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We don’t really know who we are. So we create imaginary stories in our head so we can understand ourselves better.

But these stories are at the root of all your suffering. The second you identify with a hobby, skill, religion, shortcoming, or belief, you invite unnecessary problems into your life. 

What if nothing is wrong with you? And nothing has ever been wrong with you? 

In this episode, I’m revealing why there’s nothing to fix about you — so you can invite peace and joy into your life for good. 

Show highlights include:

  • How a great childhood doesn’t prevent your kids from stealing, getting depressed, or becoming an addict (and how to prevent this from happening) (3:53) 
  • Why protecting your reputation leads to your worst compulsive behaviors (7:17) 
  • How letting go of all the “Fake IDs” you’ve given yourself helps you overcome all of your suffering (8:26) 
  • The counterintuitive way self-help and personal development books erode your confidence (13:28) 
  • How parenting subtly manipulates kids into believing there’s something wrong with them (and how to be at peace with yourself) (18:36) 

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: So today we begin with a question, how did we get here? How did you and I, and our society get from a place where we were little kids able to play with those little door stopper, things that go, buuu…dooiiiiiiiii on the back of the door for hours or a cardboard box and some crayons making spaceships, or like hanging over the floor vent and just stick our face in it and say, look, I am your father or in front of fans or things like that. How did we go from being children that was at that level of total involvement and total joy in life to a place where right now, based on the statistics of everything that's happening and I get the statistics can lie and are skewed and all kinds of other stuff, but based on the general trends of what's happening in our society right now that mental health care is like one third of all of healthcare costs that it's a $200 billion industry that people actually grow up looking forward to the day where they can go to school for years so that they can step into an office helping people out with their depression and anxiety issues, where they can step into an office with a steady stream of people coming in with ailments. [01:47.3]

Not because they're sadistic or they're excited that people are suffering, but because it's so common in the world that it's accepted as a fact that this is just the nature of human life. That this is the way things go, that this is what we're in for. How did we get to this point where if you look, take all these statistics and then you break them down so that you get a clear picture by just imagining an average street. Let's say there's 20 houses on an average street, 20. That means when you look down the street, your street, or your apartment building floor, or your complex or something like that. And you look at around 20 of those houses, that means seven to eight of the couples in those houses are going to be divorced in the next five to eight years. That means three or four of the teenagers in those homes are going to be contemplating suicide and two of them, one to two of them will actually attempt it. That means that about three of these teenagers will leave high school with a drug issue or having tested drugs out for the first time. That means that there's domestic violence happening in one to two of those homes on a regular basis that doesn't even count verbal abuse or anything of that sort that happens and isn't really qualified as domestic violence. [02:59.6]

Just down your street alone, that type of stuff is happening. That means that there are that like a good, solid 60% of those homes people are going to addictive behaviors of some kind. That means that half of the people in those homes are on medication for some sort of mental ailment. This is the state that we've come to for the world today. How did we get here? And more importantly, what if we got here because we were looking at the situation wrong and what if there's a simpler and more direct way out? [03:31.7]

I mean, I could look at my life, right? I started out my life, my father is a fighter pilot. We were, I had a great childhood by all accounts. I mean, we moved into different places. I lived in Europe for about six years. Lived in various places all over the US, had some amazing opportunities. Some opportunities, obviously I missed because I didn't stay in one place for, for a long time. So, I had a great childhood, many people have, my wife had a great childhood, but she stayed in one place pretty much the whole time, different opportunities presented for all of us. I had two sisters; we didn't have any family issues so to speak. You know, there wasn't really any sense of mental illness or anything there in the family. Wasn't a lot of hatred or drama and whatnot and yet still by age eight, I was worried about what people thought about me. By age 14, 13, I was shoplifting and trying to do things that were against the laws of the land, just so that I could fit in with a group of friends. [04:30.5]

By age 14, I had discovered pornography and all of its associated activities. And by age 17 or 18, I had contemplated suicide for the first time and was just, just, you know, even just in fleeting passing thoughts. By age 24, I was married, but I was hating myself so much and it took me until age 32 before I could finally get out of the death spiral that was all of my compulsive behaviors and my relationship struggles and my hatred of myself and all this stuff. I had a great childhood, but I thought there was something wrong with me and that I would never measure up to anything that I, that it wasn't even possible for me to measure up that I was a huge disappointment that nobody wanted me around that I wasn't lovable and all of these different things. How does that happen? How do we go from like on my outside, everything's perfect, but on the inside, it's not. Well, let's start at birth, shall we? [05:28.9]

