Dr. Gabor Maté ON: Understanding Your Trauma & How to Heal Emotional Wounds to Start Moving On From the Past Today

    Our hearts can bear witness to darkness while still finding strength to be helpers and healers, reminding us of our shared humanity.

    enOctober 24, 2022

    About this Episode

    You can order my new book 8 RULES OF LOVE at 8rulesoflove.com or at a retail store near you. You can also get the chance to see me live on my first ever world tour. This is a 90 minute interactive show where I will take you on a journey of finding, keeping and even letting go of love. Head to jayshettytour.com and find out if I'll be in a city near you. Thank you so much for all your support - I hope to see you soon.

    Today, I talk to Dr. Gabor Maté. A celebrated speaker and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics, such as addiction, stress, and childhood development. Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books, including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction; When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress; and Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder. He is also the co-author of Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. His works have been published internationally in more than thirty languages.

    Dr. Maté generously shares his deep understanding of childhood trauma, vulnerability, grief, and emotional distress. He explains what real trauma is and how time doesn’t necessarily lead to healing, how vulnerability is ingrained in us since we are young and the importance of these formative years to mold our emotional health, and the societal expectations we always try to meet but have never truly given us real fulfillment. We also exchange thoughts on dealing with grief, how we struggle to identify with the people we look up to, and how childhood experience varies for every child even when they are raised in a similar environment.

    Trauma is a wound that has not fully healed which can be triggered at any point in our life so it matters that we are able to find a common ground and stay firm in what can give us healing, emotional stability, and happiness.

    What We Discuss:

    • 00:00:00 Intro
    • 00:03:12 How do you define trauma?
    • 00:06:32 How is healing defined?
    • 00:08:45 Time itself does not heal emotional wounds
    • 00:11:38 We are all born vulnerable
    • 00:13:55 The inherent expectations we all have
    • 00:20:00 The societal standards we try to live up to
    • 00:25:15 It’s not possible to love kids too much
    • 00:29:35 Grief is essential for life
    • 00:32:19 When the past dominates the present reactions
    • 00:35:16 There is no healthy identification
    • 00:42:11 Why are we set on things staying the same
    • 00:44:38 No two children have the same childhood
    • 00:50:19 The difference between loneliness and being alone
    • 00:53:54 How do you see human nature?
    • 01:02:24 Suffering has to be acknowledged
    • 01:06:27 Getting closure and start moving on
    • 01:10:04 Spirituality becomes commoditized
    • 01:15:56 Dr. Maté on Final Five:

    Episode Resources

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    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Recognizing the inherent wholeness within every individual can foster empathy, understanding, and more effective healing processes, even in the face of suffering or terrible actions.
    • Cultivating a strong connection to our true selves is essential for healing and growth in order to find inner peace amidst the noise and distractions of the world.
    • Recognize the power of self-awareness in breaking free from inauthenticity, and embrace relationships that support and love your true self.
    • It is normal to experience fear and joy simultaneously in life. Recognizing and coping with fear is essential, while also allowing ourselves to find happiness and joy amidst adversity.
    • Early experiences of loss and lack of emotional safety can lead to chronic anxiety in adulthood, emphasizing the need for emotional support and breaking the cycle.
    • It is important to be patient and understanding when offering help to others, prioritizing our own needs while providing support when it is eventually sought.
    • Prioritizing honesty and self-respect is essential for avoiding inauthentic friendships and unfulfilled connections, even if it means risking disappointment from others.
    • Guilt may have served a purpose in childhood, but as adults, it no longer controls us. We should celebrate our choices that are in our own best interest and not let guilt hold us back.
    • Embracing our true selves and facing the initial discomfort of being independent is a lesser pain compared to the chronic pain of not being ourselves and seeking acceptance. Being authentic in relationships and guided by love can eliminate the need for strict rules.
    • It is important to express our opinions and beliefs authentically, while also respecting others' experiences and understanding that trauma is subjective and should be addressed individually.
    • Our hearts can bear witness to darkness while still finding strength to be helpers and healers, reminding us of our shared humanity.
    • Addressing emotional and psychological factors is essential for holistic healing and overall well-being. A combination of mind and body approaches is necessary for growth and wellness.
    • Emotional trauma can have a direct impact on our physical well-being, and addressing and healing these emotional wounds is crucial for promoting overall mental and physical health.
    • Combining Western medicine with traditional healing practices can lead to a comprehensive and balanced approach to healthcare, promoting overall well-being and harmony in our lives.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Embracing Wholeness and Undivided Love

    No one is truly broken. Underneath our brokenness, there is a sense of wholeness and undivided love. This is an important perspective to have when it comes to healing and helping others. Rather than trying to fix broken people, it is about recognizing the potential for growth and finding the underlying wholeness within them. Studies have shown that the early years of a child's life greatly shape their worldview and sense of self, making it crucial to prioritize the well-being of children. However, even in the face of suffering or terrible actions, there is still a sense of undivided love within every individual. This perspective can foster empathy, understanding, and ultimately lead to more effective healing processes.

