MGU 29 | Five Addictions For Survival

 

It is innate in us the need to survive. Dating back in ancient times, we’ve all been wired to resort to doing things that ensure our safety and survival. In this exciting episode, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen take us deep down to our reptilian brains and probe into the five addictions we have that protect our need to survive in this world. They list them down as our desire to being right, to be safe, to be comfortable, to be in control, and to look good. They explain each one while altogether understanding them from their opposite, sharing with us the social and scientific explanations of why we have these addictions. Unearth the reptilian brain that has been dictating how we behave and learn a thing or two on how we can do better in our fight for survival.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Five Addictions We Are Not Aware We Have

How The Reptilian Brain Ensures Survival

I want to talk about something that came up in a conversation with a group of women. I feel blessed to know a lot of conscious women. That’s often where I get new perspectives in health and wellness, find out about book recommendations and things like that. It was at my friend’s birthday party. We’re a small group of women. We’re sitting around chatting and one of them brought up something that I hadn’t heard of before and I still haven’t been able to find a lot of information on. I don’t think that you, Jason, have much knowledge about this, but this is super interesting. She said she learned this in a class that she was taking. There was some Asian origin. I don’t know if it was a Japanese or a Chinese mindset. I’ve been trying to find more people talking about it and I haven’t been able to yet.

I’m on a quest to read more about the subject matter. It’s like that game of telephone where if somebody says something and by the time it gets to the person at the end, it’s completely different than what they think it started with. That’s what I’m wondering about this. If you, the readers, have any information about this that you can share, if you’ve heard this before or something similar, I’d love to know it. The way that this woman, named Sherry, positions it is she calls it the five addictions in the reptilian brain that all lead back and ensure survival. These are things that we, as human beings, are commonly addicted to. I thought we could have a conversation around this.

The five addictions in the reptilian brain that ensure our survival.

That all lead back to and ensure survival. She said that it helps her to meditate on this and learn how she can release these addictions or reflect on how she might feel addicted to these five things.

What are the five things?

I believe that you always start each one of them with, “I am.” Number one, I am right. Number two, I am safe. Number three, I am comfortable. Number four, I am in control. Number five, I am looking good. I thought we could dissect how those addictions play a role or don’t play a role in our lives and our perspectives on it. I’m excited to talk about this because she shared this a few months ago and then I saw her again and asked her if she could text me this information because I wasn’t able to find it online. I was so interested in this that when I got home from the first conversation with her, I tried to find it and I couldn’t. I wonder if maybe the wording is a little bit different or if it’s not being discussed online, which I feel is so rare these days. Maybe it’s such an old thing or ancient thing. I don’t know, but I’m curious about it. First, Jason, how would you describe the reptilian brain? I feel like you’re eloquent in explaining what that means.

As far as I know, the ancient part of our brain is something that has existed for a long time from millennia, in the sense that as the theory goes of wherever we developed from. First all, I want to say that in terms of evolution, it’s a theory of evolution. No one’s right about it. The theory is that there are parts of our brain that were developed to hunt, gather, protect and propagate the species. It’s a very primitive part of our brain. The first time I remember researching about the reptilian brain was when I was working in the advertising industry as a copywriter for some of the hugest advertising organizations on the planet.

We have this desire as human beings to be right and an aversion to being wrong. Click To Tweet

I remember us talking about why we were describing sport utility vehicles and why sport utility vehicles were being designed in the way that they were. It was all of this psychological research going back to the reptilian part of the human brain that when you are higher up off the ground and you have a front grille on a vehicle that looks menacing and an open wide mouth with fangs, which we see many vehicles like that nowadays that are very aggressively styled. It gives you the subconscious impression of dominance and therefore safety. The way that cars are bigger now is not just for the safety equipment. The way that you see front grilles and car styling being more aggressive is not happenstance. They’re very much appealing to the subconscious psychology of the reptilian part of the human brain, which seeks to dominate and control and therefore feel safe.

