 60 and it was a slight rain. [20:34.9]

So I skidded into the barrier of the highway and I knew immediately that I needed to get out of the car. I mean, the, the airbags went off and I needed to get out of the car cause I didn't want to be hit by someone else. The smell was in the air of that stuff. And I knew that my body was going to go through some kind or some form of shock. And so I got out and I got onto the median and then instead of like trying to talk to anybody or call anybody immediately, I took a second and I calmed down. Somebody else came pretty quickly, but I took a second and I calmed down and I breathe and I focused my, my breathing and my effort. I let my body shake and I let everything else process its way out because I knew how to hold space for myself and I knew how to do that. I had learned that that is not commonly taught in elementary school or in high school or in college for that matter. Even in graduate school, most people go through life without understanding how their mind and body work in very, very, very many ways. And so I knew that and so I was able to hold space for that, without it becoming a traumatic event to where I was afraid of driving on the freeway. Again, like so many people who I know drive in a certain way because of things that have happened to them in the past without really driving in response to what's happening on the road in the present. [21:46.7]

So I hope you recognize that the events are not under your control and it's not your fault that you guessed what they meant, but it is your opportunity to let go of it if it's no longer serving you. And so if you're struggling with betrayal, trauma and everything else going on, guess what? You don't have to struggle with it anymore, you really don't. Even if your partner or somebody else who's betraying you, or it looks like is betraying you and is doing things that you don't accept. You don't have to suffer that as trauma, you can simply be able to let go of all the trauma, look at the event and do what is needed inside of that circumstance. But you don't have to suffer for it. We have this weird belief in the, in at least in where I grew up and stuff that feeling bad about something somehow is an important step of the process of life. [22:34.3]

If you ask me, that's the stupidest idea on the planet, you stop feeling bad about stuff. If you feel bad, it comes up. Be there with it, like let it happen, but don't, don't do it more than is necessary. And if you want to check out the episode on enough with the sorrow already, you can check that one out, but you don't need to feel bad about things. You just simply need to be able to be happy and be capable of dealing with things the way that they're dealing with. If you're dealing with PTSD, please know, there are ways out of it. There are ways to release it. There are ways to re to repattern your nervous system so that it no longer is responding to those things in the same way. And you develop a different relationship with them, which is ultimately all it, all this is, is developing a different relationship with what's there. Not to negate it, but to empower yourself so that it does not define you because I hope as we're leaving this episode, that you recognize that your past does not define you, not even your present defines you, none of the circumstances or events in your life mean anything more about you than does a pimple on the end of your notes. They are simply things that have been happening. [23:38.5]

But who you are, what you are and what you are capable of is something so far beyond any of those things that what would be the point of trying to define yourself by what happened? There is no point. As we sit here, there's a global pandemic going on and off and people being in various states of panic around a virus, right? If I said that defined my life, I would be missing out on some of the greatest, most joyful moments I could possibly experience. My life has been beautiful, 100% beautiful, no matter what's going on around me, because I learned to stop creating things that became traumas. And I hope, I hope that you get a sense of possibility for yourself if you're dealing with this. And if you want help with that, obviously, you know, schedule a call, let's look at your situation and see what we can do to help you out. Because your life is too precious to spend any more time, trying to deal with traumas when you could simply turn a new leaf and walk forward in a different direction. [24:39.1]

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. [24:57.3]

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