    Healing and growth through inner connection.

    Our connection to ourselves is crucial for our overall well-being. Traumatic experiences, especially those that disconnect us from our true selves, can have long-lasting effects on our lives. This disconnection can lead to a loss of hope and belief in our own possibilities. It is important to recognize that none of us are inherently broken, but rather, brokenness is a result of external influences. Cultivating a strong connection to our true selves, listening to our inner voice, and rediscovering our wholeness is essential for healing and growth. Despite the noise and distractions in the world, by paying attention to our small still voice, we can find our path towards self-discovery and inner peace.

    Reclaiming Authenticity: Overcoming Fear and Shame

    Many of us struggle with being authentic and true to ourselves due to the fear of guilt and shame. We often find ourselves disconnected from our true selves, shape-shifting and people-pleasing in order to fit in and gain acceptance. This disconnection can stem from early experiences or trauma. However, regaining our connection with ourselves is possible. Recognizing when we are not being authentic and noticing the impact it has on us is a crucial step. By questioning the beliefs that hold us back from being authentic, we empower our true selves. It is important to navigate the tension between authenticity and attachment, seeking relationships where we can be accepted and loved for who we truly are. Amidst the layers of guilt and shame, the authentic self is always present, waiting to be acknowledged.

    Embracing Fear and Joy Together

    Fear and joy are emotions that coexist in our lives, even though they may seem contradictory. Many people experience fear on a daily basis, often manifesting as anxiety. Understanding that fear is a natural response wired in our circuitry is important. Processing and healing through fear involves recognizing its presence and finding ways to cope with it. Additionally, it is crucial to acknowledge that we have the right to feel joy and happiness, even in the face of suffering in the world. The experiences of fear and joy are not mutually exclusive, and it is possible to embrace both emotions while still being conscious of the challenges around us.

    The lasting impact of childhood experiences on anxiety and relationships

    Early childhood experiences, particularly the loss of protective adults and the lack of emotional safety, can lead to chronic anxiety later in life. When a child repeatedly experiences situations where their cries for help go unanswered or ignored, they internalize the message that there is no safety, causing fear to become ingrained as anxiety. This perpetuates a cycle where individuals are afraid to ask for help because they have learned that it is not available or will be rejected. These experiences can greatly impact one's sense of self and their ability to form and maintain relationships. It is important to recognize the importance of emotional safety for children and provide the support and help they need to break this cycle of chronic anxiety.

    Approaching others with compassion and understanding, allowing them to learn from life's lessons.

    We can't force help onto others who are closed off from receiving it. Instead, we must accept them where they are and be patient. Pushing help onto someone will only result in resistance and further rejection. It's essential to approach others with compassion and understanding, allowing life to teach them the lessons they need to learn. When we try to fix and solve everything immediately, we may be feeding into our own trauma. Furthermore, there is a danger in constantly prioritizing others' needs over our own emotional well-being. As evidenced by the regrets of dying individuals, spending a lifetime trying to please others is a significant regret. We must remember to be true to ourselves and prioritize our own needs while providing support and understanding to those who may eventually seek help.

    The Trap of People-Pleasing and Disappointing Others

    We often go through life trying to avoid disappointing others and fearing the loss of relationships. We may sacrifice our authenticity and true feelings in order to please others, but this can lead to inauthentic friendships and unfulfilled connections. Our fear of disappointing others can keep us trapped in a cycle of people-pleasing and prevent us from being true to ourselves. Additionally, guilt can be a strong driver of our actions, causing us to say and do things that we don't truly mean. To break free from these traps, it is important to prioritize honesty and self-respect, even if it means risking disappointing others.

