When we are triggered by people in our lives, particularly those with whom we have some kind of relationship – not necessarily strangers on the street – what has been activated? It is an idea about ourselves that is unpleasant or unwanted and may not necessarily be conscious. We may see qualities in that person that we dislike, we may feel we may never be able to be honest or free with them, we may feel we may never be free of them. But in the end, it is really something about ourselves that is making us so uncomfortable and that is why these people come to us. It is hard to see them as a blessing but they are in our life to provoke growth.
In the tangle of emotions and thoughts and ideas that are stirred up in these relationships, it can be very difficult to find the space within ourselves to come to know what is true. The first thing we must do is find a way to release any judgment about what is happening. Shame, blame and self-criticism pile onto each other as we find that somehow we are not able to solve the problem of this person – we begin to feel a sense of failure and there is shame for that. So we must get back to affirming the truth that all is perfect and some good will come from all of this – that this is not an indication of some flaw, failure or weakness in our character but rather an opportunity.
When we are triggered with wounds that are deep, it is confusing and hard to imagine that there could be any good in what is happening. We must take the focus off the person who is triggering us and instead come back to ourselves, come back to what is real and alive within us. Our task is to become present to what is real, whatever it is. Inevitably the trail leads to our own fear of death. This is not necessarily a straightforward path that we experience. On this path there is anger, hurt, jealousy, loss.
We do not have to unravel this all on our own. We do not have to be our own therapist. We do not have to have all the tools and skills to unravel complicated emotional traumas. We can trust, and let the intelligence within us guide us. When we are entangled in all that is going on we have forgotten where our trust and faith really belongs – we are in fear – fear of something being exposed, something coming undone, or something awful happening. If we become present and acknowledge this fear, if we acknowledge that there is something else besides this entanglement – something permanent, infinite, eternal – an intelligence within us is still active, we will be moving towards peace. Despite all our fear and all our confusion, there is a place of peace within us and if we will trust and allow for guidance, the clarity will come. If we will just allow ‘what is’ to be without judgment, we will indeed be able to let go, relax and allow the confusion to dissolve. We will gain insight and understanding and become more conscious, more awake.
We know beyond any doubt that there is truth, that there is something that is always true, something that is infinite, eternal and timeless, something that is unchanging and pure – the source of our lives, the setting for our lives. Our lives happen within it – not outside of it. There is an intelligence at work in us always guiding us towards consciousness. We may fight, we may resist, but it never gives up for it is the very essence of its nature to evolve, expand, express and create. Being human includes from time to time, confusion, chaos, emotional whirlpools and whirlwinds. They will pass and we will gain clarity and we will return to knowing who we truly are in more and more depth, and more and more consistently.
We will see that those who cause us the most turmoil bring us the greatest gifts even though it doesn’t possibly seem true at the time. So in this moment we can relax and let go. We can trust that there is a power and intelligence at work guiding us forever deeper and deeper into connection, openness and knowing. Our task in this moment is to return to this truth. All else will be revealed and resolved in time. Nothing can change what is true.