Emotional Sobriety: Living Life By Design With Our Most Authentic Selves

The Most Important Conversations | Emotional Sobriety

 

Are you emotionally sober and living life by design? Join us in this thought-provoking episode as we delve into the concept of emotional sobriety, a state where we consciously navigate our emotions, making every choice from a place of awareness and alignment with our authentic selves. Discover the wisdom embedded in so-called negative emotions and how they serve as signals, guiding us to recognize areas in our lives that are out of alignment. As we explore the impact of societal dynamics, the prevalence of victim mentality, and the challenge of wielding power responsibly in the age of the internet and social media, we unravel the complexities of the ego and the journey toward mastering its influence on our lives. Tune in to gain insights into fostering emotional sobriety and navigating the evolving landscape of personal and societal consciousness.

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Emotional Sobriety: Living Life By Design With Our Most Authentic Selves

Sometimes I think, “Maybe I was born in the 1920s,” or something. What’s going on? How is it going?

It’s pretty good. I’m excited about this conversation here. I’m always coming to you with emotional sobriety conversations. That lesson is one that I grapple with. It’s one that I have to intentionally keep at the front of my mind. It’s very easy to let go of that lesson in the heat of the moment with various things. When somebody wants to almost run you off the road, you lose touch with emotional sobriety. That happened.

You almost got run off the road.

I totally did, but because I’m a professional race car driver, I was able to manipulate myself out of that scenario. I thought, “What a jerk.’ What has to be going on on somebody’s day to intentionally try to run you off the road because they don’t want to move over as the lane merges. What is that?

I’ve had worse than that, but I empathize. I’ve had worse than that. People driving with plates that aren’t local and they decide they don’t like where you’re driving from. This happened to me. They’re following me and they literally try to run me off the road in a ditch. I’m like, “Who’s doing nothing? I’m just driving.”

I’m a little on the aggressive side when I drive. I’ll be honest about that. I do have a heavy foot. I have a fun car that makes it very difficult not to have a heavy foot. I know that I’m an aggressive driver. I’m also a very safe driver as well. When I’m in that state, my senses are way heightened. I’m super aware of what’s going on around me when I know that I’m driving that way because it’s not just my life on the road. There are other lives on the road.

That’s the thing. When my boys started learning to drive, they’d been driving for a while, and they knew that I’m an aggressive driver. I knew that they would pick up the habits because I picked up those habits from my father. The one thing that I would tell them is, “If you drive this way, you have to learn to be super aware of what’s going on around you at all times. Be able to read the road. You got to read the road. Read people’s behavior before it happens, and try to anticipate that.” People try to run you off the road. It makes you wonder, “What the hell is going on in their day that they think it’s a good idea to do something like that?”

They’re not thinking. That’s part one.

They wrapped up in their emotions. They are reacting. Emotional sobriety. In the other episode, we were talking about the victim mentality of society. It comes in all layers, colors and flavors these days, doesn’t it?

The situation we find ourselves and it happened many times throughout human history, but we’re in a time with this victim mentality situation. We have many things intersecting that are unparalleled in human history. They’re all happening at the same time. It’s a little bit like that movie Everything, Everywhere, All At Once. What does it feel like these days? The effects of exponentially transformative technology that we still don’t even understand in terms of how to integrate it. What’s that famous quote? I can’t remember who said it. We have 21st-century technology and Bronze Age emotions.

We’ve got this technology that expands and extends the power and capacity of humanity, of what humans can do, whether you’re talking about AI or advances. Some of it is not all bad, incidentally. It’s transformative, whether you’re talking about AI, social media, the internet, or exponential changes in mediated communication, like how we connect to one another and the ability for everyone to have a voice.

There was a time in human history, going back about 100 or so years, a period called Yellow Journalism. The printing press technology, as technology gets less expensive, it becomes more egalitarian and accessible to people. The more that happens, the more people’s personal power. On the show you’re referencing, we were talking about power.

We have a situation where individuals have more power on the individual level nowadays than we’ve ever had in human history. That’s unequivocally the truth. In this period of Yellow Journalism, about 100 years ago, printing press technology got massively cheap. Therefore, more people who didn’t have access to it in the past were able to publish.

 

We have a situation where individuals have more power today on the individual level than we’ve ever had in human history and that’s unequivocally the truth.

