Sept. 4, 2022

What to do if life is always bad | CPTSD and Trauma Coach

Join our FREE COMMUNITY as a member of the Unbroken Nation:   Join and pre-register at Unbroken Con at: How Are You Feeling Today? In this episode, I talk about the meaning of day-to-day life that can assess for the future...
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How Are You Feeling Today?

In this episode, I talk about the meaning of day-to-day life that can assess for the future.

Learning ways to positively share and express these emotions and frustrations gives us a way to get through this time together. To find new ways to connect and to reach out to each other.

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Transcript

Hey, good morning, my friends! Having morning coffee, it's been a while since I've done this with you guys, generally speaking, I've reserved doing the morning coffee conversations when I'm traveling. And I had actually planned on having morning coffee with you this morning travelling but my flight got canceled.

And so, I'm sitting here home and thinking about this idea we have about time. And what I mean by that is, you know, many of us as trauma survivors are people who have had traumatic experiences, the thing that we know, and we associate with, when things do not go our way or as planned, which would probably be a better way to phrase it right now, we can get into a dissociative state and that has historically been the thing that happens to me is I'll be like, oh, I had this game plan. I had this framework and suddenly, because something has shifted, I'm now just regulated, I'm into that sympathetic nervous system, my adrenaline's pumping and it might even be like a little bit and I'll be like, oh, holy crap, my life is upside down and completely a travesty. And that came to me in realization years ago that as I traveled the world, living in all the different countries that I lived in, I discovered that when I would have something in my day interrupted, it would actually ruin my day and that's because I started to make meaning of all the circumstances of my day of my life. And I would leverage those in a way that I would say, oh, well, everything's obviously ruined, so what's the point that is catastrophizing. And a lot of us do that, I mean, I know that I'm not the only one. And a lot of catastrophizing comes because the unfortunate truth is we've been set up for failure so many times through the experiences of our youth, that we just kind of look at what happens in our life and go, well, shit, I guess this is what was supposed to happen. I'm supposed to be in pain and suffering and hurt and neglect. And so, we often wait for lack of a better term for the other shoe to drop and we say, well, I guess this is what it was supposed to be of course this would happen.

And so, this morning I'm supposed to be on a flight literally right now, going to one of my friends' weddings on the other side of the country. And I get an email at 2:30 in the morning that the flight is canceled. You know, I mean, you guys know how airlines do, they're like, oh yeah, we'll just let you know what you're sleeping. And if I really thought about this today, and especially before I popped on here that in the past that would've totally pissed me off completely ruined my day, freaked me out, like no other and would've put me in this situation where not only the day would've been ruined, but my weekend would've been ruined probably the week and then even the month, like I can go and trace this happening many, many times in my life. And so instead this morning, when I wake up early, by the way, cuz it's a cross country flight, I look at the email and I'm like, oh, well that sucks and I realize one of the things that's incredibly important for us as warriors, as people on this journey is that the meaning, we make of the things that happen in our life carry more weight than most of the things that happen in our life.

We will always find what we're seeking, every single thing that you do in your life, you can find meaning behind it, everything that happens to you, you can find meaning behind it. And if you want to look at something and say, oh, this is the worst-case scenario, you will always find supporting evidence for this. And so, what I started thinking about and probably at a deeper level now more than ever is, well, what happens if I simply don't resist the truth? Think about that for a second. What if I don't resist the truth? What if I just allow the truth to be what it is? And that's simply the truth, that doesn't make it inherently good or bad, it just makes it what it is. You've probably heard the adage before whether you think you can or you can't you're right. And if that applies to the actions that you take well, then that also would in turn, apply to the things that happen in your life. So, if we sit and we look to make meaning in negative ways, that's exactly what's going to happen. We will find it. And so, whether it's time or relationships or career or friendships or anything, we decide the outcome of that. You know, just the other day, one of my friend’s texts me something and I read it and I thought to myself for a moment, I was like, Hmm, what does this mean? Like, what is their purpose behind sending me this message? Like, do they know who I really am? Are they paying attention? Do they care about this relationship? Do they care about this friendship? Do they care about the things that we do or what we're planning to get? And it dawned on me. I was like, dude, you are catastrophizing, you are taking this one simple text and turning it into something so freaking astronomically big that you could potentially implode this friendship. And I pause, and this is the most important thing I teach my clients. You have to pause, you have to in the moments when you feel like you are about to hit a wall on whatever it is, when you are in this place and your nervous system is all over the place and you can't think straight, you gotta hit the pause button. And just remember, I think about this, most of the time, 99.999% of the time, people are not out to get you. Your friends aren't out to get you, your partner's not, your business associates aren't, your children aren't, nobody's out to get you, right? Now, there's the 000 1% chance that could be plausible, fine, whatever.

