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When you examine addiction up close and personal you realize something:

You’re addicted to your memories of your first experiences of your addiction — not to the thing itself. This is why it’s never been proven that addictive substances or behaviors exist.

In other words, your nostalgia seeps into your brain and convinces you to give into your addictions (even if they leave you unsatisfied afterwards).

In this episode, I’m revealing why nostalgia is so powerful and how to train your mind to ignore it so you can take addiction completely off of your “menu.”

Show highlights include:

  • The sneaky way your nostalgia jacks up your addictive tendencies without you even realizing it (3:20)
  • How gobbing up pints of ice cream helps you dump your addictions for good (8:50)
  • The “Unconscious Test” that instantly makes you realize you’re not addicted to porn (or any other behavior or drug) (14:18)
  • Why accepting responsibility for your feelings is the first step to chucking addiction, anxiety, and depression out your window (even if none of it is your fault) (16:47)

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: Welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast. Today, we're going to talk about beating nostalgia. Why would you want to beat nostalgia, Bob? Isn't it great? Isn't established like an amazing things? I can sit here and I can remember the good old days and have this warm, fuzzy feeling. Fill my heart. Yes, that's amazing. Now my question is when nostalgia is starting to control your actions and your behavior, without you being aware of what it's doing, then we have problems you might know by now that a lot of the people that we hope in our company are dealing with things like depression and anxiety or addictive behaviors, PTSD, and other types of stuff, right. So, nostalgia, what I'm talking about is any kind of memory that you have about something that creates an emotion and those emotions then generate a behavior right. [01:23.6]

Now, you can have really positive nostalgia's, there's nothing wrong with that, but you can also have nostalgia that is doing things in your life that you don't really understand. And so, you're, you're you end up in addictive behaviors or emotional patterns that you don't like, but don't understand where they're coming from. As a, for instance, on the emotional side of things, there's a lot of people that get some payoff out of crying, AKA kids. I've watched my kids a little while for the last little while, the last couple of weeks, noticing how they're trying to manipulate other people into doing what it is that they want. And they figured out that if they scream and contort their face and make their voice go higher and higher and higher, every time they say a thing, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no and so on. And they've figured out that they can manipulate people into getting what they want. So, they might not like that feeling of negativity inside their system. [02:26.9]

But somewhere in there, they're learning that there's a payoff and they can manipulate other people with it. And so, as they go through their life, they start picking up the habit of automatically going into a negative space without realizing that their body's probably trying to manipulate the situation so that they can get what they want. And I've seen this in, in adults all over the place. There's adults everywhere using their emotional response to things in order to manipulate other people, they're saying, you made me feel bad and you made me this and you made that. And while that's wonderful and easy to do this whole blame game, it's very effective in that sense. It actually, isn't really helpful for a fulfilling life and maybe people don't want those kinds of relationships anymore. Obviously, if you like it that's a thing. [03:15.5]

Now what about the behavioral side of thing that is associated with addiction? So, there's certain nostalgia's or associations with the behavior that are imprinted pretty quickly when you start doing some of these things. And because of those associations, there's just a natural draw in the system to go back there. Not because there's an addiction in the substance or the behavior, there is never been any proof, conclusive proof anywhere that addiction exists, that addiction to substances exists, that there is, that there are addictive substances. There's no conclusive proof anywhere. And in fact, there's a lot of evidence to the contrary. There are chemical reactions in nature that it happens all the time, but there isn't chemical dependency in nature. Chemical dependency and I would extend that to behavioral dependency. You know, if you're saying like, well, I need physical touch, well, that's oxytocin. So, we could say it's a chemical dependency, whatever. But behavioral dependency, all of these things are psychological phenomenon, right? [03:15.5]

So, the body will, if you ingest something, it will detox. It'll do that for your Turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, it'll also do it with drugs and alcohol. And it'll also do it with any kind of inputs that you put into your brain, like video games and porn and things like that, where you now, your brains processing stuff. And that type of detox will happen mentally and in other types of ways as well, that does happen. But dependency on those behaviors, constant, going back to it, that's a psychological phenomenon as a result of nostalgia. Where does this come from? Let's talk ice cream, ice cream. When you are a cat and I were a kid, I'm assuming you like ice cream, if not substitute your favorite dessert here. You were a kid and I were a kid. I was a kid, we went through life and somewhere along the way, ice cream was introduced to us. Now, why was it introduced? Or when was it introduced? It was introduced as a dessert, meaning you eat all your other stuff and then the treat at the end is the ice cream. So automatically the first notion is we're being rewarded. There's excitement about it. People bringing out the ice cream, how all these incredible faces like, look what I got you. And so, there's emotion built around it. [05:21.0]

