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December 4, 2020

Threading Through a Trigger

Samskaras and “Strings”

Invisible yarn weaves through our lives and entangles our experiences, like those of disappointment and pain. If you look closely enough, maybe you can see a pattern. When faced with a conflict, oftentimes our emotional charge traces further back. These disappointments and rejections often aren’t the origin of the pain. Rather, they are points of impact and resurfacing.

Our life experiences are interconnected. Each and every one of us has an archive of deep karmic impressions, or Samskaras that influence our everyday lives. These impressions are behavioral and emotional patterns, as well as life-long motifs which take on different forms throughout our lives. Oftentimes, these strings connect our disappointment and hurt from the present to damaging past experiences, or even trauma. Etheric ribbons delicately loop around a trigger, and with the slightest pressure, pull. 


The Present 

Even after a tough yoga class, he managed to still be unrealistically good looking. We noticed each other for 6 months.  I had the courage to casually say hello. Months later he found me on Facebook and ensured that I had his attention. It was light and fun, but consistent and meaningful. I felt like I met someone who could actually be a match, or at least become a friend. The slight possibility that he might not be ready to date lingered, yet I struggled to pull away from what felt was undeniable magnetism and magic. We planned to meet and casually take it from there. So, I followed his lead. I followed his lead until we both became more vulnerable. But then he couldn’t be there to lead anymore. Disappointment is hard. 

Threading Through a Trigger

Our triggers and reactions of the present aren’t isolated incidents, but have an emotional charge that traces back to previous events. These instances are likely to play out and repeat unless they are identified and worked through with self reflexivity and “correct” effort. In effect, we must unravel and untangle this energy from our lives. I suggest that we continue to fail forward and find ourselves working through our triggers and reactions, as a means of working through our lifelong motifs and patterns.


The Past

A year and a half ago I ran away from the man I once described as the love of my life. From loving to rageful, I never knew what to expect and often had the rug pulled from under me. The burden and the “work” was mine to bear, never his. Despite protest, I was to follow his lead always. I stayed until it was no longer safe to stay, until I had no choice but to see him for what he truly was–erratic, unpredictable, and abusive. Disappointment is hard, especially when met with contempt and pain. 


Tangled & Tied Up

Opportunities come and go, and oftentimes it fucking sucks. Even with all of the work I have done, dating is a sensitive area for me. Rejection is a part of life, so why not approach it with grace? This is because invisible strings are connecting to our present. After stepping back I had to realize that I was reasonably disappointed with the outcome, but in my body, experienced an unreasonable response. In the past, I have had to be over-accommodating, be patient, listen to needs and boundaries, all while having mine ignored. I’m sure many of you can relate.

While I was in some ways led on, the feelings in my body were relevant, but also deeper than this individual circumstance. The invisible strings of my past unhealthy and abusive relationships seamlessly wove themselves into and attached to this disappointment and our proceeding dialogue about maintaining our connection. While it was offered genuinely, the responsibility seemed to have become solely mine to bear. Both instances are different, but the feeling of being uprooted so unexpectedly was enough to connect and trigger unrelated pain from an abusive past. 

Severing strings 

As yogis and spiritual practitioners, we can’t be “present” with our present until we heal through the pain of our past. Even still, some wounds can never fully heal and still others resurface. Perhaps the saying “if it’s hysterical, it’s historical” says it best here. We cannot be fair with our present dilemmas, or even ourselves until we can begin to identify when our reactions are projections from our past. Cutting cords and burning through our seeds of karma requires that we do three things: 


  • Identify when invisible strings unfairly connect to your present.
  • Use this as information to understand why you’re feeling as upset as you are, so you can respond instead of react.
  • Start responding differently than you would in your past.

Even still, these patterns tend to show up in our lives until we clear the way through direct experience. These samskaras begin to take on lesser and different forms until the pattern is finally broken, and there is no longer a life pattern to dispense strings from in the first place.

This work is still new to me when it comes to relationships. For me, it started when I finally said “enough”. Exhausted from the intense and sudden highs and lows of my relationship, I chose to respond differently instead of staying stuck. 

I stayed until it was no longer safe to stay. 

              I picked myself up off the floor and left.


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Derek Sean Vaughn  |  Contribution: 315