Get this, when you're born, you come out of the womb and the perceptions that you have are, there's just this haze of light and color and sound and it's all together. You don't have any discrimination between, what's an object, what's not an object; it's all brand-new information. And in the midst of all of this, you start hearing noises, right? And you start feeling things and you start to kind of figure out that this body thing that you have is somehow attached to you more than the thing across the room, right? Or the other colors like you can, will, and the hand moves, but you can't will and the, the little doily on top of the bed, what's it called? It's not a doily, the little spinny things on top of the crib that, that that's not moving, just because you're willing it necessarily. And so, you start to associate, okay, cool. This body is me and that isn't me. And as soon as you have this notion of identity, this buildup of, Oh, this is me, what happens? Well, now you have something to protect, right? And so, you don't have it as kids. If you've ever watched infants and toddlers run around there, they have no real sense of where their body is in space. A lot of times it takes a little bit of training, but they avoid things or they get scared and whatnot. And then they start hearing sounds. [06:43.2]

And let's say your name was Bob, let's just say it was. You hear the sound, Bob. You don't know what it means. It doesn't have any sense to you. But that sounds, it seems to proceed somebody showing up and making fun noises that you're like, Oh, Hey there, Oh, and you get attention and you get held and you get rocked and all kinds of other stuff. And so, you start to associate, Oh, when I hear that sound, when I hear that sound, that means I'm going to get a cool experience. Right. And then pretty soon you start hearing the sound and somewhere along the way, you're like, Oh, when I hear that sound, that means someone is trying to get ahold of me. And then pretty soon you get to school and someone says the sound, Hey, Bob, and you raise your hand. Or I raised my hand and I say, that's me. It's not me. It's just sound waves in the air. But I have made believe that those sound waves are me. And as a result, because I think it's me because it's become a part of my identity. Now it's something I have to protect. [7:41.6]

Have you ever heard the phrase, protecting your good name? You protect your reputation when someone says Bob, Oh, it feels like they hurt you. When all they did was make a sound. And when they go Bob, Oh, it sounds like they tickled you or something good's happening inside you, when all they did was make a sound. Because of my association with the sound Bob and your association with your name, because you believe it's you, as soon as it gets tickled or smashed around in some way, as soon as it gets dragged into conversation, whole parts of your emotional self-jumps into the fray to try and protect it, to keep it safe, to keep it alive. Same with your body. Now, this happens with all kinds of other things as you and I grow up. You grow up and you start to identify with your name and then your last name. Oh, a gardener does this and a gardener doesn't do that. Oh yeah. And then your socioeconomic status and the career of your dad and the subjects you're good at, in school and the clubs that you're in and the sports that you play and your school mascots and your hometown, and then your favorite college team and your religion and your nationality and your political party and the color of your hair and the, your height and weight and the clubs you're in and the extra hobbies that you have and get involved in. [09:05.3]

And then you get identified with the things you've done and the skills you've learned, all of these millions of little fake IDs that you and I made, none of them have anything to do with your original nature, with the thing that was born. They're just experiences. They're just skillsets. Right? I can teach someone to do accounting and that doesn't make them a better being. It just means they're capable with accounting, but we think that our skills are us. And so, we end up having to protect them. So then when somebody like makes an insult toward a certain skillset, like, Oh, that's just stupid. Like my, my son's friends right now, my son's really into Rubik's cubes and has been studying at nonstop for the last few weeks and is doing incredible times on his Rubik's cube. And some of his friends think it's dumb. Now, do they actually think it's dumb? Or are they jealous? Well, that's yet to be decided. Right? [09:56.1]

But because they're saying it there's a certain sense of him that like, feels like it has to protect it. And then he might get upset when people make fun of it. Right. But someone can insult your religion and all of a sudden you have to go to the defense. If your religion is true, does it need a defense? It's going to be true, no matter what, right? Something at some point in time is going to bear it out. Do they have to believe that it's true in order for it to be true? No, but because it's our identity we go on and we have to defend it. Same with political parties, same with jobs and careers and the way that you think about entrepreneurship or the way that you think about money, all these things, Oh, that's dumb. That's stupid. And I do this. It's not like I'm exempt from this. We get into this place where, who I am has to be protected because if that's wrong, then somehow, I die. Never mind that we haven't died whenever we've changed our opinions, because you've changed your opinion during life, you've gotten into new interests and discarded old ones, and it feels like you're changing who you are and you've become a better person or something, but really, really have you changed your essential nature? Have you really? Or have you just simply changed your circumstances and interests? [11:02.0]

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. [11:30.2]

