Thursday, July 4, 2013

You Have to KEEP Choosing Freedom From Your Triggers

Deciding you want to be free from your neuroses isn't a one-time decision.  Choosing to let go of your fears isn't a one-time choice.  You have to repeatedly decide and choose over and over again....

Yes!  I want to live a life FREE of fear-based neuroses!  Yes!  I want to live in Love every moment of every day!  Yes!  I want to live in peace and contentment! 

Yesterday an interesting thing happened for me.  I became flooded with fear.  I could feel it coursing through my body.  This wasn't a physical fear that was actually warranted.  I wasn't in eminent danger.  This was the same ego-based fear of old.  The one I thought I conquered when I read "The Untethered Soul" and learned and grew so much. 

Here's what I realized... Those fears, especially the deeply-seeded ones, won't go way easily and quickly.  You may think you've got it beat, only to find it rearing it's ugly head yet again when you least suspect it.

We have to be vigilant against our ego-based fears.


I was sitting on the couch yesterday with my boyfriend and he got a text from his ex-wife.  I could see the screen of his phone and saw her name.  He didn't open it right away, but after a few minutes (when the phone kept beeping), he did.  So I read most of the message too (I was sitting right there).  It wasn't anything concerning.  She was telling him he should apply for a job with Volunteers of America for some reason.  That was basically it.  Still, I felt my old fear-based ego rise up. 

Employing my new-found skills that I learned from Michael Singer, I merely noticed my feelings.  I repeatedly reminded myself not to attach any thoughts to the feelings.  That the feelings were just energy and I could remain open and let them move through me. 

So I did all that.  It did pass, and I was fine. 

Only, it came back.  Later that night... well really kind of the rest of the evening, though not as overwhelming as it was at the very end of the night when I was getting ready for bed. 

So instead of pulling out my kindle for my nightly reading of my current fiction novel (Hugh Howey's the Silo Saga right now), I pulled out "The Untethered Soul" again. felt like old times....

I skimmed chapter one, but delved deeper into chapter two.  It's funny because the first time I read this book, I read all the chapters in their entirety, and I didn't find chapter two to be very "life-changing."  I didn't feel like I learned much from it.  It was stuff I already "knew." 

But this time, I found passages to highlight and it really helped me. 

"You'll never be free of problems until you are free from the part of you within that has so many problems.  When a problem is disturbing you, don't ask, 'What should I do about it?' Ask, 'What part of me is being disturbed by this?'  If you ask, 'What should I do about it?' you've already fallen into believing that there really is a problem outside that must be dealt with.  If you want to achieve peace in the face of your problems, you must understand why you perceive a particular situation as a problem.  If you're feeling jealousy, instead of trying to see how you can protect yourself, just ask, 'What part of me is jealous?'  That will cause you to look inside and see that there's a part of you that's having a problem with jealousy." (Singer p. 15). 

What I felt last night, and what I felt in the past in regards to my boyfriend and his ex, I don't think is jealousy so much as simple insecurity.  Feeling inadequate.  Feeling unworthy.  Feeling afraid that he'll leave me, either for her or someone else. 

So... I thought all those fears and feelings were gone... but apparently not.... ah, still more work to do...


What I'm finding interesting this morning, as I write this blog is I can see what happened before, happening again.  You all know they say the Universe brings us lessons over and over again until we get them.  So I know why this is happening for me.  Yes, it's happening FOR me... not TO me.  I know that.

This is the Universe giving me the same triggers as before, seeing if I really learned and really grew and moved past them.  And this is great practice for me. 

At least this time I'm aware.  I'm seeing what's happening.  I'm seeing the triggers come up and noticing my instant response.

"To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them....[T]he real problem is that there is something inside of you that can have a problem with almost anything.  The first step is to deal with that part of you.... You have to break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problems is to rearrange things outside.  The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality," (Singer p. 16). 

"Before" I tried to "rearrange things outside," as Singer put it.  When I felt insecurities tied to my boyfriend's contact with his ex, I tried to cut her out of the picture.  I demanded he stop communicating with her.  And from experience, I know that doesn't work.  I tried that, and I still had problems.  It was inside of me, and that's what I need to let go of. 

I'm reminding myself what I learned in my first reading of "The Untethered Soul," later in the book.  That once we're aware of what our triggers are, when they come up, and we're observing them, watching the energy that is them move through us... each time we do that we get rid of a little bit of the issue.  Each time... meaning there will be multiple times we have to do this process.

Truly learning to let go of our issues, release our triggers, and live in true peace and freedom is a task.  It's something we must commit our lives to.  It won't come easy and it won't come quick.  That's ok.  It's the same for all of us.  We're not alone in our quest for inner peace and freedom from our triggers. 

Chapter two of the book is called "Your Inner Roommate."  The roommate inside of you is your ego's voice.  That voice that never stops.  That brings up your insecurities.  That sees drama when there needn't be any. 

"In any situation or circumstance, you roommate could suddenly decide, 'I don't want to be here.  I don't want to do this.  I don't want to talk to this person.'  You would immediately feel tense and uncomfortable.  Your roommate can ruin anything you're doing without a moment's notice." (Singer, p. 18). 