And then there's also the summer days that we ate in on; it was like refreshing cause it was cold and the orange dream bars…hmmm. And all the different flavors and going to Baskin Robbins or watching cold stone and having them mash it up and adding your add ins to it and all the things that you were doing with the ice cream, from eating ice cream and I'm watching a movie. And so there's this emotional excitement and all of this stuff is built into your memories around ice cream. Now no one on the planet is going to sit here with a straight face and argue that ice cream is healthy for the human system. I'm sorry, unless they're trying to sell something, no, one's going to be able to conclusively make that argument unless they're trying to say, well, if the person's going to die and they don't have anything left to eat, then ice cream is healthy. Sure. At that point, anything that you eat that will sustain life is healthy, but we're not talking about that. [06:10.4]

In the United States alone, people are not so bad off that ice cream is their go-to when they don't have anything left to eat, right or that's just not the situation. So here we are with a food substance food-like substance that is designed for, made from cow's milk. So, cow's milk is made for cows to eat. Cow’s milk is from the cow mom that is meant for growing baby cows, hence all of the mucusy slime around their face and the big bodies and stuff. That's what cow’s milk is designed for. Human milk is built differently. So, this stuff has made from cows’ milk, okay AKA not fit for, not designed for human consumption. And on top of it, there's additives in there, sugar and there's there's salt and there's all these kinds of other things that produce this kind of like unsatisfied kind of feeling in the mouth that makes you want to go get some more of it and so on and so forth. So, you have this food-like substance that is at some level poisonous to the human system. No, it's not going to kill you right away. But at some level it's poisonous. Your body has to detox from it. [07:13.5]

And we have imprinted that substance as amazing, right? No, one's going to argue that it's healthy for you. And yet when the food comes out, when ice cream comes out at a party, here's the dialogue inside of a person's mind ice cream comes out. We look across the room, we see the ice cream, it looks amazing. And our brain goes, I've been good. I mean, I've been good moderation in all things, right? We got to have moderation in all things. And you know, I can't be too much of a fanatic here or there. I eat really well most of the time this isn't going to hurt me at all. And in fact, just to buy it just a little bit and on goes this little inner dialogue, this little inner demon, this little inner sales person, that's doing some high-pressure sales, you know, and we talk back, well, no I shouldn't though, because that would break my diet and the other. One's like, it's just a bite. That's not going to do anything to your diet. Your body will be fine. It's not going to wreck anything. Well, yeah, I know, but I've been good this far. Guess what? You're in a social situation. You don't want to make it awkward for other people, right? If you say, no, they're going to think that you don't appreciate their hospitality and all the different sly ways that our brain does this. [08:17.1]

Now it's because of this imprint of it being a treat a reward, something that means that we've achieved something and all that other stuff that we're sitting there trying to taste the ice cream, we're actually craving the feeling that we had when we were younger. We're not actually craving the ice cream. We're trying to taste our memories. We're not trying to taste the ice cream and which is why when we eat it, it never tastes as good as we remember it tasting. It's always just a little bit disappointing because we were hoping for the flavor of our past memories and not actually for the flavor of the ice cream though, sometimes that does occur. What's funny about this is that if we just change the language in here and we just inserted, you know, food-like substance poison, whatever, instead of saying ice cream or treat the dialogue would go something like this, Man, I've been good. I've been so good. I've been treating my body well, it's in this great state. I deserve to poison myself. I deserve right now to just stick a little bit in there to come, go gunk up the engine a little bit and make it so that my body has a harder time. You know, I've been really good. You know, I should moderation and all things, you know, that includes health. You know, I don't want to be too healthy. I need to make sure that I, I get sick from time to time. And you know, I just kind of Wolf down treats during the holidays so that I can have the flu in early February or something like that. [09:30.8]

I think that would be a really amazing thing to do. You know and then I'll fit in with the rest of the crowd. Yet, we don't talk like this, but that's because we can't see ice cream for what it is; by the way, I still eat ice cream, so, this is not an indictment of you if you eat some. But it's not it's because we don't see ice cream for what it is. We see it for what we remember it or what we think it to be. That's the same thing with all your other behaviors that are compulsive and all the other emotional states, you go to that feel like they happen to you. They're not, we are doing this to ourselves because of the nostalgia that we've had. [10:07.9]

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. [10:36.2]

Now how do we break this? Let's look at this one guy at a recent event that we ran and you guys by now know that we run these really incredible, amazing four, four-day retreats, where we're taking people through experiences and processes to help them kind of dump all this past baggage and basically hit the reset button on their life. And some of them who come are dealing with addictive behavior, some of them are dealing with trauma. Some of them are just stuck in life and they're wanting to explore things at a deeper level. And recently one guy came and he's like, look, I don't really struggle with going to pornography. Cause this was the one that he was trying to get up very often. You know, it's like once, once in a while it shows up because I'm super stressed and other things are going on and like it shows up and then I'm like, Oh no, no, I don't want to do this because that's just not something that I feel is something I want in my life, but it still shows up, he goes. [11:29.9]

