Many of us make decisions or react out of fear in regards to a present situation because we are triggered by a memory – either consciously or subconsciously – of a past experience where we were hurt or offended in some way.
It is similar to when we have a wound or a cut that is in the process of healing; and someone comes along and bumps into us or pokes us in that exact spot. We react involuntarily in order to protect ourselves. Have you ever had someone say or do something to you and you react before you even realize what you are doing and you think to yourself, ‘why did that upset me so much?’ Sometimes we are aware of why we had such a reaction; and sometimes we just know that we are really hurt or really angry.
Many times, we have emotional wounds that were never addressed – usually from our childhood as we were not in a place to speak up for ourselves; nor was it safe to cry or get angry and so we either buried these hurts or these wounds scabbed over and left an indelible mark, but we do not think we carry this pain anymore because the scab has made that area numb to any more pain.
However, when it comes to emotional pain, it will continue to be triggered over and over again until we are able to face it and overcome it. This is why we often attract similar people or situations to our lives; our subconscious is aware of the underlying hurt and it wants to be free of it and therefore sends out vibrational messages to the universe about the pain and inevitably attracts to us the very instances we need in order to finally heal.
An example: If we had a parent who was emotionally neglectful and we are carrying pain from this – of feeling rejected – we will continue to attract the same kind of relationships to ourselves. This is why there is so much advice to always look within in and not without. In essence, it is not the other person we need to change – it is ourselves. I mention this phenomenon in greater detail in my other posts under the topic, forgiveness.
My experience is that I attracted this kind of relationship last spring – I was frustrated and angry because I had been hurt and deceived by a good friend and refusing to deal with that pain, lo and behold, I later attracted an another individual to my life who was also frustrated and angry towards people and towards me.
In many ways, he said things to me that I was feeling towards my friend and towards myself for having been foolish enough to trust this friend. It wasn’t until I was willing to revisit the original hurt that I not only was able to forgive my friend but also had the strength to extricate myself from this new unhealthy relationship. Thank goodness, because I am more open now to attracting and meeting someone who is healthy and loving.
What happened in the meantime however, is that hanging on to that original pain and anger since last January, I inevitably continued to attract more and more frustrating situations and people to my life. I was bombarded in 2012 with situations that led me to be hurt, frustrated and taken advantage of. I became reactionary to these events, instead of being able to respond in a healthy manner. These people with whom I was angry went on with their lives; I however, found myself stuck in this perpetual well of frustration.
However, the good news is that one day in the early fall, I awoke – my subconscious I suppose shook me awake – and I was able to become free of this pattern. How did I do it? I have discussed in many of my posts that there is a process to getting past painful experiences and finally being free of them. Here is a simplistic outline of this process that I have found works for me:
1. Sit down and ask yourself when this issue began: You may get an answer that it was in your childhood, or like me, I knew it was about a year ago.
2. Face your true feelings: I had to admit that I was hurt and angry with my friend.
3. Express these feelings honestly: I wrote an email to this person (always DRAFT your email – which is not reacting, but responding) outlining what I perceived happened and how really hurt and disappointed I was. I would normally simply draft it, read it a few times and then delete it. This time, however, I sent it to the person. I would highly recommend that you write the email or letter and then wait for a few days before sending it. You may find that simply writing it and expressing your true feelings is enough. Sometimes, simply reading it and re-reading it and validating your own feelings can be sufficient. If however, you feel that you need the other person to know of your hurt; or you genuinely feel this person could benefit from hearing the truth, then it will be up to you whether you choose to send it or not. If it is a boss or employer where it could put your job or career in jeopardy, I would highly recommend you don’t send it – especially from a reactionary standpoint. Get a second opinion – have a friend or a colleague (that you REALLY know you can trust) read it over and ask them what they would recommend.
4. Forgiveness: Like most of us, I don’t always feel like forgiving; but we do this for OURSELVES, not for the other person. The adage, “bitterness is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die” is so true. We cannot hang onto bitterness as it only poisons ourselves; meanwhile the other person goes merrily on their way.
5. Visualization Technique: One way that I achieve forgiveness is through visualizaton. I imagine a lake with a dock and a boat – the size of the boat varies depending on how angry I am at the person. I imagine that this person (or situation) is sitting in the boat. Now, sometimes, if I am really angry, I get in the boat and I pummel this person until there is nothing left of him/her except a little pebble. Sound awful? Well, I encourage you to do this if you have that much anger – remember, this is only a visualization technique and cannot hurt the other person; but it a safe way for you to express all of the frustration, anger or disappointment you are carrying. You can also punch pillows on your bed if that seems less aggressive.
However, lying to ourselves, trying to pretend we aren’t that angry, does not do us any good. Let’s get good and honest with ourselves. Sometimes, I am able to simply untie the boat and send it on its merry way with that person in it (I don’t always give them paddles!). The last time I used this technique, I simply got in the boat, picked up the pebble (what was left of this person) and threw it into the lake and I kept the boat! There have even been times, that no matter how much I expressed my anger or beat them into a little pebble, I was still not able to push off the boat and let them “go”.
Hence, I have asked Jesus (insert Buddha or whomever you associate with a stronger ability to love) to push the boat off for me. This may seem silly to you; but I know it has worked for me. You have to find what works for you – you may visualize something entirely different. However, I do believe there is something very powerful about actually visualizing the “letting go” or “sending off” or “freeing of” this particular person or situation. In essence, we are letting off the hook for hurting us. Another wonderful way to get to the heart of the matter and be truly free from triggers is to use E.F.T. Emotional Freedom Technique. I have discussed this technique in my other posts and I highly recommend that you read more about it or watch a video on it on the internet to learn more about it!
Step # 6: Rejoice – be thankful for the lessons or the revelation that this person taught you and then rejoice that you are free to move on with your life – free of the trigger and now free to attract more healthy situations to your life. We can learn just as much from a healthy, wonderful person or relationship as we can from a negative one!
How can you be sure you have really let it go?
The next time someone similar comes into your life, you will find yourself much less attracted or not wanting to spend time with this person; or you may simply respond to what they say or do in a more healthy manner. Sometimes, you may have to go back again and revisit the hurt – I have had to go back to the boat and go a few more rounds with some people! In any case, you will notice when you begin to respond and not react to similar situations. You can pat yourself on the back and know that this particular trigger is no longer causing you the same internal F.E.A.R.
Remember: “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron
Next Post: F.E.A.R: False Expectations Appearing Real – How to Not Worry So Much!