When someone says or does something that causes you to respond in an upset, angry or aggressive way, you are being emotionally triggered. Your ego is reacting to/defending against being reminded of a past trauma (that is being stored in your body as energetic density).
They’re repressed emotions, core wounds that need to heal (perhaps it was some kind of abuse/neglect/loss/specific traumatic event that occurred earlier in life). When an opportunity to heal does present itself (i.e. when your ego senses that uncomfortable feeling surfacing that it wants to avoid), you ‘don’t want to go there;’ you deflect/try to steer conversations away from things that will make you cry or feel upset.
Think of it like a bruise on your body; if someone unintentionally touches it/bumps into it, it hurts, right? You blame them for ‘hurting’ you, but, you were the one with the bruise.
If you didn’t have the bruise (wound) to begin with, the minor contact would not have bothered you.
Your wound, your pain.
“No one is ever hurting you—they’re just reminding you of something painful from your past that you haven’t resolved, and you are using them as the excuse to not feel it.” ~ Panache Desai
Some people spend their whole lives trying to micromanage the entire world away from their pain. It’s exhausting, unreasonable, and more importantly, unachievable.
Here’s the thing:
- We ALL have triggers.
- It’s inevitable that someone will trigger you, and it has NOTHING to do with them.
- It’s inevitable that you will trigger someone, and it has NOTHING to do with you.
Triggers are rooted in fear-based, self-limiting beliefs. They keep you in your comfortable prison & block you from living a freer, more meaningful life.
Q: So what can you do about them?
A: For starters, ground yourself in the present moment.
- When you do start to feel triggered, take a step back; observe the sensations in your body. Emotions are just energy in motion—they’re meant to move through you—just acknowledge them by breathing into them. Be the awareness behind them and they will eventually dissipate.
- Try noticing your breath: pay attention to each inhale and exhale until you feel calmer.
- Don’t take anything personally; understand that you have ZERO control over what anyone else says/thinks/does, EVER.
- Understand that the ONLY thing you have control over is your response in any given situation. Speak without offending and listen without defending—try to discern the heart of the message behind the perceived “offense,” because it’s always there.
BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR TRIGGERS because they are showing you exactly where your work is! They are literal roadmaps to what-is-holding-you-back from what you really want in life!
Which sounds better to you: A life filled with fear & sadness, or love & serenity?
I’m not saying it’s easy, I know it can be scary to let yourself feel things you’ve been repressing for who-knows-how-long, but it’s definitely worth it. You’re worth it.
Jennifer Townsend is an Author & Mindfulness Coach from Southern New England