So, we get to this point where we have this set of fake IDs, that this is who we are. And someone else has a different set. And someone else has a different set. And these authorities that we believed in our life are standing up and they're telling us, no, this is the right set to have. And so, we all start believing there's something wrong with us. And this starts from the time we're a kid when we are like two, three feet tall and adults that are five, six feet tall, AKA giants with much louder voices and much stronger arms and stuff, sit there and even with a kind voice, look at us with so much love and they say, no, that's not how you do it. No that's wrong. Or you should do this, or that's not appropriate. Or this, that, and the other. I'm not saying it's bad or good people want what they want adults throw a, we'd throw our own temper tantrums all the time, but people want what they want. That's fine. That's happening. [12:23.8]

And the kids without anything else to reference can easily start looking at that as, Oh, obviously there's something that is I'm supposed to be that's not me. And so, this knowing, feeling shows up this idea that here I am, somebody who's got something wrong with him. Somebody who wasn't born quite right, and up springs, this coaching industry not only is the mental health industry, a huge industry, the coaching industry has taken the world by storm. It might even be more lucrative than the mental health industry in many ways. And you have people all over the planet that are running around, trying to improve their life, trying to improve who they are by trying to improve their circumstances, nothing wrong with changing your income levels and all this other stuff. But a lot of that stuff is built around people saying, no, no, your identity is wrong. Like you can't think of yourself this way, you have to think of yourself this way. [13:17.3]

And they had people run around and try and invent or create and imagine a different identity for themselves when they haven't even discovered the true nature of who they are to begin with. You see a lot of the personal development and self-improvement work stuff that I've done. And I was stuck in this drag for a long time and I think I'm probably still stuck in it in certain ways. A lot of self-improvement and personal development is around this idea that, Oh, God made everything else perfect in creation except for me, he messed up royally on this one. So, hold my beer. I got to get into the fray and fix God's handiwork. Or if you don't believe in God, you can say the universe in life somehow seems to have orchestrated all of the cosmos just fine. But this one me, it's got a problem with. Isn't that arrogant? Isn’t that a little bit too arrogant to suppose that you and I have the capacity to judge whether or not the creation itself made a mistake on us. Sure, we may not be having experiences that we like, but the second we take that extra leap and assume that it's because there's something wrong with us instead of simply because there were experiences, we had, and if we want to change them, we might have to learn a new skill or move locations or shift friendships or jobs or things like that. That has nothing to do with our original nature. [14:33.2]

But because you and I have twine, entwined them together in such a way that they feel inextricable, that the amount of money I have is an indicator of my spiritual position. Oh, nut if I have too much money, then I'm also spiritually problematic. That the amount of, that the kind of relationship I have and how long my marriage lasts and how many kids I have is some indicator of whether or not I'm a good person. That the kinds of activities I get involved in is an indicator of my spiritual soul. That all of these things are indicators of something far deeper that you and I have not even been able to see, glimpse. It’s a little bit over the top, don't you think? To step into the world and say, No No, I know the truth of all that we are. And therefore, I know that I am messed up and therefore have to change things. Or I know the truth of all that is. And therefore, I can tell you that your messed up and my religion is right and your wrong and all of these other things. And my political ideas are right and my, my thoughts on money are right and you're wrong. And you can't do it this way. That's the dumbest way to raise children and all of these other things, that we step in. It's okay to have an opinion. I mean, it happens at least as far as I know, it's okay to have an opinion. [15:41.0]

But the minute that you and I believe that our opinion is truth, that our thoughts about ourselves, are truth, that our thoughts about other people are the truth is the minute we get diluted and we wander through life trying to fix everything. We try to fix our kids. We try to fix ourselves. We try to fix things that aren't going the way we want them to go. And we assume that they're supposed to go a certain way, that there's some cloud of the way things are supposed to be. And that if we don't live up to that, if things aren't that way, then, then we're going to feel bad and bad things are going to happen. But if you really look with your own eyes, have you ever seen evidence that that's the case? You may believe that's the case. That's fine. You're allowed to believe it, but don't sit there and assume that your beliefs are knowledge. They’re beliefs, they may, they may be beautiful things in your life. Believing those things may give you a sense of hope and purpose and meaning and that is beautiful. You have learned a way of using your mind and body that has produced a powerful, powerful experience of life for you. Don't get rid of it. [16:39.0]

Likewise, for people who have discovered that believing certain things is not helpful for them. And so, they've shifted and it found a way to find a powerful experience for life. Same too, the beliefs are fine. Admit that they're just beliefs, that they're not knowledge. That you and I don't really know who we really are or what we really are at the bottom of it. That it would be impossible for us to know, because we would have to just like step outside of ourselves in order to be able to see ourselves clearly. That there's no way that we really know it, that all of our circumstances and physical attributes and hobbies and, and skills, and all of those things are simply dressing there, like the wrapping paper of the gift and we haven't even unwrapped the gift yet. [17:18.0]

