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Context is everything — and this is particularly true with your unique mental health characteristics. The problem is mental health “experts” prescribe one solution for every person. And this blinds you from seeing your mental quirks as a gift. 

When you look at it from a different angle, these mental “kinks” can be a blessing-in-disguise. 

In this episode, I’m sharing how to reframe your mental health issues so you can use them to create more joy in your life than you ever thought possible. 

Show highlights include:

  • How mental health “experts” unintentionally cause more addiction, depression, anxiety, and PTSD (2:45) 
  • The “Chinese Medicine” mindset shift that can make you grateful for your unusual mental health traits (10:12) 
  • The weird way brain damage can bless you with unworldly gifts (10:58) 
  • How depression and anxiety gift a little-known skill that makes it easier to find joy (even if it doesn’t seem like it) (13:40) 

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.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

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. [00:27.6]

Bob: All right, guys, welcome back. Let's continue on from last week, last week, we really explored these two kind of demonic possession “ episodes or exorcisms” in my life that I've experienced and some other minor ones as well from a couple of different lenses from the lens of science and from the lens of religion, in terms of the words we use to talk about it. And if you didn't listen to those or didn't hear those stories, I'd invite you to go back and listen to last week's episode because it's a really, really powerful one, it's a huge one. So, this week we want to take those experiences. And I want to talk to you about context because context is really, really everything. When I'm teaching people painting, in fact, I just did a video this morning from my older sister who's helping some grade school kids with the discussion of value. Value is just the light, how light and dark something is in a painting or a drawing. [01:25.3]

And the way to find out the value of a color, meaning how dark or light a certain color needs to be is one way to do it is to like take little, a gray scale. So different shades of gray and to put it over the top of it and squinch your eyes. And when you squinch your eyes, it'll disappear if it's the right value. Well, I did this on a computer screen, and I had a certain gray in a certain area over some yellow, and I decided to move it up because my son was asking me questions. And as I move the block up in space, it moved and it shifted out of the yellow wheat in the bottom, all the way into the sky, which was blue and had white clouds and the color of the gray of the gray square that I was moving changed. It looked like a kind of a lighter blueish gray down in the grass. And when I moved it up, it turned into a dark, warmer, gray up in the sky. And I moved it up and down and up and down and it looked like I was doing a magic trick where it looked like the computer had some code on it to change the color. But the reality is if you've listened to the episode on vision, it's, that's because of the way our eyes make sense of things in relation to each other. [02:28.8]

It has nothing to do with the computer. The computer is just showing you the colors. My eyes are the ones and the way I'm making sense of it is the one that's making it look like magic. Well, this context, meaning what comes with the text or what is around the event changes the way that we perceive it. So, let's talk about mental health today. See, there's a lot of things going on in the mental, in the field of mental health right now, where we have certain definitions of them. And we have a certain normal that society or experts “have agreed is the way normal people operate.” These are the parameters and anyone outside of those parameters has a disease. So, we've already started looking at anything that's abnormal as diseased or a disorder. And this is already where we've run into trouble. When you're talking about addiction, you're talking about depression, you're talking about anxiety. You're talking about PTSD. You're talking about schizophrenia, bipolar, OCD, ADHD, anything like that because it sits outside of the realm of normal and because our society currently still operates on this idea that everybody needs to be the same. And that normal is the only okay. Suddenly we've labeled all of these certain conditions that people are in as diseased and as abnormal and as bad. And this is where we start to run into trouble, huge trouble. [03:49.5]

So what we're going to do is we're going to talk about, we talked about the one missionary last week about bipolar, and while it was, as he was going through a manic state or a depressive state, depending on where he was at certain points of time, that's how we would describe it in today's terms and he was hearing certain voices. So, some people might call that schizophrenia. What I want you to talk, what I want to talk about today specifically is schizophrenia in terms of the language we use around it. If you were to talk about schizophrenia, what that means is that a person is hearing voices that they recognize as not their own, that are in their head, they don't like them, they want the voices gone and whatnot. But ultimately schizophrenia is just that a person is more or less hearing voices in their head. They're not audible audible, but they, they seem like really real and really there. Now in our day and age, that's something to be concerned about. People will look for medications or other treatments for schizophrenia, shock treatments have been done. All kinds of different treatments have been attempted over the years to try and suppress these kinds of voices out of other people's heads, right? [04:48.4]

