Updated: Dec 17, 2020
If you follow me, you know that one of my biggest blocks and conditioned acts are my explosiveness and reactions. This is something I have worked very hard on, and am proud of my progress. We are all a work in progress, right? Including me.
In working with my responses, pausing, and thinking before speaking and acting, I have come to realize that my “hotness” is triggered. There are certain things that bring me back to a feeling I do not desire or want to remember. For me, it is victim mode, that someone is trying to take advantage of me in some way, hurt me, or take what I have away. This theme has followed me throughout my life and when I do the inner child work, I know that this comes from feeling abandoned or not worthy as a child, the constant push for perfectionism to be loved, and the idea that my feelings and thoughts do not matter. My parents did the best they could, so this is not a bash on them, but they were young (17 to be exact) when they had me. They were trying to navigate their own life and experiences with a major responsibility. While most 18-year-olds were partying at college, mine were trying to navigate life with an infant. So, to be clear, I love my parents, but they were not emotionally available to me. I constantly felt like a burden and that I had to be remain “good” and “quiet” all the time.
As I entered adulthood this idea that I had to protect and solely take care of myself and my belongings and success were paired with the idea that I just was not quite good enough, ever. There was always something in my mind I could do better. This turned into an eating disorder (because it was easy to blame all my problems on my body and lack of control over how I looked) and also overindulgence in alcohol and drugs. Numbing was the answer for me which in turn kept me stuck in a cycle and anything that reminded me A. I was not good enough, or B. I was in danger of losing something, which triggered me into a fierce self-saving reaction.
What is a trigger? You may not want to hear this, BUT a trigger is basically a reflection back on you. It is our interpretation or reflection on what we do not like about ourselves or are threatened by. The good news is, is that it can be one of the greatest healing tools you have, once you start to learn what yours are and where they came from you can begin what I call the notice and reflect method. You notice the trigger then ask yourself: “What is this trying to show me about myself? What is this person reflecting back on me?” It allows you to look at the wounds, own them, then work through them. The more you do this the less and less they show up. You are able to discern them and have no attachment to the outcomes.
Here are some tips for dealing with triggers. First though, as always, have compassion for yourself and where you are. This work is not easy and it will not be a smooth transition most of the time. The mere fact that you are even starting this work is an accomplishment in itself. Most people are never able to look at themselves and take responsibility for their own actions, so kudos to you and your journey!
Be an observer-learn to observe what is happening without reacting.
Live Consciously and in the present, and remember most of our thoughts and feelings are on a subconscious level meaning they are conditioned. We must constantly retrain the mind, just like all the muscles in your body, to become stronger and more flexible..
Focus on the facts. Use the work by Byron Katie to really look at the truth. Ask yourself Is this true? Is it 100% true? How do I feel when I think of this? How would I feel if I did not?
Set clear boundaries. If you know something is a trigger then set boundaries with people or around those moments. Boundaries equal self-love, so look at the triggers and create a foolproof boundary so you are not presented with this interaction.
Get used to feeling empowered. Every time you take a step towards your personal development live in the empowerment of what it feels like to take this control back. Empowerment is the road to enlightenment.
As always, I am here to be your support. This work is your truth, and sometimes it is difficult to navigate this alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Love yourself for every step you take towards your wholeness.