That's what I noticed last night.  I had been doing great.  Perfectly, in fact.  No issues, no problems, no insecurities.  Then BAM!  My roommate chirps up and takes over my body.

All because I saw her name on my boyfriend's phone?  I knew he was in contact with her.  And I was ok with that.  I had been playing out situation in my head -- you know, "future" scenarios to "prepare" myself for when they actually happened -- such as seeing her at a social event or something.  And I felt fine in my head when I imagined those situations.

That's why I caught me so off-guard yesterday -- the fear flooding back.  I didn't see it coming.  That damn roommate! 


But here's something else interesting, that gives me hope.  As I was in bed, reading, I felt the emotions come up and I let them out.  I was reading, I identified with the words, and something was triggered inside of me.  I immediately started bawling (I hadn't felt like crying before).  Then just as quickly as it came up, it stopped. 

I distinctly remember sitting there, first being surprised I was so upset, but let the tears flow anyway... and then being just as surprised when the tears suddenly stopped and I felt perfectly fine again.  All in about two minutes time.  Literally.   

I guess that was another piece of my inner "issue" breaking off, coming to the surface, and being let go.  Another piece.  I'm making progress!

I suppose that's how it can happen when we're aware.  When we simply observe and let the emotions rise as energy through us and move right on out.  Let them go.  By not attaching to it, it moved through me quite quickly.  By not freaking out, stressing out, and letting my ego cause all sorts of drama -- I was able to feel the feelings, and let them go. 

Earlier in the day, when I was still feeling the fear inside of me, I kept reminding myself to stay OPEN.  To NOT close!  Don't push those feelings down.  Don't ignore them.  Just feel them.  Let them be there.  And STAY OPEN, no matter what! 

That's the only way our inner issues will work their way out of us.  It's like a splinter.  It'll work it's way out of your body if you let it.  But if you block it in, press it down, and don't let it out, it'll cause a great infection and pain. 

So today I'm reminding myself to be patient, gentle, and kind to myself.  To not feel badly if (when) my triggers arise again.  When I feel that fear come over me, it's ok.  Just see it as the energy it is, and stay open so that it can move through... at whatever speed it wants. 

That's the thing.  That's what concerned me yesterday -- not that I felt the fear and insecurity, but that it seemed to be sticking around.  It didn't just come up and out in a matter of seconds or minutes.  It stuck around for a good part of the evening.  That's why I felt like I could see the past repeating itself (if I let it).  I could see how before, I "bought into" those feelings of insecurity.  How I attached to them.  How I let them grow, overtake me, become me, and then consequently ruin my relationship. 

I saw it.  And I could see it happening again, if I let it.  That's why I'm grateful to know what I know now.  To have these "tricks" up my sleeve for dealing with this stuff when it comes up.  To be aware and observant.  That truly is the first step to letting go of whatever our triggers and issues are.

I had to take a break from writing this blog to do the holiday volunteer time I signed up for today at the animal shelter.  I just got back.  I wanted to add, that the fear that got triggered yesterday didn't fully leave me until about an hour ago (which was around 11am this morning) -- while I was walking a dog through the wooded trails at the shelter. 

Even while typing the rest of this blog this morning, I still felt the remnants of the fear.  I was still telling myself to "Stay Open" and let it out.  Well, I think the movement of the walks, plus the time in nature and with the dogs, helped the last of the fear (for this time) move out of my body.  Because I can report that at this moment, I'm back to being fully at peace and in Love.  I'm no longer bothered by the text from my boyfriend's ex.  It took me longer than I would have liked to get back to this point, but I'm here.  Thankfully. 

So this is what I learned (among other things):  Our deep inner issues will resurface from time to time.  Even though most of the time they may not get to us... most of the time we're not triggered... occasionally we will be.  Even if we don't know why. 

The important thing is to notice it and stay Open.  Stay Open and let it pass through... no matter how long it takes.  Don't close yourself up.  Don't try to "protect" yourself from what you're feeling.  Don't try to control outside circumstances or people because it's not what you want or because it's making you uncomfortable. 

Just relax.  Let it be.  Accept it.  And don't freak out. 

Don't assign additional thoughts and meaning to what you're feeling.  Just let it be the energy that it is.  Let it move through you.  At times it may not feel like it's moving, but if you KEEP your heart open, it will move on out. 

Trust me.  Trust the Universe! 