 

They were publishing little pamphlets, news sheets and things. It was almost like a cottage industry. Anyone who could afford a printing press or access to one could publish their own little thing. That allowed a lot of people who didn’t have the facts or access to a broad enough body of information to be more considerate of what they publish. They just publish their opinion. Everyone has an opinion. We don’t need more opinions. What we need are thoughtful and informed viewpoints. An opinion, “I like this. I don’t like that.” Who cares? That was happening. Out of that was born the publishing industry. The publishing industry was born out of the Yellow Journalism thing.

In society, we came to a point and said, “This is crazy. We can’t just have anyone publishing anything they want to everyone because if people are uninformed, they’re very gullible and they’ll believe what they want.” We also know there’s this thing in the psychological literature called confirmation bias. If you already believe something, you’re more likely to only look for that information. It reinforces your already held belief.

“I couldn’t believe that the sky is pink during the day.” Someone will say, “Sometimes it’s pink.” Yes, but you know what I’m saying. It’s normally blue on a 12:00 afternoon and no clouds in the sky. I can believe that it’s pink and I could go find evidence that it’s pink, but that doesn’t change the facts on the ground. Anyway, the publishing industry came out of this. It took away people’s individual power because now, if you wanted quality artifacts, the published artifacts, books, pamphlets, journals and things like that, there were gatekeepers.

You had editors. You had people who read the thing and said, “Let’s fact-check this. Let’s make sure this is true.” That’s what happened. Fast forward, we have internet and social media. We’re back to where we were. Only it’s exponentially bigger because you don’t need a clunky printing press. All you need is a laptop computer or a phone and you’re in business.

More people have more power than they’ve ever had in their life. That sounds like a good thing. It’s not inherently totally bad, but here’s the problem. We haven’t handled this emotional sobriety thing yet. This ego thing that you’re bringing up where people have a lot of power, there’s also a lot of responsibility that needs to come with that. We’re missing the responsibility part right now as a society.

There’s one little other thing I want to throw in here, and then I’m curious about your thoughts. If I increase my power through, now I can get my voice out there. Remember, I defined power in the last episode that we had talked about this ability to assert one’s will. I have a phone. I have social media. I have the ability to put my voice out there, but then something happens. Nothing happens because everyone’s doing the same thing, but you have this cacophony of voices, everyone’s chattering.

On an individual level, most people’s power is getting lost in this noise. There’s this weird effect that’s going on, “I feel like I should have the ability to assert my will, to influence my surroundings and my friends, to get my opinion out there because I have this technology that allows me to do that, but I am not getting any feedback that’s telling me my power is having any effect. In which case, I’m still powerless.”

That leaves me feeling frustrated and feeling like a victim because a victim, as we talked about in the previous episode, is someone who has no power to assert their will. What we have now are the optics that everyone has power because we all have access to this incredible technology, but it’s like, “When everyone’s doing it, no one might as well be doing it.” It doesn’t matter.

 

A victim is someone who has no power to assert their will.

 

There is this point of diminishing returns that starts to happen where power matter. If you go back to what I was saying earlier about the publishing industry, if you got through the gatekeepers and your book or whatever was published and was mass-printed, there was a real sense of power. You could exert your will and influence people because you were one of the select few who got through.

Nowadays, when everyone gets through, there’s no power in that. I think of it as a metaphor. It’s the difference between a spotlight and a laser. A laser is a very concentrated finite beam of light that has a lot of power. It can cut and burn things. A spotlight, on the other hand, is very wide. It’s not concentrated. It’s not as powerful, at least not in the same way. We have everyone who feels like they should be powerful and wants to be powerful, they’re not. That leads us to what you brought up, which is this victim mentality and society that we find ourselves in because you’re a victim if you can’t exert the will. If the definition of power is the ability to exert the will, then that’s why we have a victim society.

Speaking of the power thing, when you have people running around, “Why are you famous?” “Because I’m famous.”

“I’m famous for being famous.”

I’m speaking about power as well on this gender conversation that’s been going around; because an individual believes that this gender is who they are, which is opposite of their biology, that because they believe it, that I also need to believe that for them as well. I don’t think that’s okay at all. If you are biologically male but feel more in tune with your feminine energy, that’s great. Embrace that.

