Gabor Mate on How We Become Who We Are | Conversations with Tom

This episode is sponsored by NorthOne. Learn more at As adults we all have some degree of trauma from our childhood to cope with. Maybe it’s falling downhill and being left with a scar, or maybe it’s more severe and involves emotional neglect. For many adults,it’s easy to believe there was never any trauma, life was great and their childhood was filled with happy memories. In this episode, Gabor Mate explains how easily unconscious traumas from childhood can be identified. He shares years of experience and wisdom with Tom in this conversation that explores the depths of truth and meaning in life, and how that fits in with our physical and behavioral manifestations of broken adult expectations and stressors. Gabor Mate, is a deep thinker, childhood development expert, and expert of addiction. He shares his unique insights on how to deal with severe trauma and how to get the most out of life by moving beyond mere survival. SHOW NOTES: Reality | Gabor on how people view reality and the Johnny Cash song, In Your Mind [1:14]
Childhood Development | Gabor reveals the shaping window of development for children [3:01]
Stress Defined | Gabor explain the terminology of stress and its triggers [5:40]
Emotional Work | Ongoing emotional work that takes consciousness and awareness [9:13]
Trauma | Gabor discusses severe trauma, how it shows up physically and in behavior [10:12]
Being Sensitive | Advantage and disadvantage of being highly sensitive [12:18]
Empathetic Support | Gabor talks about empathetic support for persons with trauma [12:43]
Beyond Mental | Gabor reveals makes life more profound beyond the mental experience [20:04]
Feeling vs. Being | Gabor presents difference between feeling and a state of being [22:11]
Self-Isolation | Gabor explores self-isolation and the state of pain versus enlightenment. [22:32]
Expectations | Gabor describes the expectations of the nervous system [24:30]
Broken Society | how modern society is dysregulating us and how broken our society is [30:31]
Child Development | Gabor reveals what healthy child development [41:04]
Meaning & Purpose | Gabor pushes on Tom’s value for meaning equated with hard work [51:20] Truth Not Facts | Gabor explains difference between truth and facts [59:54]
Life after 70 | Gabor shares what keeps him going in his seventies is just who he is [1:07:58]
Palliative Care | Gabor share his experience and perspective with palliative care [1:14:18]
Commitment | Gabor and Tom talk about commitment [1:30:42]
Marriage | Lessons from 51 years of marriage [1:35:23]
Unconscious Trauma | Processing trauma that you’re not consciously aware of [1:41:13]
Suffering From Past |Gabor shares a quote to explain how suffering isn’t always labeled [1:43:19]
Dissociated from suffering | Gabor explains pain suppressed and misinterpreted [1:45:54] QUOTES: “When people are just trying to survive it's hard for them to consider transformation, so people that are under economic pressure, or racially oppressed, or under economic threat, political conflict these make it difficult for people because people are just in survival mode.” [11:43] “There’s essence, there’s truth that goes beyond what the mind can comprehend” [20:34] “There’s a way of isolating yourself as a way of committing yourself to enlightenment which means that you’ll stay away from people for the rest of your life it just means you’re going to go deep into yourself and not be distracted by all that the world throws at you [23:32] “Then there’s another way to isolate yourself which is a defensive one, which is ‘the world is so awful, the heck with them all, I don’t need anybody,’ that will protect you from some kinds of hurt, cause if you withdraw from relationships you’ll never be betrayed, so that’s true, on the other hand, that itself is a state of pain” 23:49 “Survival and fully being alive and fully living are not the same thing” [25:39] “There’s lots of facts out there, but truth is much larger than facts, it’s integrating the facts in a picture of reality.” [1:00:05] “A life without truth is not a meaningful life” [1:04:46] “the beauty does not go away. Should your marriage come to 51 years, as mine has, you’ll be looking into your wife’s eyes and you’ll be seeing the same beauty that you saw the first day you met her” [1:34:02] “You have to have the compassion to look at yourself not through the voice that tells you you’re worthless, but to say if I reacted that way it must be a good reason for it. Something in me, there’s something that happened to me that made me react that way at some point” [1:39:35] “There’s all kinds of memory and the body carries memory even if it doesn’t carry recall” [1:41:45] FOLLOW (NAME):
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