Browse Front PageShare Your Idea

Triggers: when your past hijacks your present.

1 Heart it! Maryam 9
November 7, 2018
1 Heart it! 9

Getting triggered = getting emotionally hijacked by the past

What is a trigger?

A trigger is any circumstance that provokes an extremely intense reaction within you. When you’re triggered, a bundle of trapped energy is released. Within it is a deep wound that never got a chance to breathe. The wound lies dormant in our emotional bodies (meaning we can ‘sense’ that something is off within us, on a day to day basis – but we can’t feel the full force of it) until it gets activated through a trigger. This can look like anything from reading a message, to hearing a piece of news, to getting cut off in traffic. We can get triggered by people, situations, the past or even our own thoughts. In the event that we get triggered, an unbearable sensation takes over the body and mind, and it feels as if we’ve been emotionally hijacked.

How is a trigger formed?

This is honestly a topic and a half, and I could go on forever. But I’ll try and keep it as brief as possible for the sake of this post. When we are children, our psychological design processes things differently. The adult mind can take things at face value, but a child perceives everything in relation to them. So when a father tells his son to ‘go away’, the child perceives it as ‘there must be something wrong with me’. This isn’t fluff guys, this is psychology. So if you’re a grown man or woman reading this, know that what seems ‘silly’ and ‘irrelevant’ to you, felt like hell to you when you were a child. Whatever the story you formed because of that (I am abandoned/I am unworthy) lives inside of you and is exasperated by an external circumstance. That’s why the lady behind the cash register can say something so ‘miniscule’ to you and suddenly trigger a war inside of you.

What happens when we’re triggered?

The wound or trauma that was in a dormant state becomes activated. And honestly it feels like a nightmare just struck your body. This is a REALLY intense process guys, so don’t be shocked if you feel ‘insane’. Since the wound was living in the SUBCONSCIOUS mind, it wasn’t in our CONSCIOUS awareness. So it feels like getting blindsided by your own self. Mid trigger – we experience tightness, body heat, inner rage and all shades of intensity. What also happens is that the wound permeates your mind. So depending on the nature of the wound, you’ll experience thoughts that mirror that. So if the wound is related to abandonment, you’ll begin to MENTALLY perceive the world as an abandoned person. It becomes your only truth. Your entire being is experiencing ‘I am abandoned’ on an emotional and mental level. Even if 5 minutes ago, you KNEW that you were loved, when the trigger hits, ALL you will feel is what the trigger is telling you. Whatever story you formed as a child when the wound was originally created, is what you’ll feel with the SAME intensity.

What happens post trigger?

You think to yourself, what the fuck just happened? It’s like you were unconscious for a period of time and you finally came back to your senses. On so many levels – that’s exactly what happened, an UNCONSCIOUS aspect of you woke up and took over your entire experience. It took over your thought process, your reactions, your perception of the world and your behavior. That’s why getting triggered is so destabilizing, because you can be such a ‘balanced’ person, and in the middle of a trigger, you’ll forget what it means to be balanced.

Why do we get triggered?

We get triggered in order to release false stories from our body. We are always being moved towards emotional integration. So- whatever aspects of us that are still frozen in the PAST are essentially UNintegrated aspects of our being. Triggers are invitations to meet those parts. We’ll struggle to feel WHOLE until we do so.

What should I do when I get triggered?

Breathe. Just breathe. Breathe deeply in and out as the chaos is happening in your body. The only thing that dissolves the past is pure awareness. Unconditional presence. This is a bit difficult to grasp in the beginning, because we are used to CONTROLLING and solving things with our minds. But don’t invite your mind into this process. Bring your breath and know that it is enough. In the moment – it obviously won’t feel like enough. You’ll WANT to debate with your mind, you’l WANT to figure it out mentally. In fact, in the beginning, it’ll be so tempting to shift your awareness from your body to your mind. You won’t be able to help yourself. The first few (hundred) times I got triggered, it was almost impossible to SIT and observe without inviting my mind into it, and that’s OKAY. I promise you, it’s okay. It’ll take time. Practice. Patience and compassion. In that space of stillness, you’ll meet the story of your younger self. If this looks like ‘I am abandoned’ – you’ll get to give that aspect of yourself a voice. A chance to breathe. Let it express to you, whatever it wishes to express to you. From THAT place, you can collapse the old story and invite a new one. From ‘I am abandoned’ to ‘I am unconditionally loved’. By who? by you. First and foremost, YOU.

What can I do day-to-day to help myself?

It also helps to have a daily practice. When you’re intentionally dedicating time each day to checking in with yourself and your emotions, it becomes easier to bring that awareness into your experience when you’re triggered. A daily practice helps you tap into a higher state of consciousness. It’s still you, but the non-distorted version of you. The more you engage with you higher self, the more of it you can bring to these situations.

This has been one of the most profoundly transforming experiences for me, in terms of my emotional and mental wellbeing. It changed everything for me, guys. Once I learned how to navigate these triggers, I understood that even the toughest of circumstances were trying to bring me closer to myself. I also want to remind you that there are different TYPES of triggers (this is for another post) and depending on the depth of the wound, you’ll keep getting triggered in the same way until you heal it to its core. The more you meet it with presence, the more layers you heal.

It’s all you, love. No one can ever cast pain, jealousy or anger onto you, they can only pull out what’s already within you. This is very important to understand. When we don’t take responsibility for how we feel, we attempt to rearrange our OUTER circumstances in order to soothe an INNER wound. You cannot change how you feel by rearranging your outer circumstances, you can only prolong the healing process. That’s not to say that the other person is not accountable for their ill behavior (because people can be hurtful as hell) or that by taking ownership of your feelings you are somehow condoning their behavior.

With love and warmth,

Browse Front PageShare Your Idea
1 Heart it! Maryam 9
1 Heart it! 9

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.