To me, it’s an artificial identity that people are leaning into because they don’t have self-awareness and because they don’t know who they are. I see a lot of confusion in that conversation. I’m not saying every single person is confused. I’m saying the majority of the stories that I personally see on social media, and I’m not on social media that often, so my view is narrow, that there’s a lot of confusion within their identity of who they are.

It takes me to people that will identify with their illness. It goes into play and hand in hand with the victim mentality, “I have this illness. Therefore, I’m a victim of life. People need to treat me differently because I am this illness.” I certainly don’t want to make it sound like I’m speaking for people who have an illness that I would never understand or even have never, ever experienced.

Where I’m coming from in this space is for the people who identify with something outside of them as who they are, this artificial identification, to notice that. What are you identifying with and why are you identifying with it? Is it the attention that you get? Is it because your voice is being heard amongst all the noise because you have a lot of followers? There’s such a disconnect within the self, in my opinion. I’m not an expert. It’s just my observation.

What is an expert? Let’s even start with that. These days, everyone is an expert, which means no one’s an expert because everything’s relative. If everyone’s an expert, then we have to find the non-experts to validate how this expert is. If everyone’s an expert, no one’s an expert. What you’re getting at here is, first of all, it’s a great example of how we, as human beings, often get trapped in talking about the topics and not getting to the source. Whether we’re talking about people’s views one way or another on the transgender issue or one way or another on any other issue that is going on right now, those are topic conversations because if you go under them, they all have the same source. That source is the people feel powerless.

 

These days, everyone is an expert, which means no one’s an expert.

 

They may not be conscious of this, but there’s only one reason why I would go outside of myself and try to get someone else to agree with me, see my perspective and argue vociferously and even fight them for it. There is only one reason: if I was lacking something inside power-wise, I have to go out and get you to agree with me to validate me. Now I feel powerful. It comes back to this whole power conversation.

The greatest powerless state that all human beings experience and few master is one where the ego is running the show. When I talk about ego, I’m talking about identity. All of us have an ego. I don’t believe that unless you are willing to go and sit in a temple or somewhere and completely ostracize yourself from society and separate yourself from society that you can ever get to this state of non-identity.

Whenever you say, “I am,” or “I am not,” you’re making a declarative statement that separates and distinguishes you from someone else. If I say, “I am hungry,” then I am distinguishing myself from September. There’s a separation there. You can say, “I’m hurt. I’m upset. I’m happy. I’m whatever,” it doesn’t matter. We all have an ego identity. That identity separates us from someone else by definition. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. That’s how we find ourselves in this world. We relate to ourselves as different entities and people.

It’s not about getting rid of the ego. It’s about bringing mastery around the ego so that it is not running you. Whenever we feel that we need to go outside of ourselves to get power through validation, making someone else small, making someone else have to agree with us, or fighting someone, all a war is two egos of two groups fighting one another for power. The error in the thinking is that power never comes from without. It’s always from within. I don’t need to go fight someone else or get someone else to agree with me, persuade someone else or get someone to validate me and tell me how great I am to feel powerful.

I have the ability to feel powerful when I’m emotionally sober right now from within myself. I can do it on my own. No one has to be around. I don’t need anything for it, but that takes training and a certain level of awareness. If people don’t do that work, then they’re going to remain in a state of powerlessness, which is another way of saying they’re going to remain a victim.

 

The Most Important Conversations | Emotional Sobriety

 

It’s such a common thread, the victim conversation. Why do you think it’s important now? I don’t remember it that way in the ‘80s and ‘90s. I don’t remember that being predominant. Given we have social media, that helps us become aware of other layers of what’s going on in life. It does give people a voice. There are no boundaries around it. There are no regulations. There are no rules around it. It’s just, “Be who you are and be your unique self.” That was the message that I grew up in the ‘90s. “Be yourself. Be unique. Don’t try to be like everybody else.” We’ve taken it to the extreme.

We have, but it’s weird. We’re simultaneously wanting a unique individual while also trying to persuade other unique individuals to agree with us. That’s almost like crazy making. Either agree that everyone should have their own unique individual point of view and we honor that or we want everyone to agree with us, which means they don’t have their own unique point of view. Which is it?

