Updated: Sep 5, 2020
Triggers. Just the word in itself is quite interesting. It's named after a part on a gun you pull before shooting something for goodness sake! Like a ticking time bomb waiting to blow. That's the energy behind the word trigger when I think of it. The word Trigger is now regularly used, even my nine year old daughter came home one day talking about being triggered at school. And while it's awesome that children and adults alike have the awareness about triggers, it isn't enough to just label that "you've been triggered". We must take a deeper look, that is, if you truly want to heal and elevate yourself energetically or spiritually. Triggers are pesky insights that don't seem to ever completely go away until they fully get our attention or teach us what we need to know. How thoughtful of them right? Actually yes.
Triggers: We all have them. Why do we have them? Are they necessary? What happens when we ignore them? How do we use them to our advantage? All of this and more to be discussed...
Life has always been and always will be a colorful array of triggers. The quicker we accept and understand this fact the better. From the person acting angrily in the grocery store to the emotions that rise up when moving through a yoga practice to when we don't get our way or when our feelings get hurt. There's always a wonderful selection of triggers to draw from if we choose. There are also different levels of being triggered.
The hardest trigger to overcome are Deep Triggers, this is when you feel like the floor has just been ripped out from beneath you, you feel unstable, unsafe and completely thrown off balance. This is when we are triggered on a deep level and this type of trigger usually takes us back to something traumatic when we were young. A lot of people are unaware that they actually live in a constant state of being un-grounded usually because they've never felt safe, stable, etc in their homes as children. This can be off putting for others closest to them since these people unconsciously create a feeling of un-safety, instability and being un-grounded without realizing it, to them this is their normal. Deep Triggers will rock your world and can sometimes take years to shake loose. This is often where we get stuck in fight or flight, anxiety, depression, etc. To work through these, having someone who can hold space and guide you is helpful.
Next there are triggers that truly make our skin crawl, we are triggered and angered by it or deeply saddened by a situation we witnessed. These triggers are very noticeable right now in the US, they can feel unbearable at times and keep making their presence noticeable in the people we come into contact with, what we read or see, etc. These are our Mirror Triggers.
When people are pointing fingers at the next person for a wrongful act or terrible behavior they are merely disguising their own triggers with judgement. While most people might not agree let me try to break it down. When someone commits a wrongful act or acts in a way that is unacceptable to you it is triggering something deep within you that needs to be addressed. It might even be mirroring something back to you that you don't want to see. For most people it is easier to spiritually bypass their own healing by judging or taking others inventory. I'm guilty of it, we all are. But in these situations dare to ask yourself what is this bringing up for me? What is this mirroring for me or is it something I myself experienced? What is the core issue of your judgement of the other person or what intense emotions arise while triggered by them? Mirror triggers are the easiest to work with since they automatically bring up judgement of the other person and that is usually enough to remind you to dig deeper, this is highly encouraged.
Last there are Pet Peeve Triggers and these are the ones that just incite aggression, agitation or annoyance from our end. These are often smaller things that make us feel uneasy and we might have a hard time deciphering where our anger is coming from. These may take some time peeling away at the layers of why something so small bothers us so much. These are tedious triggers to address but are still well worth the exploration.
What happens when we ignore our triggers?
Triggers are there to remind us of who we really are underneath the facade of what the world thinks we should be or who we want the world to think we are. <<<<<<<<Read that line again. Yes they are here to teach us something and are not to be ignored or pushed aside. When they are ignored we can often create dramas and chaos unconsciously without making the connection why its happening and that in itself can throw us into a state of victim consciousness. Victim consciousness is what is running rampant in our world today. People blaming others for their problems, no one taking responsibility for their actions and people feeling like the world is out to get them. This mentality helps no one!
Why are Triggers necessary?
Triggers come in perfect timing for our personal growth and are indications that it's time to level up. They are necessary to further our ascension as human beings, to heal and integrate lost pieces of ourselves. They are there to encourage self acceptance of ourselves and others and teach us unconditional love. Triggers help us to embrace the darker aspects of ourselves so that ultimately we can feel whole and complete without needing to fill that void with someone or something.
