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Addiction doesn’t say more about you as a person than a runny nose. But we often stop looking at ourselves as humans and start seeing ourselves as “addicts”.

Not only does this keep us enslaved to our compulsions, but it fills us with guilt and shame.

The antidote to addiction isn’t creating more suffering. It’s learning the skill of freedom like a toddler learns how to ride a bike.

Want to free yourself from your addictions for good? Hit play and listen to this episode.

Show highlights include:

  • Why you can’t pray away your addictions (and how that empowers you to eliminate them) (2:39)
  • The “Broken Bone Approach” for healing your addictions (without creating more guilt and suffering) (6:28)
  • The sinister way popular addiction recovery programs trap you in your addictions instead of liberating you (8:29)
  • The weird way “infant poop” frees you from your most destructive compulsive behaviors (11:13)

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, welcome back to the Alive and Free podcast today, we're going to touch on a touchy subject. It is commonly thought throughout the world for a lot of people, not everybody, but for a lot of people, that addiction is a spiritual problem. Basically, people have two sides of the coin. They look at it either as a disease, and we've covered that in many, many places on this podcast where we're looking at the addiction myth way back in the beginning, it was like episodes three and four or something like that, or four and five or something like that, where we were literally talking about how the fact that there was no evidence for it as a disease being there. Other than that, psychologists, since psychiatrists use these terminologies to talk about the extremity of the behavior in the clients that they service. But that a disease as such, it's not a bacteria, it's not a virus, it's not a genetic mutation or anything of the sort, it's simply a behavior and it comes from other places. [01:28.6]

So, the disease side of it, we've, we've talked a lot about the spiritual side of it is the other piece. See either you're looking at it at one side and saying, oh no, it's a disease, it's something that just needs to be treated. And sadly, the common consensus is that it can't be treated fully and that will never really go away except in rare cases possibly, or that it's a moral failing of some sort. It is a spiritual problem and the most common view of it is that it is a character flaw in the person. And this comes from 12 step programs who have had millions and millions of people run through their ranks. And, and they often claim, you know, just how powerful these 12 step programs have been for millions of people. And it's true, they have, and yet their own self purported success rates and things run in the very, very low percentages, which means that for all the millions and millions of people, they've helped, there are many, many more millions that haven't found the help they've been looking for in those programs, even if they've enjoyed their time there or not. [02:29.9]

In other words, using the fact that an idea has helped somebody is not actually evidence that it's true. It's just evidence that it may have helped this person or that person. The common thought process in these is that addiction is a spiritual problem. And so, when I'm talking about it, online, people get on and they say, Jesus is the answer. Or they say, you know, just go to Christ or give everything up to God. And then he will take your addiction from you. And some people have had this happen. So that doesn't mean it's a bad course of action, but we got to look at what they mean when they say this. And we have to really look closely because there's a lot of people who have been fed that line and made to feel like there is some moral problem with them, some spiritual failing, some flaw in the fabric of their soul that makes them this way. And it often makes them feel less. It makes them feel inferior. And it has contributed in many, many cases to suicides, to massive amounts of depression and anxiety, all of which tend to go with addiction anyway. Inside of these other programs, not just 12 step programs, other programs as well. [03:32.5]

So, the question is this, what if addiction really, isn't a spiritual problem? And I know that if you've been around, like, especially when we're talking about pornography or sex addiction, there are overlaps because a lot of people have morals and so they consider it a moral failing, if you're stuck in an addictive behavior. Or they say, well, you chose to go there in the first place and so as a result, it was your choice that brought you there and the addiction is just a result of your choice. And there's a lot of judgment in that type of approach. Where one person is looking at another person and trying to make them culpable and trying to make them to blame and trying to lay blame and say, this is your problem. You did it. You should be able to stop it, you know, take advantage of it. But unfortunately, that comes from a very uneducated approach. It is true. They did make the initial choice to do that behavior. But the question is then start to proceed. Like, well, were they capable of choosing anything different at that point in time? We like to believe that they are, but nothing else has happened in this planet. The person made that choice in that circumstance. And that's all that has ever happened. [04:36.1]