 

The Most Important Conversations | Emotional Sobriety

 

I want to know what’s different about you. I want to celebrate those things. I don’t need to be convinced that’s who you are. I’m not looking to be convinced of anything. I want to know what’s different about you because I want to know you and celebrate the differences that we have. We talked about this before in different cultures, embracing other cultures, practices or fashions, for example. To me, that’s a celebration of that culture. It has nothing to do with, “I’m taking over. I’m trying to be that.”

It’s a celebration of, “This is what makes your culture unique.” I love that about your culture. I want to embrace that because I want to celebrate that it is something that exists and something that we can occupy the same space in. You may have even heard the conversation of back in the day, not so long ago, if a man said that he was a woman, he was put into a mental institution. They would work on the mental illness of this individual. Now, it’s acceptable that that conversation is not a mental illness or is it that they’re participating in the trend of the conversation because they want to feel like they’re a part of something or that they want to be a part of a group?

That goes back to your point that we do need to be individuals and celebrate our uniquenesses. At the same time, we want to be accepted in a group of people that are like us but who are different than us at the same time. Without the self-awareness or doing the work to know who you are, without any other program or other person’s judgment or opinion of who you are, but discovering, “Who am I to me,” not, “Who am I to that person, that group or this society or that?” I can speak from my own experience that as I dove into that conversation for myself that, my need to have people agree with me or to validate me becomes less and less.

I validate myself. I know who I am. I’m comfortable with who I am. I’m happy and proud of the person that I’ve discovered within me without all the crap from everybody else, the mom, dad, brother and classmates in middle school, which are brutal, but middle school kids are brutal. A lot of us have experienced that. We were either the bully or being bullied. There was no middle ground. You had to pick a side.

Having that self-awareness and emotional sobriety is so key. We’ve talked about emotional sobriety on here. You and I have had a lot of conversations at length around emotional sobriety because, as I stated before, it’s one of those lessons that we work on through, that one feels so big. There are many facets to it. There are many different ways to apply it. There are many different ways of being aware of emotional sobriety.

Can you summarize and simplify for those who don’t know what emotional sobriety is? I’m still learning it. Knowing you, I know that you would say, “I’m also still learning it.” You have a lot more experience in this area. How would you describe this emotional sobriety and how can people start relating to emotional sobriety for themselves?

You’ve said it a lot, and I want to comment on a couple of things, and then I’ll get back to emotional sobriety because it relates. Coming back to the transgender thing that you were talking about because it’s a hot topic right now. First of all, what is considered a mental illness nowadays is different than what was considered a mental illness years ago. What is considered normal is a bell curve.

That bell curve, population and “the normal part of the population” is the bulk of the bell curve, and then you have the tapered parts, which are like the fringe of society. That has always been a moving target. What is normal nowadays is not what is normal many years ago or many years before that. Let’s face it. Most of society would be absolutely considered and deemed crazy, mentally ill and insane. Nowadays, they would think we’re nuts on many levels.

There was this period of time when women were property and were meant to have children. There was this point in time when some women were deemed crazy. We called them hysterical. The whole backdrop of hysteria is that, “These women had high sex drives. They wanted to have more sex.” They weren’t allowed to in their society because that wasn’t normal, so they were crazy. “Why would a woman want to have sex? She’s insane. She’s hysterical. We’ve got to do something about this.”

What’s considered insane or crazy, abnormal or whatever is always an ever-moving target. Coming back to the transgender, I won’t speak to what’s under that except for the explosion of it in recent years. There have always been people throughout all of history. This has probably been a legit thing. It’s been a very small minority subset of the population.

The explosion of it that has occurred in the last few years feels a bit faddish to me. It feels that way because it’s come out of nowhere, but that’s not even the point. This is what I was saying earlier about how we make the error of focusing on the topic. The most important thing is whether someone is legitimately transgender or not, I’m not even going to get into the speculation of that.

What I’m interested in is, is that person tapped into their own personal power, or are they doing this to gain attention or validation? In some people, it might be legitimate. Others, it’s for attention and validation. They have to work that out on their own in terms of where that’s coming from. That goes with not just transgender-type topics. That goes with every human experience.

Coming back to your emotional sobriety question because it’s directly linked to whether I’m a victim or I have power. When I’m emotionally sober, by definition, I am not operating from unconscious habit. I am fully conscious and present. I am, by design, making every single choice. It is coming from a place inside of me where I am able to be a response to life, not an unconscious reaction to life.

