Have You Ever Felt Triggered?
Life is so metaphoric, I just love it. Most everything is a symbol for something else, here to teach us if we have the willingness to learn. I want to talk about being triggered, and how other people are mirrors of our wounding, which causes us to feel triggered.
I first started thinking about this because I’ve picked up my workouts again after some time off for injuries. I’m enjoying the heck out of a couple of weight lifting classes and another resistance/strength building class. Both take place in a room full of mirrors. I mostly avoid mirrors. I feel a little silly over-indulging in self-observation. But I’ve learned that in order to do the exercises correctly and not hurt myself, I really do have to watch how I’m doing things.
The Usefulness of Mirrors
So now I’m curious about the usefulness of mirrors, and more importantly the metaphor of other people acting as mirrors reflecting back to me. Both literal mirrors and people as mirrors give me important feedback. I’m pretty good at self-observation but all the internal focus I can muster falls short of what another person mirrors back to me. I can’t see it, whatever ‘it’ is, because I’m IN it. Friends, siblings, co-workers, children, or romantic relationships are all important reflectors.
What Does It Mean To Be Triggered?
I have a very real and deep-seated trigger that goes way back, perhaps even to the womb. “I’m not wanted.” When I feel dismissed or that I’m The Problem that little child part reacts. It gets triggered (which is a lot like a tantrum) and shuts me down. If I’m not wanted I react by trying to disappear. I make myself bad and wrong and feel a whole lot of shame around it. Ugh. That little part needs a lot of love instead.
I don’t know of anyone who is exempt from being triggered under their right circumstances. I say their right circumstances because everybody is unique in what triggers them. What triggers me may not trigger you. What somebody says doesn’t matter nearly as much as the feelings and reactions it brings up. Those are worth looking at but there’s no shame in it. A dear friend shared some sage advice: “Your feelings are in you and for you and not about me.” They are my feelings.
Being Triggered is an Opportunity
When I’m triggered it’s an opportunity to heal that little kid part that is still so hurt. Without an ‘other’ mirroring this wound to me I wouldn’t have the opportunity to know about it, or heal it. I’m glad I now know that I no longer have to live with those painful emotions that come from core wounding… and you don’t either. How cool is that?