It is so important to become aware of our triggers and take time to heal them. Most people have triggers and this is how arguments, fights and misunderstanding can happen.
Every time we are triggered, it is an unhealed inner child wound that gets activated. There is nothing bad about being triggered. When we get emotionally activated through triggers, it’s a calling to heal our emotional wounds. It’s a calling to self reflect on old childhood traumas and to get curious about the reactions we are having in that moment. When activated, the unhealed inner child will be feeling the the same emotions s/he experienced during the original trauma.
A trigger is when we experience the past in the present moment. Our nervous system activates and can cause a racing heart, anxiety, sweaty palms, pain in the stomach, a freeze/shutdown or other painful emotions like fear, guilt, anger, grief, shame, hurt. As well as feelings of being rejected, humiliated , abandoned, betrayed and not good enough.
What is a trigger?
A trigger is something that elicits a strong emotional reaction from you. In this case, it is linked to your emotional wound caused by the relationship or lack of it with your mother. Something happens and your nervous system is reminded of the original pain. Your body has stored all the memories even if you cannot cognitively access them.
For example, if you are in contact with your mother, she may say something that reminds you of how she treated you as a child. This triggers pain in a vulnerable part of you, in a younger part, which you can also call your inner child part. You may notice yourself almost becoming that child again, who did not have their needs met by their mother. Perhaps she was emotionally unavailable and not capable of comforting you. Perhaps she prioritised herself or others.
As we become more and more conscious, we are able to observe when we have these (seemingly) big reactions. Rather than reacting from our habit self (the conditioned self) we can pause. We can breathe. We can realize that being triggered is a calling to heal what has been unresolved in our past. Put simply, if it is still triggering us, it is still unresolved!
How do we get triggered?
First of all, the trigger happens. Secondly, we go back to a past memory unsually childhood wounds. And start feeling the same feelings we did when we were a child. Finally, we treat the present moment with the same beliefs and emotions we had in the past.
Can you remember when was the last time you got triggered?
What was going on? How did you feel? Was it what was said to you? How did you react? Did your reactions seem extreme to the other person?
Triggers are very uncomfortable and sometimes a seemingly small thing to another person can seem so big to you! To give you an example, last week I was talking to a friend and I asked her if she is enjoying being a housewife now as she was not working anymore. She got so triggered and reacted by defending herself. I could feel her anger and frustration. As I look back, I realise that the word ‘housewife’ was a trigger for her. She had the belief that being a housewife is demeaning and only means to cook and clean and doing nothing else. But for me, being a housewife is another meaning…it means being free, looking after your house and family, enjoying your time doing what you love. It was clear that she was triggered because of her beliefs.
The truth is around every trigger, there is a belief. In fact, a limiting belief! But the good news is that beliefs can be changed! Most of our beliefs were formed during childhood before the age of 7. Through inner child healing , it is possible to rewire our mind to be able to interrupt these repeated patterns.
This is also called shadow/inner work. Shadow work involves being open and non judgmental around what triggers us. It shifts us a space of being a witness to what is going on. Simply observing. This is where our power lies. This is how we create a new version of ourselves by finding the present moment.
With practice, you’ll see that the people who trigger you most have the qualities and behaviors of the people you had the most conflicted relationship with in the past. We project the conflicted parent relationship onto others the most.
You’ll also see that when you become the most defensive around a life experience, it’s because you see a past version of yourself being violated, harmed, or misunderstood. Keep observing.
All of this is your path to healing. To self love. To heal our wounded inner child. Every time we are triggered, that is a sign that we must go deep and heal ourselves with love.
If you are aware of your triggers and finding it hard to find the limiting belief underlying that trigger, book an inner child healing session with me and we can dig deep to resolve the issue and change your beliefs so you can free yourself from these triggers.