I remember talking about this when I worked for the advertising agencies of how much the copy and the marketing were to reflect this idea of dominance and why people choose to buy certain vehicles over the others. It’s no coincidence that in 2020, bigger, more aggressive and larger sport utility vehicles are the ones that are selling the most. It’s all interrelated. I know that was a long tangent about my opinion of the reptilian human brain. It’s concerned with safety, dominance, control and the propagation of the species. It’s very primal and subconscious motivating our behaviors.

I Am Right

Let’s go through each of the five addictions because you already started it. That sounds like it was mostly around safety. We can go in order of the way that I listed them. Number one is I am right. This is interesting because we had an episode with our friend Paige Synder and we talked about this desire to be right. In terms of addiction to being right, should we also outline how we personally define addiction? How do you define that? I feel like that’s one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot. Some people will say it in passing like, “I’m addicted to social media.” Maybe they are or maybe they feel like they are. Addiction could be much stronger in the sense of, “I’m addicted to heroin. I’m addicted to alcohol. I’m addicted to sex.” There’s an actual textbook definition of addictions, a medical definition or something versus the colloquial definition of how we throw things around like, “I’m addicted to Revive Kombucha.”

I feel like addiction is a subconscious mostly or conscious compulsion to do something. The compulsory is the word that comes up to me in terms of addiction. It’s almost like an automatic thing that is a compulsion to do. That’s what comes up for me. Even in the sense of being aware of this may not be the best choice for me on a mental, emotional, physical health level, I’m still doing the thing. That’s when I say subconscious or conscious because sometimes, at least if I perceive times where I may or may not have been addicted to something, that’s a whole other conversation. Maybe it’s related. There were times when I’m like, “I know this probably isn’t the best choice for me, but I’m going to do it anyway.” It’s a compulsion to do something. Often, addictions can be rooted in trying to mask, avoid or subvert pain, “I’m going to avoid this pain, this suffering and/or avert it all together by choosing an activity or consuming a thing that will distract me from the pain that I feel.” To me, that’s the nature of addiction as well. That’s a component in my definition.

I typed in the definition of addiction and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, ASAM, defines it as a treatable chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.

It’s far more eloquent.

Your definition would have been much better than mine. I also want to give a shout-out before we dive in deeper to Tommy Rosen who Jason and I have each known for many years. I met him at the beginning of my career with Eco-Vegan Gal. He holds a special place in my heart because he used to run this event in Los Angeles called the Eco Gift Fair. That was the first event I went to as a member of the press, as a blogger and YouTuber. That was run by Tommy and that’s how I met him. He’s an amazing man. He does a lot of work around addiction. Tommy does all this work in addiction. He also does yoga. He was at an event that Jason and I were at for New Year’s Eve.

He was talking about addiction. I find it interesting the way that people have overcome addiction, their past for that and their recovery. I’m amazed by people like him who teach this. The actual medical definitions of it and those more commonly thought of versions of addiction. What we’re going to talk about comes back to the compulsions. That’s maybe more of the way that we’re using the word addiction. Number one, I am right. As we said, we had an episode with our friend Paige and we talk in length about how we have this desire as human beings to be right and an aversion to being wrong. Part of what was interesting about these five addictions is we can look at the opposite.

MGU 29 | Five Addictions For Survival

It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Right is very easy because we believe that the opposite of right is wrong if we’re looking at it from a black and white definition. As we were talking about that in the other episode, it seems to me that there’s a big compulsion. Maybe all of human history has been driven to be right and perhaps that’s because it stems back to the reptilian brain where we feel like being right is crucial to surviving. What’s interesting though about us in 2020 is that it seems to me that people don’t recognize that they want to be right to survive. Our ideas of survival are different these days because most of us feel like we’re guaranteed at least 80 years of life. As long as we don’t get a major illness, we don’t get hit by a bus or have some freak accident, there’s a good chance that we’re going to live into our 80s. Would you agree?

Yeah, I do.

