Core Emotional Healing: Patterns & Triggers
Patterns and triggers are a sign that it’s time to look within.
Triggers are healing opportunities!
While triggers may feel like something is happening to you from the outside, triggers are actually a reaction from something that is unhealed within you. They come from unprocessed emotions or undeveloped aspects of yourself.
Here’s an example:
A woman disowns her strength and has not yet developed her personal power. As a result, she gets triggered by a strong empowered woman and feels more comfortable in the company of meek women. She may be hypersensitive (and critical) of anger in others or she may have sudden outbursts of anger that, on the surface, seem like an overreaction. These situations may confuse her.
The real reason for these reactions is her old, unprocessed anger.
3 Signs You’ve Been Triggered: Your symptoms are a gift! ®
1. You have strong emotional reactions that are not appropriate given the other person’s comments or behavior. These often occur over and over and result in painful and frustrating interactions that are marked by anger and end in emotional and/or physical withdrawal. Because you are unaware that the trigger is actually in you, you will often focus on and blame the other person.
For example, one client I worked with would get triggered by newsletters, programs, and product offers because they made her feel broken. She reacted from old shame as if the newsletters were saying, "You need this because you are so fucked up.”
Similarly, my husband used to get triggered when I would offer help or suggestions. He would have a shame reaction, thinking I was saying, "You dumb ass; you don't know what you are doing.” (We were able to trace this to his family experiences.)
Another client who was avoiding doing anger work received an email from me but didn’t thoroughly read through it. She got confused and thought I wanted her to fill out a long questionnaire again. This resulted in her becoming angry at me for sending her the email, and, because she felt victimized, she didn’t respond. (During a private session, we talked about and began working through her triggers and repressed anger.)
Finally, I had another client who got triggered during a body scan meditation because it wasn’t safe to feel or even be in her body. Ignoring the overall process, she hyperfocused on the term “higher self” as well as any noises in the background. When the session was over, she complained that spirituality and the meditation just don’t work for her. Her rejection of the meditation was a defense to avoid feeling the pain; she felt safer in her thoughts than in her body.
If you are coming from a deficit and not giving yourself enough support, you will feel like you are unsupported by me and others, when you actually are getting, and can ask for, the support you need. Similarly, if you are not feeling special or validated by others, you aren’t feeling this way about yourself.
2. Cravings, numbing, and checking out are occurring when you suddenly have a strong desire to eat comfort food, get drunk, have an orgasm, be altered with feel-good drugs, and engage in distractions and addictions.
For example, one client would get triggered when her sister would say, "it's your fault.” She noticed that every time they talked she would fiercely crave a Starbucks green tea latte. Another client noticed that, after interacting with her mother, she would binge on food.
2. Symptom flare-ups include chronic recurring emotional or physical symptoms that are actually internalized emotional reactions. Episodic and recurring depression and anxiety are examples of flare-ups caused by repressed emotions. For me, because it wasn’t safe to be in my body, I was numb and wasn’t processing my emotions. This caused Candida flare-up. This is how I discovered my physical symptoms were emotionally based.
Returning symptoms taught me another important lesson about healing. Not just me, but most of the clients that I’ve worked with were on strict Candida diets and continued to have flare-ups. Once they did the emotional work, not only did the flare-ups stop, but the clients also went off the restrictive diets with almost no recurrence of symptoms. This affirmed the primary role of core emotional issues in all healing.
**All three signs can happen one at a time or in any combination.
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