Alana Grainger | How to embrace a trigger
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How to embrace a trigger

When there has been pain in the past and we haven’t fully allowed ourselves to embrace it, there is a small amount of residual energy that remains bound within, a seed of unfinished business if you will. These seeds wait until the surroundings are ripe for them to unfold their shoots, burying themselves within our conscious mind so that we are able to become fully aware of them and attempt to pull them out by addressing the root cause. 

Emotional scaring. 

So much of the confrontation we experience comes from our childhood. People always question why the patterns of trauma experienced in later life are linked back to something that happened to us when we were young. This is because we lack the emotional maturity to be able to deal with it. Therefore our very sensitive emotional body keeps this ‘scar’ locked away until we are mature enough to deal with it and process it proficiently. 

One thing that I have found to be most interesting is that this same ‘seed’ will continue to plant itself in our lives over and over and over again until we have the capacity to see it for ALL that it is. Have you ever had become aware of how a certain experience is very similar to one you have had before? Yet when you encounter this same situation again you have more tools to be able to handle it better? This is our souls way of enabling us to expand and grow beyond what has limited us in the past. 

These ‘seeds’ of past pain will continue to plant themselves very unsuspectingly within our lives when the time is ripe for the reaping of them. Unfortunately, there is no prior warning to when these little beauties begin to unfurl themselves, often it happens when we are in a place of comfort and contentment. When everything seems to be going just swell in life, an opportunity (usually not a desired one) presents itself in the form of confrontation, triggering us into again revise the deeper aspects of our nature.

Don’t waste a good trigger

It is in this moment that we are given a unique opportunity to embrace the very thing that is making us feel so uncomfortable and want to powerfully react and retract. Every incident that is making us want to run in the opposite direction is actually a blessing in disguise for what it’s offering us is freedom, liberation and wisdom. The thing is we may have to encounter many of these circumstances to varying degrees before we can grasp all of what is being offered to us. Along the way, one gains more resilience and momentum with each obstacle of discomfort overcome. 

The hardest thing to do when in this place is to remain still and not do the very thing that feels most protective. We are born to live, we are born love and experience all of life in it’s most undiluted forms. Yet, how can we do that when so many of us don’t want to walk over the bridge of fear? Fear is something that one feels when they are approaching a situation that is not known so instinct dictates us to draw back.

Or on the other hand, we recognise a situation as being familiar and pull all of our past baggage out, overlay it on the present and deeming it to not only be the same but also true. This both smothers and surpresses the ‘seed’ which is arising to gain our attention so it can be acknowledged and healed. There is just about no-one I know that likes the idea of pain or suffering, let alone the actual experience of it.  The only way to overcome our limitations is to thrust ourselves into that which we have deemed as ‘too hard’. Of course, there is an element of nail-biting anxiousness but once we have made ourselves sit in that position for a while there is a sense of accomplishment for witnessing our combustion in the fires of our own self transformation. It is goddam empowering!

Under the pain

When I can allow myself to sit and be still within the discomfort, I find solace in one of my favourite sayings I learned whilst undergoing my yoga TTC in India a few years ago. Doing a month-long yoga course is intense to say the least.  All the aspects that one hasn’t ever really wanted to look at are propelled to the surface making themselves known.  By doing such deep work, it uproots what one has, over many years, fought to hide and deny. This means that when in a place of awakening, agitation floods itself through ones being, as a means of purification. I recall my dear Swami saying to me: 

If you can’t stand a bit of agitation, how are you going to get clean?

Similar to being in a washing machine and getting the dirt and stains out of clothing or even trying to polish the smudges off a mirror, a bit of frenzied action is required to remove the blemishes from ones being. This is also the point when the last thing one wants to do is be with all that arises, but this is precisely the way forward. Not reacting or resisting, but simply witnessing and making the best move forward from a place of serene contemplation and observation. 

Allow over let go

When faced with challenging circumstances one thing I always have abdicated is ‘letting go’ for I ask you this question-

‘if one has been triggered and it comes from a broken or unhealed wound within, in the form of undigested energy, how can it be ‘let go’ of when it is essentially a part of us?

Where do you let it go too? You either deny it, or project it onto someone else. I always advocate to ‘allow’, if something isn’t sitting well, allow it to be instead of trying to resist or attach. In this way the very thing that is causing discomfort will eventually untangle itself from our awareness as we have given it the space to simply be. This is the secret I believe to the greatest transformation and overcoming that which we don’t like or want.

No matter how far we get in our life journey, there is always going to be something for us to tighten up on. A new level of awareness will make itself known in the form of things that we don’t like or want to have to face.  The more that we find stillness and resist the urge to react, the smarter our choices are in responding to sometimes intense stimuli. Each time we encounter these feelings we build more and more resilience so that eventually what was once a huge undertaking to overcome is now no more than a shrug of indifference.