And so, he asks me, how do I take it off the menu? Like, how do I make it, so, it's not an option. And this is where the discussion of nostalgia enters the situation in a very practical way. You see, he's got in his mind, this notion that porn feels good. So, he's stressed out. His body's being poisoned by the, by him creating stress. Like he's making stress of the situation. There isn't some stress molecule floating around when he has to write an email, he's making this. And because he's making himself stressed, his mind is like, I want to feel better. Well, what feels good? Well, he has this imprint about what pornography feels like because he hasn't looked at it clearly enough to see it for what it is. And so immediately his brain's like this would feel good. And so that's where the struggle comes from. So, let's examine this really quickly. [12:20.6]

Does porn or any other behavior by its very nature feel good? Let's look at it. You got to remember, as we've talked about in the six masks of emotion or the five masks of emotion, one that emotion in general, the feelings that we have, the feeling state that we have inside ourselves at a basic level is more or less chemical, right? There's a certain chemistry inside the system. Obviously, our relationship to that chemistry is something a little bit different so, there's those two parts to it. But it starts with this chemical change or chemical reaction inside of our bodies. Now, remember chemical reactions do exist in nature, chemical dependency, that's entirely psychological, right, that's your relationship to the chemistry. And so, there is no such thing, there is no evidence for chemical dependency. There's no concrete proof anywhere. There's a lot of evidence to the contrary, but it's a common theory that's shown up. Just like addiction is a theory, depression even is a theory. And these theories were, were put into play long before we had instrumentation to even measure what's going on inside the human system. [13:25.2]

Like 1800’s hundreds and early 1900’s when, you know, a lot of the theories that were going around like Sigmund Freud's theory and whatnot, you know, cause he was right about everything. So, we should just take it into account that he was right about some of these things too, right? They were theories, but they've become popularized theories and so people have started to take them as fact when they are in fact not facts. Okay. So, there's this chemical situation. I feel stressed in his case, super stressed out. And so his body's like, I want to feel better. And he's like, Oh, porn makes me feel better. Now, remember if it's chemistry, then that means only changing the chemistry is going to change what's going on on the, in the environment, on the inside or changing your relationship to it. In this case, he doesn't necessarily want to keep the stress chemistry because it is detrimental to the human system. So, we change the chemistry. That means you've got to inject new chemicals in. [14:18.4]

Is porn, injecting chemicals into the human body, like if you were unconscious asleep on a park bench and a little pornographic image, like floated over there on and landed on top of you, will you somehow start feeling more positive and or feeling good because it had been there. If someone smeared it all over your face while you were asleep, would you start feeling better? If someone was blasting all kinds of pornographic material around you while you were asleep, would you automate, would your system feel better? And the answer to that question is no, there is no way that porn does any of that to anybody. Porn in and of itself not feel good, bad or anything else. If you didn't know what it was, if you couldn't recognize it or anything, it wouldn't have any effect on your system. So, what happens? Okay, cool. Light enters the eyes or sound enters the ears or whatever it is. And our brains make that into something. So automatically I've taken in this information and then my brain is like, Oh, that information equals this. And that means this about me. And now this, and then we start to fantasize about it. And we started to put ourselves into that situation and putting ourselves into that situation is the thing that starts to stir chemistry differently because we're changing our thoughts and thoughts, change chemistry. [15:27.0]

Nothing can change your thoughts in the sense of like, Oh no, I put something in front of you and that just got to change your thinking in some sort of long-term way, but you can change your thoughts in response to it. So, this is what happens. Porn doesn't feel good. You make yourself feel good and you've been blaming porn for it. And there's a million different ways that you make yourself feel good and all kinds of stuff. But you've been giving the power and blaming everything outside of you for feeling good. You've blamed your food for helping you feel good to a certain extent, that's true, depending on the chemistry of the food, that's the case. You've also blamed other people's comments about you for making you feel bad or for making you feel good, Oh, they complimented me. And you give yourself permission to feel good, even though there were just sounds in the air and you decided to make that mean a certain thing about you. And what have you misunderstood them and they were being sarcastic, but you took it as a real compliment. You felt good, but they didn't intend it. Who made you feel good? You did right. You, you blame the sunlight for making you feel good. You blame other people for making you feel good. You blame events that occur in your life for making you feel good or bad. You blame porn, if porn is a thing for you. For making you feel good or bad to when porn, isn't the thing that does it. And you have given the power for control over your own being as something else entirely. [16:43.2]

