As humans, we often have specific buttons we don’t want to be pressed, which can be referred to as triggers. These triggers are the emotional wounds we picked up from our past traumas and dramas, which lead us to unconsciously or consciously create disempowering and limiting beliefs about ourselves. The way we can usually determine a sore spot (aka trigger) is our response to a situation.
My mentor Christie Marie Sheldon introduced me to the phrase: “A cow’s a cow, and a pig's a pig. You can't change a cow into a pig and you can't change a pig into a cow.” Meaning you can’t change another person. They are who they are. All we can do is heal what triggers us.
I experienced this firsthand during a work assignment, which involved a co-worker whom I felt would always go out of their way to “push my buttons” and make me feel bad. It felt so intense, I started to hate working the job I loved. I then realized what Christie had been saying and began to see this person for who they were and saw my own triggers as something that needed to be healed. To be clear though, I’m not condoning emotional or physical abuse.
I knew if I could heal what was triggering me, I could see the truth in the matter and make a decision from a place of self-empowerment, instead of anger.
While it took both time and self-examination, I was able to do this. I started by blessing my day prior to going to work, that every interaction and transaction would be filled with love. If things came up, I would take a deep breath, silently thank this moment, and then see what this trigger had to teach me. I would bless and thank this person (in silence) for helping me uncover my trigger to heal, which at the time was extremely difficult. I did not engage in conversation with this person until I knew I could speak from a place of confidence, compassion, and grace.
Eventually, I uncovered the truth of the matter, which had nothing to do with the coworker and everything to do with a painful childhood trauma that later became a limiting belief. Additionally, I was able to see that this person was in pain and as a result, lashing out. From this new perspective, I was also able to offer them guidance and support as they went through their healing process. Through this, we ended up becoming friends and we support each other to this day.
To practice this process in your own life, I’ve outlined some simple steps below, which I’ve found most helpful on this journey. Feel free to reach out with any questions by posting in the comment section.
Note: steps 1-3 can be carried out on a daily basis, while steps 4-5 might require seeking additional help.
1. "A Cow's A Cow"
During the process keep this phrase handy and at the forefront of your mind. This alone will help you. There is nothing to change about another person, and you will not change them. They can only change if they want to change. You can, however, change the way you respond to that person. That is your choice. You could choose to feel gratitude for this person who helped you uncover what needed to be healed within you.
2. Kickstart Your Day
Start each day with a blessing as it's one of the easiest ways to positively shift your mindset. Sit for a moment and imagine how your day would look if it was perfect. You could imagine that every interaction and transaction be filled with love and mutual respect. You could also imagine sitting with your coworkers or friends and giving each other compliments. Fuel these thoughts with gratitude as you send them out from your heart and into the world.
If you find yourself emotionally triggered--extending beyond the situation itself--try not to react from this space and instead BREATHE. Take a few deep breaths, at a five-second count, in and out. If nothing else, it will give you a minute to settle, before reacting. Or better yet remove yourself from the situation.
When you're out of the situation, explore what happened. What came up for you? Was it out of proportion to the situation? When was the first time you felt this? Where'd you feel it in your body? What emotion is attached to it? This will help you bring the “emotional file” into your awareness.
Most often when the awareness is made we find a connection to a past wound. Once we are ready and willing to heal this wound, the current situation resolves.
And finally, choose an additional process to heal the past that works best for you. This is the most important step and it should match your beliefs and true nature. Here are a few that I stand behind after seeing results in my own life and later in my clients’ lives. These are profound and some of which have rapid results. Feel free to reach out if you'd like to know more about these techniques.
• Aroma Freedom Technique (AFT) by Dr. Benjamin Perkus
• Emotional Freedom Tapping (EFT) by Gary Craig
• The Work by Byron Katie
• Heal Yourself by Louise Hay
• Regenerating Images in Memory by Dr. Deb Sandella
• Intuitive Energy Clearing by Christie Marie Sheldon