|….but I understand trigger things. So, even though I am not a raving fan, I am maybe…kinda…a tiny bit…friends with triggers. |
Well, today anyway.
And I’m not talking about gun triggers…although, if I sit with that a bit, actually gun triggers do trigger me a little. Guns most certainly do.
In case you don’t know what we mean by trigger, which if you hang out in ‘spiritual’ circles or have done a bit of personal growth work or have seen a therapist..what we mean by trigger is basically, in the most simple of terms, something that that occurs outside of you, that sets off a series of feelings and emotions (usually unpleasant) with in you! It elicits a physical response and often isn’t even conscious, depending on the impact on the nervous system.
Usually, these triggers are attached to memories of an unpleasant experience you have had previously or it simply could just trigger uncomfortable feelings.
Have you ever been triggered? Or maybe the better question to ask is, “what recently has triggered you?”
If you live in the world, filled with humans and fast moving things and access to the media and responsibilities and bills to pay, it is highly likely you have been triggered by something recently.
Before we go on to the whole, ‘well, what do we do when we are triggered’, lets take a big breath together and know, that it is human to experience these uncomfortable feelings that come with triggers. So please, allow your body to relax and know that there is nothing wrong with you, you are not broken or bad. Exhale.
Triggers are SO personal. Some people are triggered by a song, or a scent or the mere sight of an animal.
Some are triggered by a place, or a sound or a memory.
Some are triggered by a ‘type’ of person, or a specific person, or an accent or a the smell of curry (or in my case Midory).
Some are triggered at the mere mention of the word trigger.
It’s deeply personal!
It’s not fair to judge ourselves by our triggers. Instead, it is our job to pay attention to them and get curious about them. And it certainly is not fair to judge anyone else either!
A while back, during a session with my therapist (yes, I have a therapist….and a mentor coach, and a doctor and a naturopath..because…it takes a tribe people), we did some work that lets just say, triggered the f*ck out of me.
I left the session saying I was never going back. I left there believing that she was unprofessional, that she had overstepped my boundaries and should know better and was out of line and…god, I am sure there was a whole lot of other things I thought.
I was pissed.
It triggered a sense of discomfort so big for my nervous system, that I needed to run. And in order to run, I had to make her a threat.
I’ve been doing this human work now for a good while, and perhaps somewhere in me, is the expectation that I am not going to get triggered. That I am bulletproof. That I am above all of that.
BUT, given I have been doing this for a good while, what I am able to do, is recalibrate pretty quickly…mostly!
We’re interested in the how part right?
Well, can I first say, that there is no RIGHT way to deal with the human condition.
There is no ONE way to reach peace and calm. Just as there are a variety of foods that are available to people to serve different tastes and desires, same is said for ways to support uncomfortable feelings.
What I can say though, in both research and practice there are a few tools that, when applied (and this is the kicker….to apply them), we can reach a new level of understanding.
Have you ever been having a dream, so lovely and delightful, that when you unexpectedly are woken from it, you get pissed off?
What I have come to see, is that when we get triggered, it is a similar response. Triggers my love, come to wake us up!
To wake us up from where we are asleep to our true desires. Asleep to the illusion that we have it all sorted. Wake us up from the BS stories that we carry around about ourselves or about others.
And ultimately, triggers come as our teachers. A call to wake up and make some new choices.
To wake up and heal the old pain.
Ok. Breath now. In and out.
Did that trigger you?
What do you mean that shop attendant who was a bitch and didn’t make eye contact, and shrugged at me is a teacher?
What do you mean my sister who ignores all of my messages all of the time is my teacher?
What do you mean?
The simple truth is, when a trigger shows up, that is when the work begins.
And by work, I don’t mean years of therapy.
By work I mean, let’s get curious here!
Okay, so let’s play with some ‘what do I do?’ options.
This is actually best written down by the way. Something powerful happens in the transformation process when we write this stuff down. Try it and tell me if I am wrong!
1. Tell the truth to yourself (or a trusted friend or counsellor) about how you feel. PLEASE don’t tell anyone who will listen…this just passes on the trigger energy and isn’t actually that helpful for anyone.
2. Feel all the feelings that come with the trigger. All of them. Allow all the feelings to come. If you can, label them. Name them. Call them out. Write them down. For some of us folks who have shut down feelings for a good while, this can be a tricky experience and you may need support with this step. Again, a therapist or trauma informed coach can help here.
3. Answer this next question, “What pattern in ME, is this trigger trying to wake ME up to?”
That third step, can be a doozy.
Remember, the triggers are trying to wake us up. Because if we were awake, we wouldn’t get pissed off, because there would be no delicious dream and delusion we were lost in.
It’s doozy right.
AND it is a meditation.
I did this very process when my therapist triggered me.
And when the lights came on and I was FULLY wake and out of my pissed off woken from a dream state, I saw EXACTLY what was brought to me. I saw the EXACT pattern what I was trying to wake myself up to.
Because really, we are all just bringing in experiences to wake ourselves up.
So next time you are triggered, celebrate hunny! You are waking up!
Waking up to more of who you are. More of your magic. Your mystery. Your divine essence.
Oh and pst….in case you need reminding, my work is all abut helping us come home to our truth. To line up who we are with what we do. To help you create the environment best for your thriving. To help you see blindspots. To share my journey and research and experience that might help you navigate this humaning adventure. Click HERE to head to the page with the offerings on it.
Well beauty, until we next meet, keep being brave, keep showing up and keep sharing beautiful you!