It’s almost like we’re in this time of security in human history where we have many things. I’m generalizing. When I say we, I’m definitely referring to me and Jason. I believe this at least. It’s like I wake up each day and I don’t feel like my survival is being threatened.

If we look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, your basic human needs are met. Therefore, where does the mind go? Where does the ego go when your basic needs are met and then knows it? Part of an unchecked and unquestioned mind is to look for problems. Where does it look for? Who disagrees with me? Who feels differently for me? Who has a different perspective that I can challenge to reinforce my idea of righteousness when it has nothing to do with our safety or our needs at all? Nothing at all. It’s the ego’s need for survival though. It’s no longer about a physical need or a need for safety. It’s the unchecked ego or the unchecked mind that feels it needs something to exist on or to feed on. What does it feed on? Righteousness. “I’m right. I knew I was right. You’re wrong.” It’s a completely ego-based thing. It has nothing to do with physical safety or emotional safety at all.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on how I was raised. I feel like there are many answers about who I am. If I can look back and figure out, what were my parents teaching me? What were my teachers teaching me? What were my friends saying? What was my environment that shaped me? As I talked about in the episode with Paige. I talked about epigenetics, which is about how things are passed down through our DNA.

Furthermore, it’s not only what’s passed down through our genetics, but also how our lifestyle choices reinforce the expression of those genetics.

I’ve been reading about this in a book called It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are And How To End The Cycle. I find it interesting because I think, where did I get these ideas from? This desire to be right is something that’s ingrained in many of us. My personal experience with that is I feel ashamed of being wrong. That’s the first thing that comes up. I’m afraid to be wrong. I’m afraid to be told that I’m wrong. I’m afraid to be found out that I’m wrong. I also have this conscious awareness of feeling like it’s okay to be wrong. I don’t walk through my life thinking that I’m right all the time, yet there’s also this conflicting feeling or this belief system within me that is afraid of people finding out that I’m wrong about things.

The more that we live and the more that we experience, the more we realize that we don't know anything. Click To Tweet

What is that based on though? If you were found out to be wrong, that would mean what?

The first word that comes to mind for me is ridicule. That’s partially, if not mainly, because I and you, Jason, are online. We’re in the vein of a public figure because we’re publicly sharing knowledge in our lives. One thing that’s felt hurtful to me through my online career is when somebody comes to me and says that I’m wrong about something, I don’t have this knee-jerk reaction at this point in my life of wanting to prove them wrong. I’m quick to admit when I say something wrong as I have during this episode or I’m often feeling like, “Maybe I am wrong about that,” or “I didn’t ever consider your idea.”

The thing that triggers me a lot is when people want to attack me from a black and white perspective. Let’s take vegan keto for example. I came out with this book called The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook. It’s based partially on my experiences with trying out a vegan version of the low-carb high-fat diet and living that lifestyle. I’ve been doing that off and on for a few years and I felt good. I’ve received some positive results and I’ve also read a lot of books around it. When it came to publishing my own book, I’m afraid of people attacking me and telling me that the vegan keto diet is wrong.

There’s this fear in me that I’m going to be publicly ridiculed because somebody disagrees with me. It’s not that I’m afraid of being wrong because I’m open to new information. I feel like things are changing all of the time. As human beings, we don’t have all the answers. Logically I understand that, but there’s this deeper fear within me and it must have something to do with survival. There’s something in me that thinks maybe it’s an ostracized thing. I’m afraid that I’m going to be kicked out of the group. I’m not going to survive because without the approval of other people, I will not be included and thus, I won’t be able to make money. I won’t be able to make friends. I won’t get my needs met.

We lived in small tribal agrarian sects way longer than we’ve been in modern human civilization. We were in small tribal groups of humans. Back then, to your point, if you did something that was so much of an affront to the tribe and you were somehow cast into the wilderness, that probably meant death for you.

Is that a betrayal thing? Is that what right or wrong is? “You betrayed us because you were wrong about that. You had the wrong information and somebody died because you told them to eat these berries that were inedible.”

