April 1, 2022

The Key to Understanding (& Learning from) our Triggers.


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Too many people are unwilling to really look inward, and instead they project, deflect, and blame.

They blame people or situations that are outside of themselves for how they are feeling inside—for the moments when they feel triggered.

But the thing is that we feel triggered because we hold the source of the triggers within ourselves; we hold the energy of that inside of us already.

The outside situations are only mirroring the unseen parts of us—parts we already hold within us, beliefs and feelings and wounds that reside within us.

If we refuse to look inward, we will miss the chance to heal and grow.

Our triggers are lessons we’re meant to learn, and they’ll stay with us until we learn them. Until we look at them and become aware.

It’s too common (and too easy) to cast blame outside, to say it’s someone’s or something’s fault, to say that someone else or something else should change—rather than understanding that the source of our discomfort is something we hold within us.

For example, if we are perfectionists—it often means that our self-worth, at least partially, has been attached to “performance,” to how we are perceived, to external validation. A deep unconscious part of us seeks to be seen and acknowledged, seeks outward “success,” seeks outward validation, believing that it will fulfill us or make us feel whole. That it will make us “worthy.”

The root of the discomfort of not being seen, of not receiving that validation, of being involved in situations that trigger those uncomfortable perfectionist feelings of competitiveness, of “not being good enough,” is due to our self-worth being tied to the external, to things outside of us, and to a lack of truly being connected to the truth of who we are.

The outward situation—whatever it is that is triggering our discomfort—is not the problem. It is only a mirror that is bringing to light something we already hold within us.

In this way, our triggers can be a source of light pointing us toward our lessons, toward the things we’re meant to learn.

Often, these lessons can feel uncomfortable. But the discomfort is only there to show us that there’s something we need to pay attention to, something we are meant to learn and understand.

We won’t heal or grow or become aware if we run, avoid, or try to escape the things that make us feel uncomfortable, or if we only cast blame on things that reside outside of us. Of course we shouldn’t remain in situations that are unhealthy for us, but if we only run, thinking the situation itself is to blame, we won’t learn—and we’ll carry that energy with us everywhere we go.

That energy is the lesson, and it will stay with us until we learn what it’s trying to tell us.

We may leave one situation, but that same energy will arise again—somewhere else at some other time, in some other place.

In order to heal, to grow, we have to become self-aware. We have to be curious and watch and pay attention to what is happening within us, to how we are reacting to what is happening outside of us.

And we have to be willing to hold space for the uncomfortable parts. We have to be willing to be present with them—so we can learn from them.

To sit with ourselves and understand our triggers, the inner parts of us that are feeling triggered, takes more courage than simply casting blame on things outside of us. It also requires far more kindness, self-compassion, and tenderness. It takes great self-love to hold space and acceptance for some of the more painful or uncomfortable parts we hold within us.

We will never change our lives or live more authentically if we’re unwilling to self-reflect and look inward—if we refuse to understand that the sources of our discomfort arise from within us.

It’s not our fault; we’re not to blame. But, we need to understand that the outside world is simply reflecting what we already hold within us—something we think, feel, or believe, some wound we already have.

The path of self-awareness is the only thing that can truly help us—and it takes a willingness to be completely self-honest and to hold space for ourselves.

Instead of projecting or deflecting or blaming other people for things, we should self-inquire into our discomfort, our pain, to what is lingering beneath the surface, to what is living in the unseen inside of us.

Not everyone will do this.

But if we want to live consciously, we must.

The key to learning from our triggers is to look inward, to self-inquire, to become self-aware, to hold space in a soft, gentle, self-loving way for everything that arises within us.

The key is to understand that the source of our triggers always lies within us.

And the way to heal and learn and grow is to look inward.

And learn our lessons.


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