When I’m emotionally sober, I’m not chasing an emotional state. I accept the state that I find myself in from moment to moment. Emotions are there as a wise guide to let us know if we are living our lives from a place of power and alignment for us. Whatever is authentic, true and integral for me, I need to stay connected to that. My emotions tell me when I’m not. Whenever I’m having an emotion that we call negative emotions, whenever I’m feeling depressed, sad, or whatever, these are so-called negative emotions.

The wisdom of our emotions is trying to tell us in that moment, “Something in your life, at this moment, in this circumstance or within you where the awareness comes in is out of alignment for who you authentically are.” Instead of going and looking into that and trying to discern what it is so that we can course correct and get back into alignment with our authentic self, most people simply lash out and react to everyone and every circumstance outside of themselves. That’s what we see on the planet generally right now.

It’s like what we were talking about earlier. People simultaneously want to be individuals and they also want people to be like them. Why would they want them to be like them and agree with them? They want to feel validated. Why do they want to feel validated? They don’t have their own personal power, so they need to get it from outside of themselves. How do they get it? Through validation.

People are saying, “You’re amazing. You’re great. You’re this. You are right. We agree with you.” That’s power. I’m bringing it in. If you don’t agree with me, I’m going to get angry and react and lash out because I’m going to come take the power from you. That’s what a fight or a war is. “I’m taking power back from you.”

Emotional sobriety is recognizing that the power is coming from within you. You don’t need to get it from outside when you don’t need to get it outside, there are very few things that will make you angry. Your alignment is internal. You’re focused inside. There are very few things that will make you upset, sad or depressed. If someone dies in your family, you might feel sad about that because it feels incongruent and out of alignment not to have that person in your life anymore. That happens for a time, and then the emotions work themselves out. You accept the new normal and move on. Those things will always happen.

I’m talking about the day-to-day stuff where people constantly argue, debate, fight, and try to get someone else to be like them, do like them and agree with them. You had asked earlier, “What’s different about nowadays?” Before social media, we lived in our own cultural bubbles within our towns or cities, or maybe you knew people in another city. Let’s face it. In order to know them, you would’ve probably had to travel there, be introduced to them or meet them in a restaurant.

There had to be some kind of organic meeting that connected you. There was no way for you to find someone on the other side of the country and go through almost like a dating checklist. You go on their Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or whatever, “This is their profile.” Now, you can’t trust whatever they’re saying. Is it even true?

All of a sudden, through the window of our phone, we have the entire country and world, quite frankly, at our fingertips. All these different people who believe all these different things and are all simultaneously chattering about trying to convince others to agree with them. We’re all nattering at each other, trying to get each other to agree with each other. It’s a lot. It’s a cacophony of noise. It’s leaving us not feeling more empowered, but less empowered.

That’s the irony of it. Technology has created more potential power for us for self-expression, but because we have paired our self-expression with the need for others to agree with what gets expressed, the heart of that is a lack of emotional sobriety. We’re chasing an emotional state and validation. We’re operating from an unconscious habit of wanting to be seen, getting our power from outside of us, and wanting to dominate other people’s views and perspectives. It’s created this situation that we find ourselves in now.

 

Technology has created more potential power for us for self-expression but because we have paired our self-expression with the need for others to agree with what gets expressed, the heart of that is a lack of emotional sobriety.

 

What do we do about it? In closing and it’s a bigger conversation, but emotional sobriety is the key because when we’re operating from a place of unconscious conditioning, we’re operating from a place of conscious choice when we’re offering from a place where we can be a response to things. Meaning it’s measured, thoughtful, careful and considered. It’s not a snap-reactive thing that we do.

When we can operate from that place, we find that there’s very little for us to do a lot of the time. There’s very little for us to have to say. We don’t need other people’s validation. We don’t need them to agree with us. Any kind of movement is an egotistical situation where we’re trying to get others to agree with us. The real power is when you need no one to agree with you and you firmly stand in your belief. You just carry on and do it because you don’t need anything from anyone.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if our political leaders lived in that place?

All of us.