But here's the kicker. Everybody hears voices. Some of them to more of an audible degree to another, maybe not everybody hears voices because I think there was a study or some research that I heard about a while ago that suggested that about 70% of people hear voices in their head or 30% of people don't or something like that. I could be mistaken. So, it might not be everybody that hears voices, but a vast segment of the population experiences, hearing voices in their head. Wait, Bob. No, I don't. I don't hear voices. Okay, cool. Take a step back. Let's look at it. When I went to church growing up, we would talk about spiritual impressions and how we would hear a voice from the Lord. Or we would get an impression from God that we needed to do something or say something. And I just had this prompting, we would say this impression, or I heard someone say these words, or I felt this thing, and something would come over us that was not in our control. [05:47.0]

A voice, a something, but because it was in the context of church and the language of the church was, yes, that's what we want. This church, Christian Church particularly is kind of, if you look at it one way, a religion of possession. We don't want to be possessed by evil spirits, but we want to be possessed fully by the Holy spirit. We want it to take over our whole life. We want it to speak through us like we're channels for it or mediums for it. We want it to govern our actions and to give us power. These are gifts of the spirit that come to us when the spirit is really fully possessing us. Now, it doesn't say possessing us when it’s the spirit, but bit to be filled with the spirit of God. So, I know that's not the way that doctrinally it's laid out, but in a certain sense, it's kind of a teaching or a religion about being possessed by a certain spirit. Now that means that you're not fully in control to a certain extent of all the promptings and impressions and thoughts that come to your mind or anything else, these are coming elsewhere. [06:46.4]

The difference between many people and schizophrenia is that, well, we grew up in this environment where someone speaking this way about having the voice of God come to them is okay, that's totally normal, that's something we want. But outside of a church setting, if a voice comes to you, that's not okay, that's schizophrenic. And especially if it's a voice that's persistent and saying negative things and whatnot. No, that's bad. Well, in a church setting, we might call that an evil spirit that's being, that's taken over a body. But can you see the, the language divide here? The context is everything. Martin Luther had voices that tormented him and all kinds of stuff, when he was busy doing stuff. I don't think he was diagnosed as schizophrenic in his life. I don't know, even if that term was around when he was around. And that he had voices that tormented him for a good period of time. And then he had other voices that kind of guided him on. [07:39.0]

Schizophrenia in other cultures, shamanic cultures and native cultures, for instance, was there are certain qualities that a person has. See, someone who's schizophrenic, not only hears voices, but they also recognize that it's not their own voice. That's very different than a lot of us who have a voice in our head that says, Oh man, you're such an idiot, but we haven't recognized that that voice is not us. We are still holding onto the idea that that voice is us. So, we feel like it's totally normal. Oh, those are just thoughts in our head. What if it's kind of the same to a schizophrenic? What if they're experiencing it kind of the same way, maybe a little more insistently, but they know it's not their voice. These kinds of people were singled out in shamanic cultures. They were set aside as someone who had a particular gift, a particular quality where they could have experiences happening to them, voices and not be confused about whether or not it was their own. And they were set on a path of training to be the shaman, the spiritual guide of the group of the tribe. Why? [08:40.6]

Because this is a person that knows what it's like to have all kinds of weird things happening inside their head, but to not be confused about who they are when that's happening. And as they're trained, to be able to let it go and to not have it be a big deal, suddenly these people are capable of guiding other people through spiritual transformations and journeys and difficult life experiences and even healings. Because they're not confused about who they are and what's going on with them. After they've learned the skills of being able to no longer be bothered by what's going on, it's not a big deal. So, what we are calling in our society, schizophrenia as a disease and a disorder that needs to be stamped out, another entire culture is saying, this is a gift. And then another culture Christianity is saying, wow, this could either be a devil or an angel, depends on what's going on. So, it might be a gift and it might come with gifts of the spirit and other gifts where it might not. So, we need to look at it to see if we want to embrace it. Can you see how context changes everything? [09:40.2]

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. [10:08.1]

