This past month I have been very aware and focused on something that I have been discussing with Tom Campbell (and others) and writing about for the past couple of years: How to come from a place of unconditional love and acceptance. We often are too focused on how others affect us or when something happens; we unconsciously look at how it impacts us. An example would be when interacting in a relationship and there is a conflict we automatically look at what this conflict means to us. We take whatever the conflict is personally and we react personally and this means we react from a place of ego. We allow what is happening to trigger us emotionally and we perceive it from a pattern that has created a story in our lives.
Let’s give this even more meaning and look at it from a pattern of abandonment as this is a trigger most people understand. So we are engaged in a conversation with another person – and this could be any relationship although an intimate relationship often has more of a charge to it – and one of us gets triggered first and that often leads to the other person also getting triggered. Now we first have to understand that both of us have grown up having different experiences which leads to having different triggers and that leads to having different stories that we have created. Our experiences define our lives by the age of seven. By the age of seven we do not have an emotional understanding of our experiences and we don’t consciously understand what is happening to us. However our brain likes to clump our experiences together so that our ego can protect us from being hurt. Let’s understand that by the age of seven nothing is fully processed and our pain and fears are very uncomfortable. We make assumptions and beliefs from these experiences and this leads to a story being created around abandonment that may not even make logical sense at this later point in our lives. However this experience continues to trigger us because since the age of seven we have had plenty of experiences that have been clumped together that have added to our understanding of abandonment. We have had friends, family, partners and co-workers and others leave us in some way that we have interpreted as abandonment – even when it is just an interpretation or perception that they have left ‘us’.
Now, moving forward 20, 30, 40, or 50 years and we engage in a relationship that is triggering someone else or still triggering ourselves. We unconsciously interpret it as abandonment. We get triggered or we trigger someone else who then triggers us and we react. We react the same way as we did when we were seven. We might not have a temper tantrum like we did when we were two but the emotional impact, the emotional charge, is the same. We perceive this as something happening to us personally. We experience this event as the same ‘story’ we have created and we react mostly unconsciously from a place where this hurts. We react!
If we are on a path that is evolving towards love this requires us to not take anything personally – especially things that impact us negatively – but rather for us to move into a place of unconditional love and acceptance. To evolve towards love we must consciously understand and see when we want to first react and then, instead, take charge of our personal view of the situation. We want to become aware of our emotions. When we are with another and we are sharing a conversation with that person or even sharing space and they get upset we typically go into survival mode and our ego looks to justify, blame or judge who is right or wrong. When someone does something we don’t like or want, we automatically add this experience to our story and our ego is in charge. We have to understand that every single person has their own story that was created by the age of seven. Everyone has their own issues, their own ego, their own pain, fear and suffering that is ‘real’ to them.
We have to be able to ‘see’ our automatic reactions as what they are. Then we have to be able to ‘see’ the person in front of us as also having an automatic reaction. And this is where it gets interesting; this is when we can make a choice. The first choice is: do I come from a place of ‘me’ and how is this affecting me? Do I automatically justify, blame and/or judge this situation or person as abandoning me? Do I add this to my story of abandonment? Or can I step outside of my initial response and make another choice? Can I then look from a place of ‘other’ and see that no matter what is said or done that this person actually believes they are trying to persevere through their pain and their own abandonment story? They are trying to do what is ‘right’ for them and it is just ‘their’ story when they get triggered. They are justifying, blaming and judging the situation based on their own experiences and story created by the age of seven.
On this path towards evolving towards love we can become more conscious by knowing that whenever we are triggered or feeling uncomfortable that this is just a reaction to a story or experience we had in the past. Then we can really ‘see’ and hold space for another while we are with them. We can create a safe space of consciousness and acknowledge that when someone reacts it really has nothing to do with us and instead of reacting to our emotions, we can allow those emotions to get provoked without our reactions or these emotions getting in the way. We can learn a great deal about the other person when we don’t go into reaction mode with them. We can change our story and stop or heal our unconscious reactions. Plus, once we can hold space and BE from a place of consciousness we can see the “other’s” fears and triggers. We can sit with them and not feel our own pain and fear. We can stop the pattern or our reactions and come from a place of ‘truth’ as we understand that both the pattern and/or our reactions are triggered and our reaction and the other person’s reactions are not rational but from a perspective of a young child who doesn’t understand. This gives space for everyone to come from an authentic place and not automatically react. It offers a ‘safe’ place, something that not everyone has experience with. Let’s give them a safe place. It will be good for all of us.
My focus on choosing not to be triggered by myself or others this month was a wonderful opportunity for me to understand this concept from a place of expansion and awareness. It was an opportunity for me to see how others can get triggered because they are only coming from a ‘me’ place. These experiences have allowed me to quiet my anxiety and quietly hold authentic space for another person to BE and for me to see the bigger picture and move towards my evolution towards Love! You may want to take this upcoming month and focus on the same thing and see how your understanding can expand. Perhaps creating a ‘trigger journal’ where you write down every day what has triggered you and see if you can chose to not get embroiled in the emotion but rather observe it and see it from a perspective of unconditional love and acceptance. Happy Awareness!