It’s like a business, though. It starts at the top. The government is a business at the end of the day. Whether we like it or not, those are our leaders. Whether we like them or don’t like them, they are leading the societies that we live in. It starts at the top. The crazy shit that goes on at the top seems to be seeping more and more down into communities and society, but to be able to live from that place, do you think there’ll ever be a time when we have our political leaders, governments and leaders of countries, where the generation will surface that is more self-aware and does live from that place of, “I know my power. I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. I’m not here to try to take something from you.”

It hasn’t happened yet in human history. I don’t think that means it can’t. I think we’re in the midst of a global societal temper tantrum where everyone is operating from ego. Meaning everyone is concerned with protecting their identity at all costs and getting others to agree that their identity is the right identity. That’s why, bringing it back to the transgender situation, which is a microcosm, it’s identity politics, “I’m transgender. I’m gay. I’m Christian. I’m Muslim. I’m conservative. I’m liberal.” These are all identities. The idea here is that, “If I declare my identity, then it’s like I’m part of a team. It’s my jersey or something. Others who are wearing that identity can find each other and form a community because humans are predisposed to want to be in a community together.

 

We’re in the midst of a global societal temper tantrum right now where everyone is operating from ego. Everyone is concerned with protecting their identity at all costs and getting others to agree that their identity is the right identity.

 

There’s nothing wrong with that to a certain degree. We’re never going to get rid of our ego and identity. It’s about mastering it. The key is not trying to get someone from the other team to have to wear my jersey. It doesn’t matter. Let them do their own thing. There’s a live and let live sort of thing. At least, that’s my philosophy. To live and live and let live. You said it earlier. We don’t all have to be the same. If you are different, then let me celebrate your differences or not. If, for whatever reason, I find that the way that you’re different doesn’t jive with me, then so what? Emotional sobriety says, ‘Let them be. Let them live. They’re them. You’re you. Move on.’”

At the very least have a respect that, “We’re just different.”

We’re all operating from a perceptual filter. We teach in TMIC that perception is reality. One reason we teach that is we can learn to have compassion because that’s the purpose of teaching that. That whole thing is about compassion. You are only seeing the world through the limited perceptual lens that you have, which I won’t go into what all of that is and what contributes to creating it, and someone else has the perceptual lens that they have.

When you realize that’s what’s at work and that there is no way any human being can tap into objective reality, there’s no way it’s impossible. None of us can. There is an objective reality. None of us know what it is because we’re always approaching it through the filtered lens of our perception. When we realize that what the purpose of that is supposed to do is supposed to have us go, “They’re limited by their perceptual filter. Now I have compassion for why they did what they did or said what they said or where they’re coming from.”

It may not even be them. It may be that they don’t have emotional sobriety. They’re reacting to their perception of what’s gone on. These things stack. If you don’t have emotional sobriety and you mistake that what you experience as reality is actual reality and it’s not your view or perception of it, then you get the trajectory we’re on as a society.

All of this non-emotional sobriety and trying to convince everyone to be like each other is eventually going to burn out in some cataclysmic or systemic breakdown that probably. I don’t see how we avoid it, quite frankly. We have 8 billion people nowadays. We only had roughly 4 billion people on the planet in the 1960s.

We had half as many people. The awakening movements and everything that happened in the ‘60s and ‘70s didn’t make a difference. We have twice as many people. We’re approaching some kind of a systemic breakdown. My daughter, like all kids, have temper tantrums. I used to go into the bedroom when she was having a temper tantrum and hug her and hold her. She was facing the other way so she couldn’t hit my head. I would hold her and she would fight, scream and yell. Eventually, she would run out of energy and that was it. The tantrum was over and then we could have a conversation about it.

It was normal for her. Back then, I didn’t have the awareness I do now. Looking back on it, I have compassion for her as a child. It was normal for her because people have temper tantrums when they feel at a loss of power. Why was she having a temper tantrum? She got in trouble for something. She was sent to her room. Loss of power, rights and privileges. Now you’re stuck in the room.

Loss of power leads to temper tantrums. We’re seeing these temper tantrums happening through all the crap online, social media and wars. All of these are temper tantrums. They come from the same root of a sense of a loss of power. Eventually, the temper tantrum burns itself out. The systems break down and we all get to take a breather and have a conversation. There’s a sobriety that rushes in that moment and we’re like, “What the hell was wrong with us?” It’s almost like we’re in a trance or something like that.