So, people come to me and they're like, Oh, I'm bipolar. And they're very attached to their diagnosis because, well, at first, at least it helped them make sense of what was going on with them. But the problem is they got married to their diagnosis. I'm bipolar. I am schizophrenic, or I have anxiety, you know, clinical depression or these things. And these are things that I'm always going to be dealing with. They're looking at them as if it's a disease as if it's something wrong with them. But I would suggest that instead of being a dysfunction, it's an other function that perhaps just perhaps everything that's going on in your life is a mark of some of the gifts that you have see distortions and facial characteristics in Chinese medicine, any deviations from what would seem to be normal are looked at as gifts or signs of certain gifts that people have. [10:58.0]

There's a man. I don't know if I've talked about this on this podcast, cause we've been going for, I think a year and a half or so, good long time. There's a man who he, I forget his name, but he was playing football in the backyard or something. He'd never taken piano lessons or anything, but he was playing football in the backyard. He dove to catch the ball, dove into a pool and hit his head on the bottom and woke up later in the hospital, then he had all kinds of brain trauma that had happened. And as a result of the brain trauma, I think he was in a coma for a period of time. I can't remember. But as a result of it, he had these like debilitating headaches that even to this day cause him to pass out or something. But another result of the brain trauma is that he sees sound, there was a synesthesia happening. He woke up from his coma or from whatever was going on one morning and he walked over and there was a piano in the house, he was staying. He never played the piano before at all. And he busted out of the most elaborate, incredible piano music that anybody had ever heard. [11:57.8]

Never taken lessons, never trained his fingers, but something about his traumatic injury had unlocked certain capacities within him, both to play with the skill and virtuosity of a very, very extremely talented pianist and to compose improvisation ally on the spot because all he was doing was seeing sound and playing the notes that were in front of him. He would see these kinds of squares or dot, circling around his head all the time. And he couldn't even play all the notes. He would just play what he could and in somehow that was making the music. But even all the music that was out there, he couldn't play. So, he was just cherry picking what was there and playing what he could. And it was creating these incredible compositions and beautiful pieces of music. And someone asked him later, like there keep coming up with ways to help him with his headaches. And he says, you know, a lot of people look at this as a problem, you know, as brain damage or something, that's, that's wrong with me. But I look at it as a gift he says, and why would I want to get rid of the gift that I've been given, even if it comes with the side effects. [13:05.7]

Now I don't wholeheartedly agree with his opinion about it because I think there's a way to maintain. I personally am always one for possibility to suggest that there's a way to maintain the gift without having to have the headache side effects. But what remains to be seen is his way of seeing what had happened to him and what was going on in his life, changed his interaction with it. And he embraced it wholeheartedly and made something incredibly beautiful out of it. In the same way, if you happen to be struggling with depression or anxiety, let's look at it a couple of ways. What if the content, what if we could change the context a little bit, depression means that you have the capacity at a deep, deep level to just give up on everything. And that's really important skill to have, because if you couldn't give up on things that don't matter to you, then you would be stuck with them for the rest of your life. [13:59.7]

Just because you haven't learned how to apply that skill doesn't mean anything. But depression means you can feel deeply. People who've never experienced depression, they're not less of a human being, but they don't understand the depth to which people have gone. Charlie Chaplin struggled. What was he Charlie Chaplin? Yeah. He struggled with depression in a deep, deep way, sad, sad moments in his life. And yet he produced some of the greatest comedy. Everything he was, was comedy on the film and off whenever he was performing because he recognized the deep pain that a person could feel because he'd had some really rough stuff go on with him in his life. And he struggled with it. And all he wanted to do with his life is be there and help other people out of it. It became a gift for him. [14:47.3]

Anxiety, what does that mean? What a gift, what it means is you actually have the capacity and energy to get up and do something about what is bothering you. You're not a victim to it. It's just that you don't know what to do. And the only thing you've got to train is getting very, very clear on only what needs to happen. And then all of that tremendous abundance of energy that you have can be pointed in a direction that's going to be useful for your life. That's it. It means you're very responsive to what's going on outside of you, whereas a depressed person is very responsive to what's going on inside and they're able to turn inward very easily. An anxious person, it can turn outward and can become very aware of everything going on. That's a gift, right? I'm not saying you want to experience it the way you're experiencing it now. What I'm suggesting is that it might be the sign of a deeper gift that you have. And if you find the gift and work with it, it might just help you out. Okay. [15:38.0]

