Let’s just put it out there already. Triggers are scary.


We are taught to run from pain and not toward it. The mere word “trigger” is ahem…triggering.

A couple of weeks ago, I was paging through Spacebook, thanks, Mat Bodhi Bryan, and I came across a meme my friend, the aforementioned Mat, had shared:

“Let the triggers be your guide.”

It was a bolt into my heart and head. I have both gravitated toward triggers and run shrieking from them. Haunted, as we all are, by their very signature meaning for us. Afraid that what we come closer to, will be true. I will learn I am disposable. I will learn I am not unique or memorable. I will learn my footprint on this earth means nothing, that everyone who has ever wronged me was right. I will learn I am worthy of abuse. And on it goes, the inanity filling up your core, whispering vicious secrets about you that aren’t true.

Instead, what happens when we venture forward, when we poke that stick into the hole where the bees live, is that we start to understand how wrong our misperceptions are. We begin to unfurl the hurt part of ourselves, the limb we have curled into our chests, that we favor tenderly. Blood starts to flow to that part of the body, yes, altered forever, but in some ways stronger.

Triggers are obstacles we can desensitize ourselves to on the way to growth.

Over and over again, we can talk about them, share the benefit of acceptance in our hearts as the agony of experience loses strength. It flows out of us, diluted and as it does we find our power.

We can live in harmony with our pasts, aware of what it was, without overwhelming pain. We can talk about it without crying, and recite specific stories almost as if they belong to someone else. We can recognize that path to pain is as strong as we make it. We can even turn it into a twig that snaps when we put our boot on it.

Mat tells me this is a common quote used when people are healing, that triggers can equal pain and contention until they are addressed. When we do this, when we confront and sit with the agony of our triggers we can reach pinnacles in recovery, we can turn our exposure to them from pain management to pain awareness and then into a true healing journey.

The great news about triggers? They can launch you into new awakenings if you let them.

And when you propel yourself smack into that phase, miraculous things happen.

We make different choices that have nothing to do with our past and pain.

We stop identifying ourselves as evolving out of anguish and victimization.

We become who we are supposed to be.

We are not:

  • Incapable of working for ourselves in our passions
  • Black sheeps of our families
  • A source of shame
  • Hopeless in our relationships
  • A waste of time
  • Unlucky
  • High maintenance
  • Doomed to repeat history
  • A head case
  • A drama king or queen


We are our every potential. We are limitless and fascinating. We are brave enough to confront the lies that have made up the suffering in our lives. We are in control of how much we stand in misery.

Triggers are the keys we have been seeking to unlock every door that has ever slammed shut in our faces. When you wince at reading the word, you know you are there. Acknowledge the first thought that rises from it and dig your heels in as the pain sweeps through you. What is it telling you?

First the falsehoods. They’ll wash over you like acid. Then the cleansing, the reliving of the pain. Feel the hurt. Try not to judge yourself for feeling it. Own your part if you have any. Forgive yourself if you need to.

Let it go…

  • The lies about living a worthy life. You are.
  • The lies about success. You will be when you believe you will be.
  • The lies about your capabilities and intelligence. You can become anything.
  • The lies about your not deserving love because of someone else’s treatment. You deserve all the love in the world despite your past abuse or neglect.
  • The lies about attaining a financial, stress-free life. You are not pre-programmed to fail.

Every block concerning every topic that affects us can be traced back to triggers, back to the fear of re-experiencing the darkest memories and so we run. We run from opportunity because to confront it and engage, with the potential of not meeting our aims would validate our lies. It’s too big a risk. But we go there…again and again. We seek the pain, our eyes wide, hearts hammering, our bodies unable to resist the pull. We want to understand the cause, to assign a reason for it. To learn what we did to deserve it so we can validate it and make it normal. But it will never be resolved. Not fully. And deliberate pain received from another makes them abnormal, not you!

Greater resolution comes from release. Mourn your attachment to pain. You will feel it as you stride into the new you. It’s a scary, irreplaceable sensation. You will be okay.

Greater resolution comes from acceptance that sometimes it had nothing to do with you. That sometimes, people are bastards who think they can exploit your emotions and heart…until they can’t anymore. Because you stop them. Because you put their every action and word back on THEM.

One meme stopped me. I gave myself over to it 13 days ago, so curious and having been in the trenches with my deep pain for decades, I was able to surrender. I was in practice of walking toward it with my arms outstretched. One meme, a few minutes to reach out to my friend and have a discussion about triggers, to learn what he is doing in his life to serve others so their memories won’t turn into a personalized torture chamber anymore.

Mat Bodhi Bryan is a healer who leads from his heart source, “helping men reconnect with the divine/sacred masculine energy, healing them through creating brotherhood and setting them on the path to stepping out of society’s paths, and forward into the Loving masculine energy that is needed right now.”

His life’s work is understanding pain and moving past management into rehabilitation. Pain, that is a river flowing into each nook and cranny of scar tissue we clench onto in our bodies. Let’s make peace with that pain and move into prosperity in our relationships, our parenting, our businesses, our finances, our confidence.

The next time you encounter a trigger, try to resist your visceral response.

Take a moment to understand your own feelings as if you were a hiker who happened to stumble across a rock with sharp edges. Regard it as much as you can without the attachment to your personal history…let it simply live in your space as you breath through its close proximity. Then purposefully push it from your mind as powerless, let your healing begin as your path to emotional wealth appears, as your path to everything you have ever hoped for finds you.

After decades of pain, I am living this. I am not a counselor, not a speaker. I am none of those things. I am just trying to live an unobtrusive existence as we all are. This is what worked for me. My own healing and my own heart-centered resurgence of my goodness is why I share it with you.

You CAN heal. You can remove triggers, habits and untruths about yourself to find a new path that has been simply overgrown by the pain of your past.

I hope you do. I am rooting for you.


Article Originally from: “The Good Men Project”


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