And with that recognition, with that simple recognition, even if you believe that our souls or whatever's on the inside is this beautiful thing. That's still a fantasy that you're making in your mind based on what you think from the past. That's still nothing that pales in comparison to what life is. This is of course my hunch. This is my thought process, that who I am is something I have not fathom. That who my wife is and my kids are as something that lies beyond my perception. I've seen what they've done. I've seen things that they've done. I've seen things they've said, but I don't know who they are at a basic level and that makes me keep paying attention. So, if we can just admit that our beliefs about those things are just beliefs that we really don't know then maybe just, maybe we can get off this notion that there's something to fix about us. Now, where would it have come from? Obviously, if people are telling us as we grow up that, Oh, no, that's right, that's wrong. Even if they're doing it kindly, it's easy to figure that out. On top of that if kids understand cause and effect, I punch a wall in my hand hurts. Awesome. I pinch my sister, she screams. Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't awesome. [18:22.7]

But if I do that and one time my parents are entertaining guests and they're like, honey, be nice. And another time they blow their lid because they've had a rough day at work and I'm the last straw. How am I going to know which of those punishments is related to it? And I'm going to just start to worry about like some, I don't know when, when some bad things might happen, if I'm not the way I'm supposed to be. And in, so doing what has happened is adults have manipulated their kids into believing that they're supposed to be a certain way. When, how are we ever going to know that? It's not like you and I sat down and designed our children. You know, they're going to have this personality. They're going to do this, that and the other. You and I are not the creators of these people nor were our parents, our creators. They happen to have given us the space to have a body, but that body wouldn't have grown had you and I whatever's inside us, not been building it. Your body is being built from the inside out right now. You eat food and your body creates it into more of you. It doesn't matter what food you eat; it'll still make a human that is your shape and size, right? [19:21.5]

At the same mango I could eat and it would make me and a monkey could it, and it would make a monkey. That's a level of intelligence on the inside and inside your mom's embryo. I mean your mom's womb and my mom's womb, we had the raw materials that they gave us the chemistry, the DNA and everything else. And still, whatever that is, that could build a human life, took that and made it into something, took it and made it into something. Right? So, let's say you got a bad set of Legos. Does that make you a bad person? No. Let's say you happen to have been a drug baby for some reason. Does that make you a bad person? No. Let's say you ended up with like trisomy 11, which I think is down syndrome. Does that make you a bad person? No. It just means you got a bump set of Legos or a set of Legos that went a certain direction. That's it, that's all that it means. And you still were able to make what you've made of your life right now, out of that. Does that mean there's something wrong with you? No. Does it mean you might want to try and experience different sets of Legos? Sure. [20:16.1]

But the raw material of your life and your circumstances has nothing to do with your worth as a being, because you don't even see yourself as a being. And if you could really glimpse and perceive whatever it is that day in and day out, minute in, minute out, second in, second out is creating the possibility for your heart to beat your lungs to breathe, is causing cells to divide. And it's producing the opportunity for you to be alive. That if you could really quick glimpse that, source of creation inside of you, maybe we wouldn't sit here saying there's something wrong with it. Maybe we wouldn't sit here believing there's something to fix. It all came because we just guessed about what was going on in life. Like a little kid. Why, why is this happening? We just guessed. And we guessed like little kids guess, without logic, without clear perception, we just did our best. And because no one was around to challenge our guess, so many of us grew up believing that there's something to fix about us, or if it's not us, then we grew up believing that there's still a way that everything's supposed to be. And we gripe and complain about how other things are. [21:21.9]

But what if, what if there's really nothing to fix? What if this life is the gift? What if this life is an opportunity to have some experiences? What if there's nothing wrong with you in the first place? What if there never was? What if the only thing we've ever been dealing with are our experiences, our Lego sets, the raw material that we're building things out of. And what if we could stop beating ourselves up about it and just learn to shift the circumstances? That's the work that I do for myself. That's the work that we work on with our clients and stuff. Giving them the capacity to set down the negativity in their life, to set down this feeling like there's something to fix inside them. So that they can finally step into life and recognize, wow, maybe there's nothing wrong. Cool. What's actually happening in this moment and what do I want to do from here? And the key, the key to getting out of it is to change your perception. We're going to talk about that on another, in the next episode. But to change your perception, not to change your thoughts and feelings, your thoughts and feelings are built on perception, but to change the actual the way that you see the world. Once that changes all the thoughts and feelings that were built on the old way you saw, they vanish. And then life becomes an entirely different possibility. [22:41.2]

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. [22:59.9]

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