We are changing the context. There was a podcast episode that I did on the super powers of every addict, because every addict has a certain super powers they've developed, they’re just like in the wrong context. So, when we're looking at things happening in your life and how you make sense of it, stop for a second, believing that there's one way of talking about it. That's right. Science can't prove anything. In fact, science itself is a doomed endeavor because every hypothesis you test, the science is meant to be a system that chooses from all possible hypotheses, the one that's true. And in order to do that, you test each hypothesis to figure out whether or not it's true. The problem with that is every hypothesis you test generates more hypothesis about what's going on, which means that the more you research, the more hypothesis you'll test, you'll never get to the end of it. You're actually working your way further and further away of discovering the truth. The more scientific activity exists in the world because you're creating more hypothesis than you can ever test. So, there's never any way you could select from all of them, the one that is the most true. [16:39.9]

It's a doomed endeavor, but it's useful and practical in the world. It's not the best way to describe things all the time. The medical model, not the best way to describe things. Addiction needs a massive overhaul in the psychological counseling and medical world. It really does, because people aren't getting out of it in those methods, they're learning how to cope with it and manage it as if it's a thing they'll be stuck with and that's wrong with them, but they're not experiencing the highest heights that life can offer them because they still see it, there’s something wrong with them. Context that needs an overhaul, okay. And so, science is one way of looking at things. Religion and spirituality and religious systems is another way of describing things that doesn't make it necessarily right or wrong. It creates a lot of shame in people, but it also produces incredible ecstasy in other people. So, to say, it's right for everyone or wrong for everyone is a doomed endeavor. Just find what works and get past the language-ing of it for a second. You need to know your only job is to live a happy life. That's it at the end of your life, no matter what you've accomplished, the only thing that really matters is the quality of your life. [17:46.6]

And happiness is the only quality that I consider worthwhile. Happiness, freedom, joy, these are things that I consider worthwhile. Guess what? In the Bible, those are called the fruits of the spirit, which means if I'm experiencing those things, I'm on good terms with God, we're good. The spirit is with me. I am apparently possessed of the correct spirit, but what if I'm not a member of religion and I'm experiencing tremendous joy? It's the only reason person would have that question is because they're hung up on the language and the way they're talking about it and the context instead of seeing what's really there. Context is everything. So, when you're looking at the problems in your life, it's time to start changing the way you see it, change your frame of reference, reframe it, as they say in the coaching world, look at it from a fresh perspective because you will only ever feel stuck when the options in front of you are options you don't like. And the way to get unstuck is one of two ways, make new options, see it from a new perspective or a new angle so that you have an option that you like or stop seeing it as a problem in the first place, and then all of a sudden you don't feel stuck by it. Those are the two ways out of it. [18:57.9]

Changing the context is everything. So, I hope after we've gone through this for a couple of weeks now, exploring this from a very variety of different angles. Now you can look back at the things that you consider a problem in your life as big or small as they may be, and can give yourself permission to suggest that maybe the way you've been looking at it, isn't right. What if you're wrong? What if everybody telling you about it is wrong? And what if there's an easier, simpler way to do it? And if you want help with that, I highly suggest coming to one of our retreats. You can get on the phone with, if you go to thefreedomspecialist.com/getstarted, we have some program online programs that you can access from there and get on the wait list for if they're not available. But there is a tremendous, a tremendous amount of possibility to experience joy and happiness in your life, no matter which way you want to make sense of it. We've had extremely religious people come and they love it. It fits with everything that they believe we've had agnostic and atheist people come and they love it. It fits with everything they believe because all we're doing is saying, this is how the body and mind are working. [19:59.8]

And if you do this, it works. And from my book, if the creator, whether you want to call that God or Jesus or Allah or any number of the other ones, if the creator designed the human body and mind to work a certain way, then studying it is studying the will of that creator and operating it the way it's designed and unleashing all of the goodness that is capable within it, that is also doing the will of that creator. And that to me is a very, very spiritual enterprise. [20:28.6]

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. [20:47.2]

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