That reminds me of my son’s typical age stuff. Preston, my youngest one, was the one who had tantrums. My oldest son didn’t. When Preston started around age 2 or 3, I would pick him up, take him to a bedroom and set him on the bed and say, “When you’re finished and you are done, you can come out. Let me know that you’re finished, and we’ll talk.” He screams all the way and I shut the door, and then suddenly, he would get quiet. He would say, “I’m done, Mommy.” He’d come out and we’d talk, “What happened?” It would be wonderful if we could send some people to their rooms. Cry it out. Scream it out. When you’re done, let’s have a conversation. That would be awesome to do.

I’ve said it for many years now. Unfortunately, we have not taught the things that we teach in TMIC. We would love to get these teachings into schools and places like that to help people develop a sense of power early on in life, but the world is run by emotional teenagers at best. It’s sad that we have emotional teenagers who have armies and nuclear warheads at their disposal because it sounds trite, and I don’t mean it to be trite if you understand the source or the essence of what I’m saying.

The very same mechanism that causes a kindergarten to throw sand at another kindergartner’s face when they feel a loss of power around is the same source that causes someone to send an army against another country. It’s the very same mechanism. You’re talking about a difference in scale, but it’s the same mechanism. No different. We have not worked this out of the human condition, so we are dealing with war. We’re dealing with all this other stuff. Until we get that handled, don’t expect anything to change.

There are many innocent people being caught in the middle of it. Disposable is how they see them.

It’s tragic. Incidentally, what I’ll also say is those people are innocent but responsible. What I mean by that is that all of us are responsible for what happens in our society. On an individual level, we may not have the same power as say the leader in government who’s controlling the army. Collectively, we have a lot of power. I’m not making individualism wrong. I think individualism on the creative plane is brilliant. Creatively, we should be able to express ourselves individually. In terms of how we organize ourselves as a society, that is a collective activity.

You cannot have a fully functioning society of individuals who are warring with each other about their perception of how something’s supposed to go down. A house divided will fall. Individually, we want to be self-expressed, but collectively, we need to come together and determine what our values are and what we want to create as a society. What I’m saying is that the people who are caught in the middle of these different wars around the world, yes, they may be innocent in the sense that they’re in the middle of the egos of the two leading leaders who are controlling the armies but how did those leaders get in power.

 

You cannot have a fully functioning society of individuals who are warring with each other about their perception of how something is supposed to go down. A house divided will fall.

 

Even if they weren’t elected, let’s say it’s not a democracy and it’s an authoritarian government, how many totalitarian and authoritarian governments throughout history have been brought to their knees when the people collectively got together and finally said, “Enough is enough. We’re not dealing with this anymore?” We know that works. It’s always this ramp-up where things have to get bad before people finally come together and collectively say, “Enough.” I’m like, “Let’s do that early on so it doesn’t have to get bad.”

You can look at relationships. People will stay in horrible relationships. It gets so bad, they can’t take it anymore. Our resilience to things like that. As a collective, humans are very forgiving. It’s okay. It has to be super bad for change to happen often and people have to be pushed to unbearable amounts of pain before they’re willing to make a change. You use this example all the time. People who have heart attacks, less than 10% of them will change their lifestyle to prevent another one. A heart attack is not bad enough to make a lifestyle change. What is it going to take for people to come together?

That’s not resilience. Let’s be clear. People will say they’re resilient, but what’s under the smokescreen of I’m resilient is, “I’m terrified of change. I’m terrified of the devil I know is better than the devil I don’t.” This is what keeps people trapped. People are terrified of the perceived pain associated with change.

For example, if I’m a flying coach and the stewardess comes up and says, “We have a business class that’s opened up. Would you like to change seats?” there’s no perceived pain associated with that change. Only pleasure, in fact. I get warm almonds, a glass of wine and a blanket. I have a bigger seat. That’s a change, but there’s no perceived pain. It’s not resilient. It’s not that people are resilient. Human beings are absolutely adaptable. We will adapt to the worst conditions.

The reason we choose to adapt, and it is a choice, is because we would rather adapt than go through the effort that is going to be required to bring about change. For heart attack patients mentioned as an example, it is easier for them to accept the near certainty of their having a recurring heart attack or dying within five years than for them to accept the pain of the change they’re going to have to deal with. The pain of changing their diet and starting to exercise.