    Breaking Free from the Chains of Guilt

    Guilt is like an old friend that has outlived its usefulness. It initially develops in early childhood not because you did anything wrong, but because you sense that you displeased your parents. Guilt serves as an internal mechanism to maintain a relationship and keep you on track. However, as adults, we no longer need to be controlled by guilt meant for a 2-year-old. We can make our own decisions and look after ourselves. It's important to recognize and acknowledge guilt, but not let it control us. Instead of treating guilt like a present-day friend, we should celebrate when we act in our own best interest, free from guilt's constraints.

    The Choice of Pain: Embracing Authenticity vs. Suppressing Ourselves

    In life, we will inevitably experience pain. However, we have a choice in which type of pain we want to endure. We can either suppress ourselves and experience the pain of not being accepted, or we can embrace our true selves and face the initial discomfort of being independent. The speaker believes that the pain of not being ourselves is the greater and more chronic pain. Being independent does not mean we don't need others, but rather, it means being authentic in our relationships and not pretending to be someone we're not. Ultimately, the goal is to be individuated, truly ourselves, while still belonging and desiring human contact. It's important to care about what we do and how it affects others, even if we don't care about what others think. Love should guide our actions towards others, eliminating the need for strict rules.

    Speaking Our Truth Without Worrying About Others' Opinions.

    We shouldn't worry about what other people think when we are speaking our truth or expressing our opinions. Gabor Maté emphasizes that he writes his books and makes political statements based on his own understanding and beliefs, without concern for others' opinions. However, he also acknowledges that this doesn't mean we should ignore other people's experiences. He further emphasizes that it is not useful or helpful to compare people's traumas or wounds. Trauma is subjective and every person's experiences should be tended to individually. Additionally, Jay Shetty references a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald regarding the ability to hold opposing ideas and still function, highlighting the importance of integrative intelligence in making sense of complex situations.

    The Intersection of Brokenness and Determination

    The human heart has the capacity to hold both brokenness and determination simultaneously. Gabor Maté, reflecting on the horrors of the Holocaust and other global tragedies, wonders how the heart can bear witness to such darkness and still remain intact. Jay Shetty suggests that people's hearts can break and ache for different reasons, yet we can still find the strength to be helpers and healers in times of tragedy. This sense of connectivity and shared humanity is what unites us. However, there is also a fear that if our hearts break for one thing, they may not have the capacity to break for another. Yet, the example of those facing terminal illnesses teaches us that even in the face of death, the awareness of life's preciousness can ignite a newfound authenticity and engagement with every moment.

    The Power of the Mind-Body Connection

    The mind-body connection is incredibly powerful. Our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences can deeply impact our physical health and well-being. The examples of the man developing trauma from holding a gun to his head and the woman with ALS experiencing a dream of being buried alive highlight how our emotional and psychological states can manifest in physical conditions. This shows the importance of addressing not only physical symptoms but also the underlying emotional and psychological factors that contribute to our overall health. It suggests that a holistic approach to healing, focusing on both the mind and body, is crucial for growth and well-being.

    The Connection Between Emotions and Physical Health

    Our mind and body are interconnected and inseparable. Our emotions and traumas can manifest physically in our physiology, impacting our nervous system, gut, heart, immune system, and hormones. This connection between our emotional and physical well-being has been both supported by modern science and ancient wisdom. It is essential to recognize and address emotional trauma to promote both mental and physical health. Studies have shown that severe emotions endured by individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder can even increase the risk of certain diseases like ovarian cancer. By acknowledging and working on the emotional part of ourselves, we have the potential to heal and recover from seemingly hopeless conditions.

    Embracing Holistic Healing for a Better Future

    There is a need for a holistic and integrative approach to healthcare. Traditional indigenous healing practices have emphasized the balance of physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being. While Western medicine has made incredible achievements, it can benefit from adopting this ancient wisdom. Many physicians are now practicing functional and integrated medicine, recognizing the limitations of their education and incorporating a more holistic perspective. The goal is to create a health system that combines the expertise of Western medicine with the wisdom of traditional healing practices. If we can recognize our possibilities and awaken to them, we can foster a world where conflicts and suffering are unnecessary, and we can live in harmony as individuals and as a human race.

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    53:39 How to Love Your Child Right 

    Episode Resources:

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    8 Ways to Decide Which Friendships to Invest In & Which Friendships to Let Go Of

    8 Ways to Decide Which Friendships to Invest In & Which Friendships to Let Go Of

    Do you feel tired of small talk and no real connection?

    Do you want to start building genuine friendships?