But knowing that and looking at the actions and the behaviors of people. You know, one of the things that I've truly just come to understand and realize about the world in society is that for many of us, we just aren't aware like, we're not actually really paying attention, we're not focused, we're not in our body, we're dissociated. I mean, obviously the irony of listening to a podcast or watching a YouTube video or, you know, being on a live is that you are on social, right? You're consuming content. And one of the things that you really have to pay attention to is making sure that you are paying attention, continuing to show up for yourself, going through the process, doing the things, especially when you get interrupted, you know this as well as I do like today or tomorrow or yesterday, there is something that is going to happen, that's gonna interrupt your day. It's gonna interrupt your process.

A perfect example last night I was on a walk. It was a beautiful evening. Suddenly it just started raining out of the blue, in the meaning that you make of that you can look at that and go, oh, my life is so bad. Of course, it's gonna rain on me, what luck? Or you can look at it and go, oh wow, this is really cool. It's raining right now.

Everything that we do has meaning to it. Everything we decide has meaning to it. You have to be able to really remove yourself from the catastrophizing, from the ideations, from the worst-case scenarios, because chances are, and I'm not saying this is always true, but for the majority of the time, chances are whatever you think is the terrible thing that is happening is not actually that. Right. And if you come from a traumatic background, one of the things that's really difficult is being willing to sit in that truth. Right. Especially if you come from abuse, from suffering, from neglect, from enmesh, from grooming everything's worst case. If you have parents, like my parents were fucking crazy, like legit and everything was chaos all the time. And when everything is chaos, all the time, we learn to always look for chaos.

This is the same way you end up in relationships that are volatile, where you end up in jobs that people don't take care of you, when you end up, you know, even things like what I used to do in my twenties, I would not pay my bills and the bill collectors would be calling, or my sister would call me and she'd be like, dude, why are the bill collectors calling me? You know, these things happen because we put ourselves in the worst-case scenario because it's no. And so, when you're in this thing about catastrophizing and looking for the worst-case, what I would argue is that one of the most important things that you could do is when something let's just call it something bad, right? Like something bad has happened, whatever that means for you, bad is different for everybody. Just pausing and going. Okay, wait a second. Is there a silver lining here? Is there something here that is a lesson to be learned, that I can carry with me, that I can bring into my day-to-day life that I can assess for the future. And more so if something is good and this is where it gets really tricky is when it's good, allowing that. Can you allow the good to exist? Can you allow that place in which you give yourself permission to enjoy, to let it be, to not fight it, to not say, oh, this is good so I know that the other shoe's gonna drop and bad is around the corner?

We will find what we're looking for. It is always there; it was always right there. And if you wanna find the bad, you will find it. If you want to find the good, you will find it. But one of the things you have to do is be cognizant of that. And this is one of the things we're gonna go into during unbroken conference. So, if you haven't registered Think Unbroken Conference, when we do it live is absolutely free. If you go to unbrokencon.com. So, if you go to unbrokencon.com you can register for free. We have not announced the actual dates. We have not announced the actual speakers. We have not announced the giveaways. We've announced nothing that stuff is coming, but there's gonna be awesome surprises for the people who register early. I'll tell you that much behind the scenes, we've already got five speakers on board who are life changers, world changers. I mean, people with gigantic followings and beautiful messages and of course, I'll be there speaking myself, it's virtual, it's free. If you're watching live, you can always get the replays and all that we'll talk about that stuff later. But if you haven't registered go to unbrokencon.com.

And so, as you're going through and you're looking at your life and the good things are happening and you're like, oh, well, do I deserve good? Should I have good? Is good for me? It's like, yes, trauma survivors, we say this all the time. I thrive in chaos, why would you want that? Like ask yourself that question. I know I bring this up a lot, but seriously ask yourself, why would you want to thrive in chaos? Like that's so dumb. Do you really break it down and you really think about it? Why would you not want to thrive and enjoy, and love and happiness companionship, admiration, abundance because we're always looking for meaning. It could be significance. It could be creativity, there's a million different things that we're seeking in those moments. But ultimately when we pause and we ask ourselves, like, what is it seriously? What is it that's happening? What is the thing that I want, need, desire and you allow yourself to have it that's life changing, right? It's life changing when you don't always look for the worst possible thing that's happening. You know, you could win the lottery, right? And then you can find a million reasons why it's the worst thing that's ever happened to you.

You could be in the best relationship of your life, and you could be looking for all of the little tiny signs in your life in the moments, in the passings that go, oh, this is not gonna work. Whatever you seek, you will find. I mean, that's just the truth of life. I've done it so many times. It's funny. I was on recording a podcast with Amy Porterfield the other day. If you don't know Amy, Amy's an online marketer, a lover dearly, she's a great friend. But before the recording, her and I were joking and I was like, I'm gonna put my phone on silent mode. And she goes, yeah, me too and I go, well, something's probably gonna beep like, you know, just putting that into the universe and sure enough middle of the recording beep there it is, that happens the things that we think of that we believe, that we put our effort and energy to will come to pass whether good or bad. Where you focus your energy, where you focus, your attention will come to fruition. I've seen it happen time and time again in my life and friends' lives and the lives of my clients and the people I coach the people who listen to the Think Unbroken Podcast like it happens. If you are always looking for the negative, which look to some extent is built into you through the grooming that you experienced in childhood, through the enmeshment of negativity, through the people that didn't take care of you, the way that you were supposed to be taken care of, like there is some truth in that. And I think that's one of the things that people have to recognize and understand is like, yeah, maybe one of the reasons why I think, and look at life through a negative scope is because everyone around me was always negative.