I remember when I first started to run regularly again years ago, and first of all, it would only be a 1-mile run. I would have to stop. I’d run for a little bit and then I’d have to walk, catch my breath and run for 1 mile. It took me forever. Now I’m running 7.5 or 8 miles an hour. I’m doing 5-mile runs in 35 minutes. There’s effort, but it doesn’t feel painful anymore. I was willing to go through that.

The problem is that human beings, generally speaking, 2% or less of the population, are able to lean in to the pains that is required to bring any level of change or transformation to themselves or to their condition. It’s a very small percentage. That’s the thing. It’s not that humans are resilient. You could look at it that way from one perspective and say they are. Why are they resilient sitting in a war-torn country? Why would you want to tolerate that? The only reason you’d want to tolerate that is if your perception is, “That change is going to be far more painful than what I’m dealing with right now.”

Until that scale gets tipped in the other direction, people are bystanders to this. Victims are powerless, but they choose to be victims. If the entire country of Russia stood up and said, “We are no longer going to deal with this. We are not invading Ukraine.” There are 150 million people in that country. They don’t have a military that could handle 150 million people standing up and saying, “We’re done,” and we’re marching on. That’s how coups happen.

The people have the real power, but when people are separated and have taught that only the individual values matter. You’re now separated and you’re kept weak. It’s when people come together. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States is a perfect example. When Black people came together and said, “Enough is enough,” they bonded together, marched, protested and stood. You can’t stop that force. We’re responsible for what’s going on because we’re sitting as individuals on the sideline, believing we’re powerless and we’re not.

 

We’re sitting as individuals on the sideline believing we’re powerless, and we’re not.

 

In closing, where’s a good place for people to start around emotional sobriety? New conversation, foreign concept or emotional sobriety. The first time I’m hearing it, I’m like, “How the heck do I even start to embrace that? Where do I start to learn?”

One of the best places to start is to take a step back in your life and look at all the areas in your life where you are complaining about something. Those are little things sometimes. We don’t even realize we’re complaining sometimes. It just flies out of our mouth, and then we move on to the next thing. Wherever we’re complaining, there’s something about the thing we’re complaining about that doesn’t align with us. We’re having an emotional reaction to it. That’s what a complaint is.

That alone will start to give you some insight into how emotionally unsober you are because if you were emotionally sober, you would experience it, but you’d process it. There’d be no complaint, then you would lean into it and go, “Why did I have this inclination to complain? What is it about this thing that bothers me?”

You would discover, “This thing is something I don’t enjoy. It’s something I don’t appreciate,” and then you ask the question, “Why am I doing it? I’m doing it because someone told me to. I’m doing it because if I do it, then I’ll get attention.” Now you are living your life for other people. Under the complaint is the source of why we do the things that we do. Usually, we do the things that we do are to avoid discomfort effort or to gain validation from other people. Those are usually the three motivations.

If you want personal power, you want to do things because you want to do it, not because someone else expects you to or because you’re going to get the attention from them. You want to do it because you want to do it. That’s self-expression. You do things even though it takes effort. You lean into the effort. You alter the way you relate to effort. You see that in all of life. The times when we felt most alive is when we’ve had to put effort into something and we’ve overcome, triumphed or we’ve created something.

You’re never going to remember that minute, five minutes or that hour on October 19, 2021, when you were lying on the couch watching Netflix. You’re not remembering that minute. You’re not remembering that show. You can’t remember that. It’s gone. Why? It was meaningless. You definitely remember your achievements. You definitely remember where you put effort into something and you’ve overcame something because you were present, focused and you were doing it for you. It was a triumph of your own will talking about power.

Where people start with emotional sobriety is taking a step back and observing how much you’re complaining and what you’re complaining about. Start to realize that all of these times that you’re experiencing “negative emotions,” usually a complaint follows them incidentally, whether it is in our own head or we vocalize it, that those are places where you have a loss of power.

Those are places where your emotions are trying to show you something. What they’re trying to show you is this thing is out of alignment with who you are and you shouldn’t be doing it. Incidentally, that’s the crux of what we spend a lot of our time digging into and getting to the heart of in the TMIC Whole Life Architecture Workshops. That was a long one, but it was good. I appreciate everybody joining us for this episode. We will see you next time. Thanks for joining us.

 

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