Things aren't always as they seem...
Look for the gift
Things aren’t always as they seem. Just because a situation or person seems difficult or uncomfortable at first, if you look a bit deeper, you might find the hidden gift (and I promise you it won’t be socks).
I’m sure you’ve heard people say “there is usually a gift in a challenge” and rolled your eyes accordingly thinking how easy it is to say that from the spectator box. However, finding the bigger truth in this can be life changing.
The situations that trigger us into our negative beliefs and emotions are showing us what parts of us need healing and bringing back into balance.
Healing our negative beliefs is (I believe) a large part of ‘the work’ we are here to do and the reward is the kind of heart opening freedom and clarity that can neither be bought nor taken away.
Our triggers have reasons - our problems were once solutions
There will, of course, be good reasons for these beliefs. Your body and mind are always trying to protect or help you (despite how it may feel sometimes).
We start developing our frame of the world and ourselves long before we have the ability to communicate, reason, understand context or question things.
From 0 to 7 we are like little sponges, we accept the world around us, whatever state it’s in and adapt to it based on our ability to get our needs met.
This includes what we need to do for love and attention. Anything that is perceived as a threat to that crucial need being met can feel traumatic because we are so dependent on our parents’ ability (and desire) to nurture us.
'Big Ts', 'small ts' and trauma files
Traumatic events, whether they are big Ts (accidents, abuse, violence) or small Ts (hurt feelings, emotional neglect, absent parent), all go deeply into the sub-conscious and create a kind of ‘trauma file’ for future reference and self protection.
The file contains everything that was happening in and around you that moment. All your senses are involved; what you could see, hear, smell, taste, even the food you were digesting at the time, what was in the atmosphere (smoke, grass seeds, the smell of onions), facial expressions, voices, feelings - everything.
A part of you remains alert to all of those elements that were present during the moment of trauma and a ‘red flag’ is raised when that any of them that are considered significant enough, or a relevant combination of them, presents in real life, or even in your mind.
Yes, we can (and do) even trigger ourselves. You can be triggered into a state of upset, just by reliving an event or associated beliefs in your mind.
Or even by experiencing something completely unrelated but that contains one or a combination of elements that your mind considers relevant to the trauma.
A look or certain tone of voice can be enough to raise that red flag and send us into fight, flight or shut down mode. Usually whatever coping mechanism we employed at the time is used again and again; seeing as we didn’t die the first time the brain sees it as successful. This is how the beliefs, decisions, techniques and behavioural adaptions we made as a child, back before we knew any better, get activated even as adults, when in truth most of them could do with a good old upgrade (to put it mildly).
Distorted Perceptions, it’s not me, it’s you, or is it?
Sometimes we can be so used to certain people or situations setting us off that we really believe that it’s them, not us. We can actually end up perceiving things in a different and distorted way; such is the power of our minds.
Being right about things makes us feel safe and sane so our brain will subconsciously look for, attract or create situations that reinforce our beliefs, perceptions and sense of self.
Obviously sometimes the other person really is being an un-resourceful unconscious, un-evolved, less than best version of themselves (jerk), or the situation might really seem to challenge logic and the limits of both reality and your patience (an impossible nightmare). But all of those things can be true and tricky and still not ‘trigger’ you into a spiral of negative feelings and beliefs.
It can be the difference between ‘good stress’ – mild to fair, comfortably frequent challenge that encourages growth. And ‘bad stress’ that causes a near constant release of the stress hormone cortisol, repetitive anxious thought patterns, overwhelm and fatigue.
I think I’ve been here before?
So when we find ourselves upset or triggered by something, it can be helpful to dig into the message, the belief and the emotion that it’s bringing up. What does it remind you of? What is the pattern playing out here, what still needs healing?
Once you find the memories that contributed to you creating the beliefs about yourself, other people, or the world. You have the power to start freeing yourself from negative and unhelpful beliefs that no longer serve you.
Beliefs + Emotion = Vibe
This is important and empowering because your beliefs affect how you show up in the world, what you think is possible for yourself, how you vibrate in terms of frequency (your vibe) and therefore what other people pick up from you and respond to.
People know when you’re not being authentic, when you don’t believe in yourself or are uncomfortable. We are all communicating at much deeper levels than we are consciously aware of.
The energy you give off affects the energy you get back. Like attracts like. What you see in your life is a reflection of what is going on inside of you.
The aim is to be clear, calm, at peace with yourself, compassionate to self and others, whilst wisely discerning and with healthy boundaries.
We are all magnets and we attract mirrors to reflect what is inside us so that we can know ourselves, heal ourselves, and both consciously and joyfully evolve our mind, body and spirit.
If you don’t like what is being reflected back to you in your life, your mirrors are showing you where your distortions are, what needs love and attention, where you need to go to heal and integrate the lessons that will gift you the greatest freedoms and peace.
This is why your triggers are gifts and it’s true to say that there is love in every moment, even the painful ones. They lead you to the release of the illusions that caused you the pain in the first place, (if you take the time to reflect on them). The only way out is through.
So what can we do about it?
You’ve got this. Meditation, self-reflection, self honesty, good boundaries, self care, spiritual study can get you a long way. Give yourself time and love yourself enough to make your healing priority.
Taking a holistic approach to your self-care is paramount. Know your needs and meet them as a priority. We are all more triggerable if we are depleted and run down.
Remember that you are not on your own. There are many great techniques and therapies out there, it is just a case of exploring and finding the right ones for you. Go with your instincts.
Personally, I can offer support with a combination of coaching, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Tapping as it is often referred to and Matrix Re-imprinting. This is a technique where we gently find and release the trauma (big or small) and negative beliefs from the associated memories, installing more positive and beneficial ones, naturally upgrading your point of attraction.
The key is that when you feel triggered by a challenging person or situation, remember that you have a choice: You can hold on to it tightly and squeeze all the drama out of it or, like it the picture, you can hold it loosely, find the gift wrapped up in it all, then put it down and let it go.
Great questions to ask yourself when you start to feel or think things that don’t benefit you:
“What else could be true about this situation”?
“What pattern or belief is reflecting back to me here, what still needs healing?”
“What would I have to believe about this situation/person to feel what I’m feeling right now?
And conversely, “what would I have to believe to feel better/ differently/ more empowered about this?”
If you’d like help working through and releasing some of your negative patterns or beliefs, feel free to get in touch and see if we’re a good fit.