My mom was so negative, all the time about everything, which, you know, realistically, I'll be honest with you, most drug addicts and alcoholics are, it is what it is. My grandmother, however, was the most negative person I've ever met ever. Like nothing was ever positive for her, even if it was good, she would find the bad. Think about that. You have people in your life that are like that. You might be that person, that's why self-awareness is everything here. If you're always finding the negative guys, I cannot express this enough. What you seek, you will find. And look, I'm not captain optimist over here. You guys know this. I've said this before I am a realist. I just simply look at life through the scope of, has anyone done the thing that I'm trying to do? And if so, that means I can do it too. But most people look at the things and they go; I can never have. That's not for me. I don't deserve that. I'm not good enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not capable enough. And that thought pattern, that looping, that we get stuck into that is ingrained in us from our youth is the thing that is keeping us stuck. And the only way you get unstuck is by acknowledging the truth of that, looking at it and go, oh wait, maybe I am negative. Maybe I am always looking for the bad. Maybe I am stuck in chaos and the truth is, and this is what's hard and most people don't want to hear is that the truth of those negative thought patterns, these negative ideations, the catastrophizing bringing awareness to the places that you are stuck is the singular thing that's going to get you unstuck.

And so, now I'm looking up this as opportunity and maybe you can call it optimism. Sure. I get that. I think some people might go that way. But I look at it as opportunity. I look at this this morning, I wake up, I have to get out the door at an ungodly hour, to get on a flight, to go eight hours. And I get the email in the middle of the night. Your flight's cancel. But guess what? We can put you on another flight tomorrow? Well, that doesn't do me any good because I'm going to a wedding today. So, what do I do? Well, first and foremost, I recognize one of the really important aspects of life. And Tony Robbins taught me this life is happening for you, it is not happening to you. And so, I thought to myself, well, what option does this now give me? What is happening for me through this? Well, a couple of things, one, I can have morning coffee with you guys, something I haven't done in a while. Two, I can get into my normal routine. One of the things about waking up at the ungodly hour I had to get up is that you don't get into your morning routine. So, I thought to myself, oh, perfect. Now I can get into my morning routine, get myself regulated and get back to center. Three, I can go have breakfast with one of my friends. Perfect. Great. Now I can go and do that too, they happen to be awake. We're gonna do that here in just a minute. I'm just looking for positive things here. Right? Four, I don't have to buy an airport meal at my layover, which is gonna cost like $8 million and be disgusting because I like, honestly, I'd never have good airport food and I can eat, I can cook for myself, put clean food in my body, be fueled for the flight. And then the other thing that I was thinking about is, oh, I can go to the sauna this afternoon and do a little bit of detoxing before this trip, because I'm gonna be gone from now until the 11th. So, basically, I guess that's eight days, nine days at this point. My point in telling you guys, this is very simple, it was not that long ago where something like this would happen, I'd get the email, the flight's canceled and it would just send me spinning. Chaos. Oh my God. This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me. This always happens to me. Why is my life always so bad? No wonder this always happens, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That kind of language and that language is dangerous and that language is detrimental and that language keeps you stuck. And that's why I tell you guys like awareness truly is at the end of the day, everything.

So, if you can be more aware and you can bring yourself to understanding, there's often a silver lining and look, like I'm not the ultimate optimist. I'm just not, that's not how I operate. I catastrophize first. Period. But I know that about myself and ultimately this journey is that know myself, know who you are. Be honest about that because I can be honest that even for myself, right? What I've built in my life always looking at it through this scope of catastrophe. I go, wait a second, is that true? Or is my brain attempting to make meaning of things that are untrue so that I can validate my belief about whether or not I am worthy of having something. And my friends when you start to understand that, then you are really going to watch your life change.

And we're going into that in depth at UnbrokenCon. So, if you have not signed up, go to unbrokencon.com, it's absolutely free to attend live. If you can't attend live, there's an option to get the replays and all that, that stuff we'll get into later. Right now, the only thing that I'm trying to do is let you guys know that it's happening.

And so, I'm gonna finish my morning coffee, something fun that I haven't gotta do with you guys on a while and I'm gonna go have breakfast with a friend. Alright my friends take care of yourself.

Until Next Time.

Be Unbroken.

I'll see ya.

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Michael Unbroken

Coach

Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.