Porn does not inherently make you feel good or bad. You do. And you've been using porn as an excuse both to make yourself feel good, physically and like to fantasize about things. And then also for a lot of these people, an excuse to beat yourself up and make yourself feel bad. And you've been blaming porn for that too. Or whatever other addictive behavior or chemical or whatever else that you've been, you've been blaming. And I get it, I've done it too. I mean, I even little things, sometimes my kids talk when I don't want them to talk and I'm, I make myself feel upset about that and then I turn around and blame them. So, in my home, I am very, very deliberately attempting to shift the conversation around everything that I'd mentioned with my kids and with me to say, wow, I just made myself mad because of that, not you made me mad. [17:32.1]

You know, he hit me. Okay, cool. It sounds like you made yourself mad because of that. And I know that some people will be like, well that's, but that's irresponsible. You know the other, person's not supposed to hit. I'm not saying don't handle the behavior, but I am saying recognize and start to teach yourself and your kids that your emotions do not come from somewhere outside you unless they are in, someone's injecting you with a real chemistry that's forcing your body state to change. Which can happen you know, someone can throw a gas bomb in your house, AKA, a toot that can change some things. The food that you eat can happen, right? They can drug your food or something, or it can be during like puberty when the, your hormones are going crazy or for women during your cycle where your hormones are starting to shift, or if you get sick, there's chemistry, that's changing. So, there are things on the outside that can change your chemical state, your internal state, in which case, in those cases, your relationship to that as the thing that needs to shift. [18:30.2]

But beyond those things, and those are very few in number, all the rest of it, you and I are making ourselves feel good or bad and we happen to have given the power and the blame to something outside ourselves. From the time that you and I were born, all of our emotional stuff is coming from the inside of us, period. Barring those chemical shifts that happen at certain points in time in life or with illness and whatnot. All of our emotional stuff is coming from us, period. And so, it's time to stop blaming. So, this week as you're going through, I want you to look clearly at the nostalgic remembrances or associations you've made with whatever it is and ask yourself, what if I'm wrong? What if for instance porn, does it actually feel that good? What if ice cream doesn't taste that good? What if I've just made believe that? What if this food isn't actually what I want? You know, what, if this doesn't actually make me feel better? What if this does actually make me feel better in the case where you're saying it doesn't right. What if I'm wrong? This simple question where you can start to ask yourself, am I, am I actually involved in my memories about this thing or is this actually happened this way? You would start to pay attention to what it does for you. [19:41.9]

Sex does not feel great all the time. Anybody telling you that is in Hollywood. It doesn't feel great all the time. There's a lot of variables involved in it. And so, but we teach our kids because of mass media, that sex is like the pinnacle of human experience. When it is a possibly amazing experience, it is a fun experience for sure, but it isn't the pinnacle of human experience. As we talked about a couple of weeks ago in the Living an Orgasmic Life episode, there are incredible other types of sensations that you can have in your system, other experiences you can have that can blow sex out of the water, right? And sometimes it's amazing. And sometimes it’s not, there's a lot of like orchestration of kids and schedules and, and who's in the mood and sometimes it just doesn't feel good and sometimes it does. And there's, it's understanding what's actually happening is your key to freedom. The truth will set you free. [20:32.2]

But if you just go into everything with your nostalgic associations and impressions about what those things are, and you're trying to taste your memories, instead of the actual experience in front of you, then you will be controlled by your nostalgia, you'll be controlled by your memories. And it will always show up as a menu item when you're stressed out and you're wanting to feel good. Then those nostalgic associations will pop up into your head and you get stressed out. And something's going to say, it's time to eat a tub of ice cream. You get stressed out and someone's going to take and say, it's time to it's time to go look at some porn. You get stressed out and something's going to tell you, go yell at somebody, you get stressed out and something's going to say, it's time to go punch something. You're going to get stressed out and it's, something's going to tell you, Hey, it's time to go like I'm on a crazy adventure. And some of these things can be exceptionally helpful, but are you being controlled by your nostalgia or are you actually making a solid decision based on what you can see as actually happening. Learn to see, learn, to see in a future episode, we're going to talk about this here, because I think it's an important topic just about seeing and the ability to finally be able to make clear decision decisions from perceptions. [21:41.0]

But for this week, just ask yourself about your nostalgia. When you find yourself going into certain behaviors or emotions, ask yourself, what am I, what's the payoff here? What is it that I think I'm going to get out of this? And you might surprise yourself with certain memories and certain associations you've made that aren't actually true. May have been true once, but aren't true most of the time and definitely not anymore. And that, that level of truth and honesty within yourself might just start giving you a kind of freedom that you didn't realize was possible just by questioning your nostalgia about stuff. All right, we'll see you next time. This week, just go beat the nostalgia. [22:16.9]

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. [22:35.0]

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