My point is that this ancient tribalism mindset is still alive in many of us in the sense that social ostracization can feel as life or death or as physical ostracization from the tribe where we came as humans as far as we know. That meant if you are not under the protection, the shelter, the food and the unity of your tribe or your group, you’re out to fend on your own. You literally fend for yourself in the wilderness. That’s life or death. We still interpret social ostracization as life or death and it is not. It’s almost like there’s a part of your brain, this ancient part of yourself that still interprets the idea of not being approved, not understood or socially shamed as still equating to a life or death situation.

Do you find that at all for yourself? How about your relationship with feeling right? I know you get triggered by this righteousness. Sometimes you get a little righteous about people that are righteous. It seems to me like you get offended when somebody feels righteous.

MGU 29 | Five Addictions For Survival

Five Addictions For Survival: We still interpret social ostracization as life or death when it is not.

 

I do and it’s because, and this is my opinion, the more that I live and the more that I experienced, the more I realized that I don’t know crap and I mean that.

You don’t feel like being right is connected to your survival, in other words.

I don’t because the more I live, the more information, the more life experience, the more I sit back and go, “I don’t know anything.” People go, “Don’t say that to yourself?” It’s not about that at all. It’s the humility of being a human in a life experience that continues to unfold with such brilliance, complexity, questions leading to questions, and thinking, “For all of the experience, wisdom and knowledge I’ve gained, it makes me realize there’s so much I don’t know.” I don’t often feel the need to be right. I don’t feel like that’s a part of my makeup. In terms of my relationships and communication, I’m very willing to sit back and listen to other people’s perspectives. Even if I don’t agree with them, I can honor the fact that I’m not the possessor of absolute truth. I’m only the possessor of my truth and how I am viewing the reality in my life through the current information, wisdom and perspective that I have now. I know that it’s going to change.

I can relate to what you’re saying. At this moment, I wouldn’t say that I feel at all attached to being right, although maybe I do if I have this fear of being wrong. If the opposite is true, then maybe it’s two sides of the same blade. You don’t have a fear of being wrong. You don’t get triggered by somebody telling you that you’re wrong.

No, I have a fear of my efforts not being acknowledged, but that’s not the same as being right or wrong. I don’t have an attachment to being right and I don’t have a fear of being wrong.

I Am Safe, I Am In Control

Check that one off the list. You got that covered. The second addiction is I am safe. That comes back to what you were saying about the cars. We can talk about physical safety, which is what you meant with those vehicles. We also have emotional safety.

A big thing that came up for me in 2019 was this idea that if I understand what’s happening and I’m in control of a situation, then I’ll feel safe. Many situations in 2019 like my financial situation in the first six months of the year, a relationship that dissolved, my Ayahuasca experience, a lot of personal things that happened where I feel a theme was continually showing me, “You don’t have control. You also don’t know what’s going on right now or why it’s happening. Can you still feel safe in the midst of this chaos?”

There's a lot of life that we don't have answers for, especially why. Click To Tweet

There are clearly a lot of crossovers because the fourth addiction is being in control. If you were to remove that desire to be in control from safety, are there other elements of safety for you that come up that have nothing to do with control?

Understanding a situation or understanding what is happening in my life is a part of safety. That also very much bleeds into control because if I have a grasp on what’s happening and I can name and understand it, for example, “Why am I not making money the first six months of this year? Why am I so much in debt? Why did this relationship not work out when I did my best?” Part of the understanding of things, to me, it’s the other side of the sword of if I understand something, I have some measure of cognitive control over it through that understanding and therefore I’ll feel safe. Understanding something and being able to label it or put a name on it or understand the causality of why it happened.

Isn’t understanding tie back into right, a little bit like having the right information or the right understanding of something?

When you positioned it as, “I am right,” I took it as more of an ethical positioning of right versus wrong. The way you’re phrasing it of like, “If I have the right information,” the way you’re saying it is not necessarily correct. It’s not an ethical position. It’s more like, “Do I have all of the variables and information to correctly deduce what is happening right now?” I’ve realized that there’s a lot of life that we don’t have answers for, especially why because I know that’s one of your favorite questions. There are a lot of situations where we will not get the answer to.