So, we like to think, oh, if only they had chosen this other thing, if they had, if they had just lived up to their standard, have they did that, but we're not taking into account the fact that they didn't do that and that maybe they couldn't do that. And so, if we're judging people based on, well, if you had just chosen differently, we're often unfairly assuming only a couple of variables in the situation and not actually knowing what it was like to be in their skin in that moment. From what I've seen, the fact of the matter is I don't think there's a single person on the planet that ever does less than their best. Cause even in a moment where they're like, well, I'm not going to do my best in a situation, that is their best given that whole situation. They're deciding it because they're fatigued. They're deciding it because they want to give another person a chance, that is also included in their best. And anybody telling you, you should have done better or that you didn't do your best is somebody who's busy making judgments about you and not actually allowing you the honor of learning from your own life and starting to make different decisions in the future. Sadly, this goes against the people doing this are people that live in a moral high ground. And this goes against some very, very religious teachings that say, judge, not that you won't be judged. And yet here we run around judging people saying, you could have done better without no [05:53.5]

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. [06:22.1]

And all of these different things that show up in the middle of it. So, I want to take a minute and just step back and say this, what if it's not actually a spiritual problem in the first place? What if it, isn't a moral failing? Where despite all that you may feel about it, especially when we're talking about things like drugs or porn and sex addiction, and we'll talk about some other things as well around addiction. Despite all the things you may have heard, what if that's not actually the case? There's two ways to go with this one is everything's a spiritual problem and I'm okay if you want to make that argument. But then that would make a broken bone, a spiritual problem, or a runny nose, a spiritual problem. And your solution to that, isn't to tell people that they have a character flaw or to go and you know, pray that for their broken bone to go away or something, they would go to a doctor. They would go to a specialist; they would go to a different kind of help. And they would still include prayers and fasting or tithing or going to church or reading scripture and whatnot in their life. They would still include that, but that's not what they would do if they were trying to solve an issue. [07:24.4]

So, if we're going to say that everything's a spiritual problem, then we're still stuck with the fact that solving specific problems requires specific actions. And it's not just all about praying to God and hoping the problem will go away. Though that can be a very powerful thing and I think it's very worthwhile to have some spiritual thing in your life. It's just that certain types of challenges require a different approach. Unfortunately, we don't talk that way in the West. We don't talk like everything's a spiritual problem. Sometimes we like to say that philosophically, but then when we turn around, we pretend that a money problem, is a money problem, it's not a spiritual problem or a health problem is a health problem, it’s not a spiritual problem. And rarely do they overlap except in this weird case of addiction predominantly. And that's because one of the most prevalent programs for recovery in addiction holds that a higher power in a character flaw are the real issues. And as a result, there has been this real muddying of the water. So, because we don't talk that way in the, in the west, let's look at it from a different perspective. [08:24.4]

Instead of looking at it as a moral problem, I had to start looking at it differently because when I was in these spaces, I was looking around and nobody was really getting better. There was a lot of depression and a lot of defeated people in these programs that spoke a good game, had tremendous spiritual experiences and emotional releases and yet nothing in their life really changed much. Their life became devoted to being a recovering addict. And often there were relapses, but even if there weren't their entire life, somehow got wrapped around and devoted to addiction. And I didn't want that. I wanted it to be free of the addiction. I wanted to move on with my life. I wanted to live up to all the potential that I felt was inside of my bones. And I didn't want to sit there having to go to meetings all the time, having to say that I was an addict all the time and all this other stuff. And I was looking at these programs that were claiming to be spiritual programs. And they were claiming that God heals you. And the God that I was reading in scripture was able to like bring people back from the dead, like heal massive illnesses. And I'm like, if he can do that, but he can't handle addiction, that addiction we're just stuck with. But all the other things, I'm like, there's something wrong with this picture of God. [09:29.6]

So, I started looking around and when I saw all of the abysmal success rate in a lot of these programs, I thought, what if they don't know what's going on? What if it isn't a spiritual problem? What if instead, it's just a skill living in freedom is a skill that I haven't learned. What if in fact this is a skill that most people haven't learned, it's just that their addictions “addictions” are to things that aren't as taboo as the one that I was dealing with. Maybe they're not into drugs, hardcore drugs, like heroin or cocaine or crack or meth. Maybe they're not into porn and sex addiction and things of that nation nature, or even gambling, a lot of people get on those on their case for that. Maybe they're just like they can't stop eating and stuff in their face with food. Or maybe they just argue politics all the time or are just constantly bingeing on YouTube or Netflix or Facebook, or they drive a certain way or they're addicted to like sporting events and stuff and if they're not doing them, like there's something that's missing in their life. Or they're addicted to love like people and they can't be alone by themselves. What if their “addictions,” which wouldn't be termed addictions in most cases, but what if their compulsive behaviors just aren't as taboo and they haven't learned how to live free of those either. They just don't care as much because there's not as many people with strong opinions on them, or there isn't as much collateral damage in their life until they end up having health problems or other things along the way. But even then, they don't look at it as an addiction. So, as I started contemplating these questions, I was like, holy cow. And what if, if I just learned the skills to be free, then I would be free of the addiction. And it wasn't a moral failing in the first place. So, think about this, right. [11:12.7]