Imagine being a child and being disregarded for feeling jealous about something or feeling sad. Essentially that's exactly what we do to ourselves when we ignore our triggers. Embracing what they have to teach us is what we all might want to consider, if we are to really see what we're capable of as human beings. Spoiler alert: it's even more magical than we can imagine! If we don't get past this place of disregard for ourselves we will never experience true freedom, joy and happiness. We will always be waiting for the next disappointment, next episode of depression or anxiety and always feel a sense of being unsafe on this planet. Triggers have the potential to truly rearrange the way we think and feel about our ability to heal ourselves if we only shifted our perspective.
There was a time when I chose to shut out people and places because of the intense feelings that came along with interacting with them. There is nothing more painful than feeling alone in the world when you're surrounded by people. This was a lonely place for me to be and I realized during my descent that my need to put up walls and shut people out was really my own attempt to shut myself out from myself! When the pain got great enough I made a decision to shift my beliefs. It truly was a choice. One that I vigilantly work to keep. I had to break open my heart and realize we are all human beings feeling the same emotions. That's right! You might be convinced no one has felt like you've felt or are feeling right now but we have all felt that way. Isn't that such a relief?! Think about it...Sure we feel at different times and over different circumstances but the core emotions remain the same. How wonderful that we are all connected by our feelings and ultimately our triggers.
How do you cope with your Triggers?
If you are like most people being distracted, physically removing yourself from them or staying so busy that you can't feel what's going on internally. Some people react in anger or depression or anxiety and all of these are real responses to something deep that is beginning to wake up. Resisting this process only intensifies it. Some react by binging on food, tv. social media, sex, control, gambling, drinking, drugging, etc. These are not healthy ways of coping with the things that trigger you. Try to connect the dots of when you binge and if you've been triggered.
But how do we work with our triggers to get the most out of each experience? All I can do is share my experience.
First and foremost it's going to take that shift in perspective we talked about earlier. One that warrants a belief that we are all ONE, that we are in fact mirrors to each other. Unless you have come to this place in your heart there will still be separation and judgement of others. We must begin to understand that where there is separation and judgement of others there is also separation and judgement within ourselves. It is only when we have the open mindedness to see another as a reflection of ourselves that we can truly begin to heal and in turn not be as triggered by them. We try to understand another's reality instead of taking it so personal. The truth of it is: it's never about us anyway, even if someone is really good at convincing you of that. Don't believe the hype. People see from their own lens of belief systems and personal experience, who we are in their lives doesn't change that but it might challenge it. Let's hope so this is exactly what we are supposed to do for each other. We are providing a healing service to those around us by merely being ourselves. Mind=blown, how great is that!!!
One of my tools for addressing my personal triggers is to see the other person bothering me as a child. Trying to understand what about this person's inner child is trying to be heard. We are all just wounded children running around in adult bodies until we've done the integration work to merge the two and even then we can still be triggered. Some people have a complete disconnect from their inner child and might not relate to that statement at all, that's okay too. When we've experienced trauma or abuse our mind does everything it can to protect us and it severs or splits from itself. But if that triggers something in you it's probably time to descend down and figure out why.
Take the time to examine the situation that triggered you. Was it the location, the smell, the sounds, the way someone spoke to you or lack thereof? Triggers come in many different shades so it's important to see as many colors as you can. A journal is really helpful for this process. You can create an Inner Child Journal and keep track of things that trigger you and why. Its encouraged that you allow your actual Inner Child out fully while journaling and don't sensor or judge anything that's written. Just allow pure freedom to rant, to cry, to get angry, bitter, jealous, envious or whatever seemingly negative emotions rise up to just be there. This is when naming them is helpful, most of us want to disregard that we feel a certain way. Don't do this! This is a crucial step in integration. It's only by allowing the fullest expression of ourselves to rise up that we can then begin to work on loving all those pieces of ourselves. If we are too busy denying or hushing those feelings we will only prolong the process and the lesson will present itself again.
It's personal choice whether you choose to work with your triggers or against them but either way they will always be there. We can't escape ourselves or those pieces of ourselves no matter how far away we hide them or how deep we bury them. Our minds are truly incredible masterpieces and are constantly trying to help us heal and grow. The mind is not the enemy so let's learn how to use it to our advantage. You might notice a life changing shift in your attitude and emotional stability if you choose to do this work. It's been my personal experience and while there are still a couple things that trigger me, for the most part it doesn't lay me out for months at a time. See the lessons in your triggers and you just might come out an A+ student of life and someone who can help others heal and grow!