An emotional trigger is the reopening of an emotional wound.
In reality, it is any situation in life that arises, that is wrapped with fear and causes you to have a physiological response and experience psychological pain.
I have a client who we will call Joe. Growing up, he always fell just short of his father’s approval. His father definitely loved him, but it was never expressed in a language that Joe could understand. He never told Joe that he was not good enough, but he constantly compared him to his cousins and other kids in the neighborhood, pointing out what they were doing successfully and admirably. He always made it a point to tell Joe that he could be more “like them”. He would compliment those boys when he saw them with a pat on the back and a high five. Joe rarely if EVER got a pat on the back, a high five or received any type of nurturing to his confidence.
The emotional would was inflicted at a young age. Some beliefs that he picked up along the way were
- I am not as good as others
- It is not safe to show vulnerability.
- No matter how hard I work, I am not acknowledged
- I am insignificant
- I am not worthy of being loved for who I am
Joe comes across to the world as very successful and very interesting. He has had several amazing accomplishments, makes a great living and is pretty emotionally intelligent. This is his nature…
He is also capable of coming across as superior, egotistical and arrogant. He is an overachiever and would talk endlessly about the great things he was doing in the world. He was defensive and quick to judge. THIS is he, when trying to hide his emotional wound.
His wound- the fear of not being good enough, came wrapped in more fears. Fear of not being acknowledged, not being important, not measuring up to others, not being smart enough, etc. was sleeping out everywhere in his life- especially in his romantic relationships.
He put very hard demands on the women he would become in involved with. They would need to be very accommodating and complimentary. He needed acknowledgement and recognition all the time. He would become angry, defensive or depressed when he wasn’t getting praised and this pattern made the women in his life feel like THEY were not good enough because they could see that he was never happy… nothing was ever good enough.
ALL of this stems from his childhood. As we went through his normal day to day behaviors and dug around in his past- we discovered these old wounds that were still active like volcanoes deep within him.
We did tapping ( EFT- emotional freedom technique) to really get in touch with his feelings and begin to let go of the old hurts. We touched on every aspect from the desire to please his father, to his desire to be patted on the back like the other boys. We touched on all of the inferior feelings that he had stirring inside of him. We tapped until he he experienced an energetic shift. He could no longer feel the intensity of his emotions. We then started working on his thoughts – we began a process of creating new thoughts about himself and life that he would say every day. These thoughts were magnetic and felt really good as he thought of the possibility of them becoming his reality.
Fast forward one year later- Joe is in a solid committed relationship with a lovely woman. She is the perfect match to ease him through, should an old belief come up and hurt him. They help each other to stay grounded and grow.
He has come so far. He has had an opportunity to talk with his father about everything. His father had his own set of emotional wounds and was doing the best he could with what he knew how, living out his OWN patterns. He was able to apologize to Joe and tell him that he was proud of him. So much healing happening in these relationships!
I love the saying that our wounds are not our fault, but they are OUR responsibility to heal.
What are YOU triggered by in life? How would you like your life to feel different? Reach out if this kind of work is if interest to you and I will help you get started!