    Today, Jay talks about the eight simple tips to help you decide which friends to keep close and which ones you might need to step back from. You'll learn how to spot friends who make you happy and help you grow, and notice the ones who might be bringing you down.

    Let's understand the impact of the company you keep, the power of focusing on yourself, and the wisdom in discerning relationships meant for a season, reason, or lifetime. Jay unpacks the value of tough conversations and learns to distinguish between fleeting friendships and those destined for depth. There is strength in setting boundaries and the transformative experience of shared challenges. 

    In this episode, you’ll learn:

    How to choose your long-term friends

    How to deepen new friendships

    How to be the right friends to others

    This episode is your guide to nurturing genuine connections and fostering personal growth in a world craving authenticity.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jay Shetty

    What We Discuss:

    00:00 Intro

    01:00 Who Do You Spend Time With?

    04:05 Focus on Yourself

    05:06 Season, Reason, or a Lifetime

    10:29 Is Repairing a Broken Relationship Worth It?

    13:24 Why Do We Need These Hard Conversations?

    15:58 Not Every Friendship Has a Future

    18:32 Shallow Conversations Don’t Lead to Genuine Connection

    21:26 Barriers Keep Others Out, Boundaries Keep Us Safe

    23:08 If You Don’t Fit In, That’s Okay

    25:04 Doing Difficult Things Together 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Jessie Inchauspé: 3 Simple Hacks to Improve Your Glucose Levels by 75% & 3 Ways You’ve Been Lied To About Sugar

    Jessie Inchauspé: 3 Simple Hacks to Improve Your Glucose Levels by 75% &  3 Ways You’ve Been Lied To About Sugar

    What happens in our body when we eat sugar?
    How does a glucose spike affect our health?

    Jay welcomes Jessie Inchauspé (Otherwise known as Glucose Goddess.) Jessie is a French biochemist and New York Times bestselling author. Jessie is on a mission to translate cutting-edge science into easy tips to help people improve their physical and mental health through studies of glucose. In her books Glucose Revolution and The Glucose Goddess Method, which sold over 1 million copies worldwide in 40 languages, she shares her startling discovery about the essential role of blood sugar in every aspect of our lives, and the surprising hacks to optimize it.

    Jessie doesn't hold back as she unpacks the world of nutrition and wellness, and the intricate relationship between glucose, sugar consumption, and overall health. Jessie discusses the fundamentals of glucose and its vital role in fueling our bodies, the detrimental effects of excessive sugar consumption, and the three glucose spikes that can wreak havoc on our well-being.

    The hidden sources of high sugar content in everyday foods will surprise you therefore learning the practical strategies to train your body to burn fat for fuel is essential as well as uncovering the tips for eliminating post-meal cravings and the benefits of adopting a zero-sugar lifestyle. 

    In this interview, you will learn:

    The role of glucose in the body
    The foods that help lower blog sugar
    The hacks to control blood sugar spike
    The best practices to optimize your sugar intake

    Tune in to this eye-opening conversation with Jay and Jessie as they talk about practical tips, expert advice, and invaluable wisdom to help you make informed choices and prioritize your health and well-being.

    With Love and Gratitude,
    Jay Shetty

    What We Discuss:

    00:00 Intro
    05:36 What is Glucose and How Is It Used by Our Body?
    08:15 We Don’t Need to Eat Sugar
    10:30 The Three Glucose Spikes That Damage Our Body
    15:32 Foods with Hidden High Sugar Content
    17:20 The Crash After the Glucose Spike
    20:25 How to Train Your Body to Burn Fat for Fuel
    24:35 How to Eliminate Post Meal Cravings
    30:08 Why It’s Better to Have Zero Sugar Intake Daily
    34:55 Sleep and Glucose Go Hand in Hand
    37:12 How Blood Sugar Levels Affect Mental Health
    43:18 Ideal Foods to Take Before Workout 
    46:57 The Benefits of Taking Vinegar Before Meals
    49:56 Put “Clothing” on Your Carbs
    53:33 Fruits Are Healthy Until It Gets Processed
    57:26 Stop Counting Your Calories
    01:03:53 The Anti-Spike Formula 
    01:05:50 The Disheartening Truth About Taking Ozempic to Lose Weight
    01:08:58 Jessie on Final Five 

    Episode Resources:

    - Jessie Inchauspé | Instagram
    - Jessie Inchauspé | Twitter
    - Jessie Inchauspé | TikTok
    - Glucose Revolution
    - Glucose Goddess 
    - Jessies New Dietary Supplement

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.