That’s tough for me. I think why must be tied into safety for me. I feel safe when I have the information like you. If I have the information, I’m safe. That’s similar to the right element too. We’re thinking about the tribal mentality. This comes back to being in control. These all bleed together, which is interesting.

If I know where the bears live in the forest, then I can predict when and where the bears may come from, then I’ll be able to stay alive. It’s primal survival.

It’s interesting too because safety has come up for me in relationships and I noticed a pattern for me. This comes up for me also with my sleep. One of my biggest health challenges is sleepwalking and sleep talking. I’ve had a tendency to sleepwalk and sleep-talk off and on throughout my life, but it seemed to get worse in my twenties and I’ve been trying to identify it. I haven’t done a sleep study yet. I know there’s a lot more information to be collected. I’ve been trying to understand it or collect information from the mental and emotional side. I haven’t been able to pinpoint why I sleepwalk and sleep-talk. One clue for me is that I usually say things or do things when I’m sleepwalking that have to do with me not feeling safe. An ongoing thing when I sleepwalk is I’m afraid somebody is in the home. One time I did it and I thought somebody had entered in my home, and so I had to put away my computer so they wouldn’t steal it.

MGU 29 | Five Addictions For Survival

Five Addictions For Survival: We are not the possessor of absolute truth. We are only the possessor of my truth and how we are viewing the reality in our lives.

 

Did you actually put it away?

Yeah, I walked downstairs and put the computer away.

You walked down a giant flight of stairs while sleepwalking. Aren’t you afraid that you’re going to fall and break your neck?

It hasn’t happened yet except for that one time I had that weird dream. It’s the worst and most extreme case of sleepwalking that I’ve had where I got hurt. My dream was that there was a pack of wolves or dogs chasing me and I literally ran away from them. I was dreaming that and physically I started running away from them. I jumped out of bed and ran away. It was so bizarre. I hit my head and my arm, but again, that comes back to safety at that moment. I was so afraid that physically I was responding to not feeling safe. There is a big thread through for me and somehow, I have issues with that safety-wise. That’s part of the reason why I’m curious about epigenetics because the person that turned me on to that book I mentioned is our friend, Ari. She said, “What if your fears of safety have to do with your grandparents feeling unsafe? Maybe they pass that down through their DNA. You might feel safe right now in your life, but what if your DNA is programmed to not feel safe?”

That’s pretty deep. There’s a lot. We could blow that one.

I Am Comfortable

We’re going to try and make this one more concise. We’ve got right and we’ve talked about being in control of it. The other two are comfortable, which is great because we’re all about getting uncomfortable. That’s the third one, I am comfortable. That doesn’t trigger me mentally as much, but it does play a role in all of our lives. We’re used to being comfortable. We buy things to be comfortable. We do things and say things to be comfortable. It’s different for Jason and me because our whole show is based on getting uncomfortable. We’ve become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

There’s also that line though of as you become conditioned to be comfortable with formerly uncomfortable things, then I’m always looking for, where’s my edge? What areas of life can I look at or immerse myself in or discuss that I’m like, “That’s causing an interesting emotional reaction?” For me, via this show and having conversations with the two of us and our guests, I’m always interested in what are some areas we’re not talking about? What are some things that we might feel shameful, guilty, scared of, misunderstood that we can crack open and discuss?

The darkest, scariest corners are the ones in our own mind. Click To Tweet

Do you think though that your desire to be uncomfortable is comforting? In other words, maybe it’s your reptilian brain thinking, “If I can get used to being uncomfortable then I’ll always be comfortable and thus, I’ll be safe and I’ll survive.”

I’ve never considered that. I’m reviewing my life and even as a child, I was always drawn to the dark, scary corners of places. To me, the darkest scariest corners are the ones in our own mind.

Did you know that as a kid? Were you aware of that?

