My cell phone rings. It’s my husband. “Your Moms flight has been cancelled. We’re on our way back home”.
My reaction is not joy at having more time with my 87+ year old Mom. On the contrary, I’m pissed! I was really looking forward to her leaving. I love my Mom, but for no obvious reason, during the last week of her visit, her very presence had been triggering me.
[trig·ger (trĭg′ər) A device used to release or activate a mechanism.2. Something that precipitates a particular event or situation. trig·gered, trig·ger·ing, trig·gers1. To set off; initiate or provoke a response]
I’m in the middle of promoting my Weekend Soul Retreat and when I was spending time with her I felt stressed, I “should” be working on this project. When I was working, I felt guilty, I “should” be spending time with her. The internal conflict felt exhausting!
The truth is, what was exhausting me was trying to manage the emotions I didn’t want to feel and what made me feel angry were the lies I was telling myself like: “If she weren’t here, I would be doing more!”. (which was a load of B.S.)
I knew that the Universe was intending I receive the gift being presented through my Mothers presence and she wasn’t leaving till I got it! Lol!
You would think that in realizing this I would choose to surrender immediately right? Nope! (It’s important to note that when we are ‘triggered’ we are acting from the place of our most fearful self, not our highest, most loving self).
I worked all day on Saturday and hid in my room until after lunch on Sunday under the pretext of ‘resting’, finally getting out of bed only because I needed to get a new ink cartridge for my printer so I could print her boarding pass when I checked her in online.
Monday morning, I take her to the airport. Get her settled with the wheelchair guy who will take her to check her bags, escort her through security and get her to the gate. I lean in to give her a final hug and kiss. She queries: “You’re not going to park and come inside with me?”. “No Mom. You’re in good hands with this [strange] gentleman. He’ll take good care of you”.
As I drive away I am overcome with emotion. I am somewhat shocked as tears of relief flow and my body has a spontaneous relaxation response (similar to what happens after some kind of danger has passed and you realize you are safe). This is followed quickly by guilt and self judgement. I am perplexed by this response. Again, I am triggered.
Whenever you are triggered by something or someone, pay attention. There is a huge opportunity for a breakthrough. There is a gift there for you. Sometimes we need help in finding it.
I connect with my coach for a quick SOS call. I spend a couple hours with Mother Nature, lying in the sun on a dock by the lake. I watch the sunlight dance on the water, the ducks frolicking and delight in the contrasting sensations of the suns warmth and the cool breeze on my skin, while listening to a talk by a spiritual teacher I love, Matt Kahn on my phone.
I feel the tension in my chest melt away. The sense of spaciousness and ease returns.
As I take the time to be still, relax and connect – with myself, Source and my mentors – clarity comes: I see where my Mom has just been my mirror, giving me the opportunity to see something in my blind-spot. My Mom at 87 is fighting to maintain her independence. She is having a hard time relaxing and trusting she will be taken care of. She is constantly trying to be helpful because it is uncomfortable for her to do nothing.
She was being my perfect mirror. Providing me with the opportunity to see in myself where I was not relaxing and trusting and release the judgement of it.
What do you do when someone “triggers” you? How do you handle it? I love to hear! Leave a comment below.