Last weekend I was triggered by a memory/image from my past, and this trigger was one of the worst I have had in a very long time; the kind of trigger that pulls you from the now and throws you into a tailspin of fear, emotions from the past.
Over time in my work in therapy I have learned that triggers and or memories are “information” not “emergencies” – that these feelings and thoughts are here to tell a story to heal, not to harm me.
This trigger was a pretty big one, and its been hard to be present and connected to the now, when I feel I was thrown into my past.
I have done a lot of praying around this as I haven’t felt much like myself since this trigger, and one of the things that I realized was – maybe sitting with this trigger, feeling this trigger, feeling my emotions, and maybe healing can come from this by allowing myself to be present to the images/trigger by not running from it.
So I thought about something, and it made sense. When we are young, we are given immunizations against real serious diseases, well what they give us in that immunization is a small bit of the disease so our body can fight it off. We are given a small part of that disease so our body can fight it off, and become immune to it.
Well, what I sat with is, maybe healing is much like the same. maybe in order to fully heal from something, we have to let the feelings and emotions sit within us. We have to feel the pain to fight the pain.
So, what I did was, I stepped back into the trigger just a little. I took out the photo that triggered me. I looked at it, allowed myself to go back into the memory, I sat with the emotions that came up (not running from it or stopping it), and I allowed myself to go to that pain, go to that memory. I allowed myself to be angry around the trigger and how the trigger came about.
As I sat with this painful trigger and memory, I noticed a calm came over me, like I was in control, not the trigger. I allowed the memory and the thoughts come in at my control, and knowing I can put it away just as much as I allowed it to be there.
I believe healing is much like the same. We need to bring forward the very thing we desire to push away. Allow the feelings and thoughts to be present so we can understand what it is we feel, the right to feel the way we feel, and allowing emotions to heal the wounds.
When we push away our feelings, we are repeating that old pattern of being told how we feel is not real or right, or to be silent about it. When we bring forward our feelings to be felt, we are healing those old messages and patterns and allowing ourselves to feel, and let it be okay to feel. It has taken me a long time to come to this place of understanding what healing is, and what it is I feel is right.
I think this trigger has less power now that I have sat with what it means and what it is I feel around it. I understand why this trigger hurt so much, and by allowing the images to sit with me instead of running from it, I have a sense of acceptance to talk about it, write about it, and take this into therapy and talk about it with support.
This trigger really sent me into a whirlwind. I haven’t felt good all week, I have felt disconnected, and I even have suffered from time loss (time going by fast or losing a sense of time) .. but I think now that I allowed myself to “be” with the trigger, I am more grounded and present.
I am now holding this and not letting myself BECOME it. Like my therapist said to me last week, talking about it will give power to me and not the trigger so I can HEAL from this trigger.
The next time this trigger comes around, I will know what it means, I will understand it more, and most importantly, there will be some healing around this wound so it doesn’t hurt as much or have such a painful effect on me – my sense of self will be more immune to it.
I never thought I would believe this, but now that I have been through this hard trigger this past week, I truly believe and believing more and more that the cure to healing is pain.
The cure to healing is allowing myself to feel something I have every right to feel, so I can heal from it.
It doesn’t feel very good, and sometimes It can spin me into fear and anxiety to let the feelings be here, but “healing can only happen if you attend to the wound”.