If I look back on the folklore, myths, tales and everything that I read as a kid, yeah. I read Peter Rabbit and I watched Sesame Street and all that stuff, but I also was drawn to dark things, creepy things, mystery, monsters. I was obsessed in particular with the mythology of monsters, demons, devils and all of these things. If I think about it, my opinion is that these monsters, creatures, dragons, demons, vampires, werewolves and all these things are aspects of the human psyche that we have put into our folklore and mythology to try and explain why we do things that we do. The monsters are us, the demons are us, the vampires are us.

To me, it’s always been this question of if I can examine what’s in the darkness or under the bed or in the scary closet. It scares the crap out of me, but ultimately whatever I’m going to meet in there, much like you mentioned Star Wars, that scene in Empire Strikes Back when Luke Skywalker is in the cave on Dagobah. Yoda tells him to go in there. He sees the ghost of Darth Vader. He cuts off Darth Vader’s head and the mask falls off and it’s Luke’s face. The mythology of the Joseph Campbell system of analyzing myths and seeing how relevant they are to our human experience. I firmly believe that the Darth Vader, the monsters and the demons, they are us.

Coming back to the question of, do you feel the need to be comfortable in order to survive?

Perhaps that is part of it. If I learned to be the person who faces the monsters, demons and devils and realize they’re me, then I’m like, “You can’t kill me, monster, demon, devil, vampire, because you’re me.” Maybe there is a control and safety mechanism of if I practice slaying the dragons or putting a stake in the vampire’s heart, then I’ll be the all-conquering hero. Maybe there is a part of me based on the mythology I was obsessed as a child with that the demons and monsters and darkness of my own heart and my own psyche. If I can conquer those monsters, then I’ll be free. I’ll be the hero of my life.

I can relate to that too. I like to challenge myself to get uncomfortable because that feels like if I can be comfortable despite being uncomfortable or maybe if I can banish the idea of being uncomfortable. If everything feels comfortable, then maybe you don’t experience discomfort or if you can feel uncomfortable and immediately transform it into comfort or something like that. We could go so deep and I think of physical pain a lot. One thing I would love to do in my life is to master physical pain. I get so frustrated when I’m in yoga and I’m experiencing pain and it makes me want to move out of a pose. I’ll judge myself like, “You need to learn how to suck it up and feel the pain. No pain, no gain.”

In many cases, we adhere to the beauty standards given by the society of which you live. Click To Tweet

There’s a side of me that wants to learn how to be okay with the pain, which is basically discomfort. If I can be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation, then I can grow more and I can achieve more. Maybe that’s tied to survival. Let’s talk about the last one, which was looking good. This could be a deep one. We talked about this with Paige too. We dug into a lot of this not even purposefully. It came up and this is a thread through throughout the show. If you like this episode, I’m speaking to the readers here, if you’re enjoying this, you’ll probably enjoy most of the episodes because all of these topics come up.

I Look Good

Let’s see if we can briefly touch upon the desire, the addiction to looking good and I’ll start. I’m working on not being addicted to looking good. This is a thing I’m actively practicing in my life. I grew up feeling like I had to look good in order to survive, meaning to be accepted. This is so prevalent. It probably has always been prevalent in our history. It’s especially prevalent with social media where we’re displaying ourselves and we’re trying to get approval from other people and validation and all of that. We feel like if we look good, whatever that means to us, then we will get the approval of other people and we’ll have our goals met. People use looking good to make money. It’s a huge money-maker. One of the oldest and most common ways to make money is to base it on your appearance.

In many cases, we adhere to the beauty standards of the given society of which you live. Whatever those beauty standards are, if you are fixed to those beauty standards and you promote yourself well, you will probably do well.

The problem with that is beauty standards are always changing and we are always changing as human beings. At this point in my life, I don’t want somebody to base my value on how I look at any given day because my weight fluctuates. My face changes based on how much sleep I got or am I inflamed? What did I eat? If I’m wearing makeup or not or if I’m hydrated. Does my face look dry or moisturized? What am I applying on my skin? What does my hair look like? Did I wash my hair? Did I style my hair? You could go on and on, especially as a woman, but I know men go through this too. There are many ways that we feel like we have to adjust ourselves to please other people.