If we're talking about a behavior or something that you can't control a behavior and emotion or something like that, let's start at the beginning. An infant is born. Are, is there some moral failing in them because they're not able to like control their anal sphincter muscles and prevent poo from coming out their rear end, whenever it wants to. No, not at all. There's not some spiritual flaw in them. God didn't send them down to earth to have a miserable life because they didn't know yet how to operate the muscles at the rear end of the body, not a moral failing, just a skill they hadn't learned. What about a toddler who hasn't figured out how to hold a juice box in such a way that he doesn't pour it all over the ground every time he's trying to pour it a cup. Is that a moral failing? No. He lacks muscular control and the balance and the understanding necessary to make everything work the way it's designed to. And because of that, he's spilling stuff. Now parents would turn around and ask him, like, why do you keep spilling it every time? Have you ever done that to your kids? Hey, why do you keep spilling it? I sit there and every time you keep spilling it and their answers, like, I don't know, I just couldn't, it was too hard. I couldn't. Isn't that what a lot of addicts say, when we tell them stop, why do you keep going back to it? Why can't you just stop? [12:24.5]

And they're like, I don't know why. Same thing. It's a skill that hasn't been learned. In the toddler's case, muscular development; in the addict’s case, it's muscular, in some cases, it's also emotional and other cases. Let's go a little higher, teenagers. Now they're developing their emotional states. Is a teenage boy, like morally flawed because he has a wet dream or a nocturnal emission? No, he's not able to control that thing. It comes out on its own. There's no for moral failing in him. I felt like there was when I was a kid, because of the amount of teaching around sexuality that made all of sexuality feel like it was a sin. And like, it was a base desire of mankind and it stained you and it made you worthless. This has been around for millennia. And I certainly felt like that. And it's not the case. You just simply, haven't learned how to do it. Just like a teenager doesn't know how to drive a car. Doesn't make them morally flawed, it just means that they're probably going to run into stuff until they learn, right. And the same thing goes with a teenager who hasn't learned how to understand what their emotions are and how to shift them. They don't know how so they build up and then they blow up on other people. And we sit there and be like, gosh, why are you so angry all the timer? Gosh, why can't you stop? They don't know. It's a skill they haven't learned. Is that a moral failing? No. [13:34.8]

What about an adult who hasn't learned how to, understand how money works exceptionally well, doesn't understand budgets, if they do budgets or savings or credit cards and how those work doesn't understand all of these things. Are they morally flawed because they lack the understanding or the intellectual side of things, or can't really see cause and effect cause they're not really there yet? No, it's not a moral failing. So, they spend more than they had because they forgot to check their bank account and miscalculated. Or they gambled something because it was fun and they didn't realize the repercussions or the ramifications of that and they got caught up in it. Is that a moral failing? We can sit here all day long and argue that they are greedy or all these other things. But the reality, if you're really looking at it, the reality is they simply haven't been given the chance to learn the skills needed. They haven't been trained. See, it's not a virtue that they're missing. It's awareness of the effects of their behavior. It's not a carrot, some kind of character that they are that they lack. It's not a flaw in their character. It's that they lack training. They've lacked the opportunity to do these things. Does that make sense? [14:43.6]

Every kid who grows up is, sucks at handling peer like social pressures. Every infant who's born has no clue how to handle social pressures, has no clue how to, and money has no clue how to handle their bowels, their hormones, their emotions, any of it. All of us are decrepit and some of us were given the opportunity to learn most of us not. And then some of us were put in situations as youth that was so harsh and so difficult to deal with that on top of not having the skillset, not having someone to show us the way they were dealing with abuse and trauma, or they went to war and we're dealing with trauma later on in life or had massive physical struggles and other types of things on top of it. And so not only did they not have the training, they also had circumstances that made it harder to learn. If you had someone in your life, let's say your kid who just simply hadn't learned something yet, are you going to sit there and say that they are morally flawed, that there is some defect in their spiritual character because they simply don't know how to do it yet. Even if they've tried, even if they failed many times and they keep trying, but they just haven't figured it out yet. Would you say that they're flawed or that they simply haven't learned it yet? It's high time, we stopped telling people that there is a spiritual problem with them because they haven't figured out how to control their behavior. [16:00.3]

