Been triggered lately? It’s a word that I’m hearing often – it’s being used to mean bothered, yet what it really means, in the psychological sense, is to have old traumas activated. It's happening to us all. I had a triggering experience that knocked me around for the best part of 2 days just recently. It's a very old sticky wound that has some deeply embedded fear attached to it. It requires a lot of presence as well as some gentle loving behaviour towards myself.
We usually believe being ‘stirred up’ is all about what’s happening in front of us. We don’t know that we’re overreacting (a classic sign of an old wound being touched). We might be left feeling anxious, upset, angry, guilty or shamed. Our thoughts might become judgmental and blamey – about the other or about ourselves.
If we’re brave enough to bring our attention back to our body and stay with what we are feeling we can notice what is below feelings like anger or anxiety. It is likely there is some deep sadness below the surface. This is old emotion that hasn’t been felt – trapped emotional energy that wants to release. If you allow yourself to feel it without judging yourself or someone else, you will be able to let go of heavy energy in your body – energy that may have been manifesting as long term, chronic pain. This is the benefit of being triggered. You have met a soulmate – someone who you have a spiritual contract with in order to help you grow and heal. You can thank them later for showing you more about yourself.
If you’re not aware of needing to be mindful (acting on an old default setting) being triggered can mean these sort of things happen:
If you are being conscious this is what could happen:
Reparenting ourselves means we need better boundaries and a good connection to what we need at a given time.
I wish you conscious awareness and self-compassion when you are triggered.
Image by Mikhail Vasilyev
Do you know the people you have weak boundaries with? I do and I find this information helpful. When we're not aware of this and our boundaries are invaded we're at risk of:
These people are likely to be your family of origin, your partner and closest friends or colleagues. They're in the 'soul mate' category – they are your teachers.
Our boundaries are regularly violated when we're young by adults who have no idea how to respect our bodies, feelings and mind. This creates weak areas within our holographic being. When we're with those very same people or others who our psyche senses are similar we need to be mindful if we're to avoid the kind of things in that list above.
When we know our boundaries aren't intact with particular people we can practise strengthening them. Such self-awareness and an ability to care for ourselves is an evolved psycho/spiritual practise.
This might look like :
Learn to notice discomfort in your body when you're relating. Use that as a gauge to know something isn't right for you. You can then disengage from the interaction (you can do this by calmly saying something like 'I'm not feeling good about this or it isn't feeling right for me to continue this conversation') or you could try changing the subject.
You might notice your inner child wanting to hang in there to get affirmed when the situation isn't actually safe for you on some level.
I still get surprise attacks despite a pretty good awareness of who I need to be mindful with. Not being pulled in to someone else's drama takes skill. It is to easy to defend oneself which usually fuels an argument. People don't listen well when they are in fear of some kind. That includes you as you may be triggered to a similar situation from your history which means you'll be reacting from fear too.
We aren't going to get this right all the time. High levels of self observation are needed with those 'tricky players' in your world. What's most important is that you do your best to not stay locked in unhealthy relating that hurts you or someone else. Weak boundaries can have us getting sick, being addictive, repeating destructive behaviour as well as enabling someone else's unhealthy behaviour.
Healthy boundaries are a life-long work in progress so stay curious and experiment.
wishing you self-awareness
Image by Isaiah Rustad
Familiar with any of these scenarios?
You say yes because it's easier than saying no.
You begrudgingly do things for others that you really don't want to do.
Someone is shouting at you, you're feeling confused and somewhat 'out of it' as you attempt to understand them.
You keep trying to be heard despite the other saying they can't listen anymore.
These are all indications that your boundaries need some work. Don't worry though, we all have varying degrees of boundary issues due to the modelling we've seen and the way others invaded our bodies, minds or spirit when we were children.
If you have healthy boundaries other peoples words, emotions and energy will not affect you in a way that is harmful or tiring. If you continue to let people hurt or drain you your wellness is compromised.
Boundaries are actually invisible and symbolic 'fences' that protect us from being hurt, or hurting others, physically or psychologically. They also give us a way to
embody our sense of who we are.
Our external boundary allows us to choose our distance from other people and enables us to give or refuse permission for them to touch us.
Our internal boundary protects our thinking, feelings, and behaviour and keeps them functional.
The following boundary statements are helpful to remember.
What other people say and do is more about them and their history than it is about you.
What you say and do is more about you and your history than it is about the other.
Boundaries are something we need to work on our whole lives. It becomes increasingly easier with maturity, practise and healthy self esteem.
Self esteem rises as you integrate unconscious aspects of yourself, make peace with your history, consciously practise loving behaviour towards yourself as well as have compassion for the wounded child within.
I believe boundaries are the answer to the majority of relationship issues we have.
Here's some steps to practise -
Take the time to hear your inner voice about what is and isn't ok for you.
Practise communicating your truth in a healthy way.
If others reactions are too much for you, work a boundary and move yourself away from them.
Listen when someone clearly states they need space.
Prepare yourself energetically before interacting with someone you know can be invasive. If it doesn't feel good change the subject or graciously end the interaction.
Practise honoring your own needs.
wishing you clear and loving boundaries
Image by Rihaij on Pixabay
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