I’m at the stage where I don’t want that to be attached to my survival. I would rather people think that I’m unattractive than feel like they value me simply because they find me attractive. We don’t have much control over that too because beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It’s just that we have all these beauty standards. A lot of us feel like we have to look a certain way based on what other people say is good looking and whatever. That feels superficial and I want as little to do with that as possible, but I will say deep down, I feel a bit controlled and addicted to this idea of looking good.

It’s interesting because when you say looking good, not only does physical appearance come up, but other materialistic or materially focused factors come up when you say that to me. Let’s talk about the standards of desirability. Let’s shift from beauty to standards of desirability. What makes you desirable as a human in society? If I decode the pressures that I have consistently felt, that are completely societal driven, that I’ve bought into to one degree or another throughout my adult life. To demonstrate that you look good, there are markers of success in looking good like you drive a nice car. “I got me a Tesla, brand new Mercedes S-Class, a Lotus, my Ferrari. I’m a car guy.” Part of that is a hierarchical classist thing of, “He must be doing well. He must have an awesome life. Look at the car he drives. Look at the watch he has. Look at the shoes he wears. Look at his style. That is a badass dude. I want to be like him.”

It’s reinforcing a societal hierarchy, which goes back in my mind, and I’ve decoded this for myself of why I felt so much pressure. If I have a nice car, nice watch, shoes, style, swagger, I’m in shape, my hair looks good, I have six-pack abs, I’m muscular, “He must be the guy I want to marry. He’s a desirable male.” By me appearing to be on the top of the food chain of the societal hierarchy of males, I am therefore more desirable as a mate, then I won’t experience abandonment. I’ll have a companion, I’ll be loved and I’ll be approved of. Ultimately, on the most primal level, I will continue to propagate the species with my DNA. A lot of our materialism from looking good physically, our entire beauty industry, if I may, I’m going to say so much of our consumer culture is based on this hierarchical enforcement of societal desirability.

“If I have these things and this much money in my account, if I look this way and my boobs are this big, I have these right shoes and the right car, I will be loved and desired.” That’s all it comes down. Other than the basic needs of food, housing, shelter, clothing, why do we need all this extra crap? There’s so much crap that has been created that is predicated on making you more desirable and looking good so you can be loved and all the things I said. There’s so much of our industry that is driven by that.

That’s why these are addictions. That’s why this is such an interesting thing to reflect on. We challenge you, the readers, to reflect on how these play a role in your life or how they don’t play a role. We could talk about this subject matter for a long time because there are many layers. I’m sure I’ll be thinking about this a lot as my friend Sherry mentioned when she told me about this. She uses this in her meditations and she reflects on each of these things. The five addictions according to dear Sherry are, I am right, I am safe, I am comfortable, I am in control, I am looking good. We encourage you to reflect on this, have discussions around it, have conversations with your family, friends, loved ones, clients, children, anybody in your life. It’s an interesting conversation as we are unraveling all of these different elements ourselves, examining ourselves and trying to get to the root of who we are, why we are, how we are and all of these different things.

Thank you for joining us for this episode. Thank you, Jason, for discussing it with me. Thank you to the audience. You can learn more about this. You can check out our resources at Wellevatr.com. You can continue to read the episodes. We highly recommend reading the one with Paige or whichever episodes pique your curiosity. We appreciate having you here. We’d love your feedback. We’d love to hear from you in the form of a review on iTunes. There’s instruction on how to leave a review. All of those tips and tricks are in the podcast section of our website. You can leave comments on our website if you’d like. There are a lot of different ways to get in touch with us via email, through social media, through our courses. We have lots of different programs designed to support you with your well-being and help you explore the depths of who you are and feel your best each and every day. That’s our mission here. We’re looking forward to doing the next episode, whatever it may be.

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