If you have to try to not get triggered by something, then you may just want to let yourself get triggered.
You heard that right. LET. YOURSELF. GET. TRIGGERED.
I came across a spiritual picture on social media today. You know the type. The beautiful, cosmic background with astrological words of wisdom. This one in particular had a lot to say, but what stopped me in my tracks was two phrases. “The past may come back around to test you. Don’t let it trigger you.” Cue the tires screeching to a quick stop. Wait, what?
I’m hyper sensitive to messages of fear, even the most well-intentioned ones, that are disguised as messages of love.
I’m not criticizing or saying anyone is doing anything wrong. Usually, the underlying fear isn’t even recognized by the author. I just notice inconsistencies and sometimes I like to talk about them.
I am also, not, by any means minimizing trauma and anxiety. I have an extensive history of both acute and complex ptsd myself. I am simply sharing my experience of walking straight into the demons as a way to support others who feel ready.
As I read this particular message, I was stopped short by these phrases. “…test you.” “Don’t let it trigger you.” How on earth do you do that? You actually can’t. By definition, it’s impossible.
If you have to TRY to control a behavior or keep yourself from getting upset, I’ve got some news for you. You’re already upset. Controlling means you’ve moved into the all too familiar arena of stuffing it.
I say get triggered.
Let what comes up into your experience and awareness. Getting triggered doesn’t mean you have to act on the trigger. Instead of acting out you can pause. You can look inward and see what your reaction is here to share with you. Really feel into what is arising and simply sit with it like you would sit with a scared child. Ask what it needs. Ask where it wants you to go and maybe even explore it with curiosity.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to spend energy and effort on personal and spiritual work, then why not have it be on going into and being with the feelings; NOT in trying to change behaviors that are just symptoms.
These symptoms are sacred.
They are blessed, beautiful symptoms. Messengers of love from our personal past and previous generations calling to you. Perhaps they have come to guide and lead you; to support you in a way you’ve never known as you find your way home.
If we try to put a premature stop to the flood of feelings that arise when we’ve been triggered we miss an opportunity. We miss the chance to walk through a doorway that leads to all we’ve been searching for.