How many times have you gotten all hot and sweaty and angry at someone? Because they did something you didn't like, why can't you control that? How many times have you gotten sad or worried or stressed because something wasn't going the way that you wanted it to, why can't you control that? Is it because you're morally flawed or could it possibly be because you didn't have someone show you the ropes and give you the, the encouragement and the understanding needed to bit by bit master the ability to not have your feelings, be the boss of you and instead you be the boss of how you feel. It's time we stop shaming people. Shame does not produce a happy life. It might control behavior, just like fear. It might get people to do what you want them to do, but it will not ever produce a happy life. That's not how it works. Happiness comes from living life, the way it's designed. And that comes from someone showing you how it's designed and helping you live that way. And you can do that using the Bible and those types of moral precepts, for sure. There's a lot of people that say, this is how life is designed, but that doesn't mean that you should turn around and use those same precepts to shame people, right. Use it as an invitation, if you're going to use it at all. [17:15.5]

For me, I had to learn how the mind and body worked. The fact that I was stuck in a behavior that I couldn't stop, even when I had tried for a decade, for over a decade, like 18 years, to me changed when I started paying attention to the skills of living happily and to be in control and stuck and stopped paying attention to whether or not what I did was wrong. I knew I didn't want to do it. I didn't need people telling me it was wrong. I didn't need people telling me how much it hurt and how painful it was and how bad I was and how bad a thing it was that I had done. None of that changed my behavior. What changed my behavior was learning the skills to live a life of freedom, the skills to live a life that was untouched by all the things that drove me to addiction in the first place like root issues and emotional struggles and the skills to be able to not be controlled by emotion. The skills to create different associations with behaviors so that they were not in luring anymore. [18:11.9]

Those are skill sets. And if you want to learn those by all means, it doesn't matter if you're addicted to porn. Quit with a taboo thing, does it, you're like if there's any compulsiveness in you, even if it's just feeling depressed or bored or alone all the time, and you want to learn the skill sets, go to thefreedomspecialist.com. We can either sign up and chat with you, if you want some one-on-one help, or we have some programs that can help you out, just shoot us a message and we'll see what we can do in terms of emotional stability and, and skills that way, or in terms of getting rid of root issues and deeper psychological stuff. Just so that you have the skills. It's time that we took a stand together. And instead of shaming people for behavior that we don't like, and that we think is wrong, it's time we gave them the opportunity to have the training and the support that they never got. [18:59.0]

There are tribes in Africa that I've heard about, who don't have a justice system in any sense of the imagination. There's one, and there are some tribes in Tibet that operate on a justice system that's more or less like if you do something wrong, then you pay the judges for having done something wrong. And so, then you don't get a litigious society because if you were paying the person who you wronged, then everybody would start finding wrongs with everybody else. But if you have to pay the judges every time, well, then everything gets taken care of and people stop doing crimes because they don't want to pay the money, but they don't go seeking out other things cause they don't personally benefit from it. In Africa, there's some tribes that if you do something wrong, they like tie you to a post in the center of town, basically. And everybody comes in and starts to share all of the goodness that they've seen in you to remind you of who you are to remind you of the goodness in you, that you just lost sight of in doing some of these other things. Very different approach than to remind someone how bad they are, because they've done something. [19:57.3]

I hold at the core of who I am. And with everyone I work with that you, there is nothing wrong with you and there never was. You simply never learned how to operate the body and the mind and the emotions and your energy in such a way that it could produce happiness, health and wellbeing on its own. And it's time that that changed. So, if you need some help or, you know, someone else who needs some help, or if you're just sick of being shamed and you just want to be done with it and learn the skills, go to thefreedomspecialist.com, either schedule a call, shoot us a message. Let's figure out how we can help you in small ways or big ways, or just go binge listen to this podcast all over again and find some things that help you understand that there's nothing wrong with you. And that ultimately all that's needed are some skillsets. [20:41.2]

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. [20:59.2]

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