  1. I've done the same thing Sarah, you think you've 'dealt' with an issue, you've done the work but then it pops up again down the track when you're not expecting it. I have to keep reminding myself that it IS a process, and needs repeating.
    Do you think it's important to feel the feelings and notice what's happening, at the time, or can this be postponed at all without issue? The reason I ask is I find doing this inner work easy at home or alone in the car etc when I can just let whatever come up (cry, shout), just come up. But I find I get triggered so much in my workplace, dealing with stress and constant customer service- I have to be polite, I can't speak my mind and I can't express how I'm feeling or let something come out in that environment. I guess I just don't want any issues being 'held' in my body or psyche, but I don't really see a way around it. Sorry this comment is so long, just curious on your opinion! :)

    1. Becks,
      I think it's important to NOTICE the feelings when they come up, but that we can postpone "dealing" with them. I totally get what you're saying that sometimes stuff comes up for us and it's not exactly a great time to "let it out" and "deal" with it. Lol.
      I think in your situation, with triggers occurring at work, as long as you are AWARE and NOTICE the trigger and how you're feeling, that's the most important part. Noticing it at the moment. And also at the moment you can work on letting it go. As Michael Singer says in the book, notice, and let it pass as energy through you. It's when we block stuff, and don't let it pass through us that it gets stuck, and then makes US feel stuck. I'm rereading The Untethered Soul now (bits here and there as I feel it's needed), and this morning I read most of chapters 5 and 6 I think. But Michael talks about how MOST stuff we just let pass on through us... it doesn't trigger anything in us. But the stuff that does trigger us, we tend to focus on and hold on to. That's where problems start. That we need to learn to train ourselves to let EVERYTHING pass through us. Deal with stuff if it's an actual problem, of course, but don't get hung up. I'm thinking about you and your comment/situation, in regards to Singer's words... I think you could use more self-work. Not that you're not, b/c clearly you ARE working on yourself... but if you're getting triggered so much, it really does start within you. All our triggers do. I don't know what your actual triggers are, or what people are doing that's sparking those triggers, but when you're home alone in the evening, pay attention to that. What is it that's getting triggered in you? Where's the fear? (B/c it's all either fear or love at the core, and triggers are fear-based.) Whatever it is, it's SOMETHING you can work on in yourself. I say this from experience, and in love. Everything outside of us is REALLY a mirror of something inside of us that needs addressing.

      So... I suggest doing some reading and self-work -- maybe with journal writing and/or meditation. Books I recommend: Obviously The Untethered Soul, if you haven't read it yet (or even if you have... I'm still getting stuff out of it in my second reading), and also Wayne Dyer's "Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life." That book also had a big impact on me and I found it very helpful in dealing with life in general. It was very profound, yet simple at the same time. :)
      And in the meantime, when you ARE triggered at work, work on noticing what's happening in your body, keeping your heart open, and letting it out (peacefully...not through crying, shouting, or throwing things). ;)

      If you can do a little writing (either in a little notebook you carry around, in your cell phone somewhere, or in an email you don't send), write out what's bothering you as close to when it happens as possible. I've done that MANY times when I worked in schools and various students and staff got to me. I'd either write an email (that I didn't send to anyone) ranting about what so-and-so did that ticked me off, or I'd write in a journal I carried around. Sometimes, if I was really concerned with someone reading what I wrote, or if I wasn't in a private place, I'd write over and over on the same line. I'd be writing the actual words I needed to get out, but I wrote them on top of each other so it was actually unreadable. The point was just to get my thoughts and feelings OUT, and I certainly didn't want anyone reading over my shoulder. So it ended up being like a paragraph of ranting writing, but all on one line or in a small space, if that makes sense.

      Hopefully some of these tips help. Feel free to comment back if you have any more questions or comments. :)


  2. Hey Sarah, cheers for the reply :) I definately have more work to do lol, and I have been trying to just notice the annoyances etc as they pop up, rather than getting drawn into them and tensing up, or 'closing' as Singer puts it. Some days are just easier than others :)Last Friday I was in a great mood at work and didn't let things affect me or annoy me, which just goes to show it IS my attitude that's determining my mood and not what others are doing 'to' me!
    I like your idea of writing the email and not sending, I have actually done that in the past as well.
    I've actually just come across the work of Byron Katie, I'm a few chapters into one book and am loving it. Not sure if you've read any of her stuff but I think it's going to be another really important book for me, along with The Untethered Soul. I think it's called Loving What Is, if you're interested :)
    Anyway thanks for your reply, I will try to remember to just notice triggers as they come up and then examine them more maybe when I get home.

    1. Becks,
      Hey! Oops, I realized the reply I typed to you, I didn't type as a "reply" to your comment, but as a new comment. So I don't know if you'll get a notification of it or not. I'm not sure how it works on your end. So I figured I'd "reply" to your comment, and let you know I wrote a longer, actual reply below. :)

  3. I have not read anything by Byron Katie, but have certainly heard the name. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it out! :)

    I thought of you and your comment again as I was reading more of The Untethered Soul a couple days ago (I'm now through with my second reading). ;) When something comes up and triggers you, hitting a nerve, just stay open (as Singer tells us). Let your body go through whatever feelings it needs to (anger, irritation, etc.). Feel the feeling. Don't try to stop it or push it down for later. Let it come up and out of you. Remind yourself that THAT feeling is just energy too. Watch it AS energy, and as it moves through your body. The key, of course, is not REACTING to it... such as if it's anger that you feel, not reacting in anger... and just feeling it. Eventually it WILL pass through you and you'll be done with it. I've experienced this myself, now that I know how to practice it. No one is saying we'll never be triggered again or never feel "negative" emotions again. We will b/c we're human, having a human experience. So the trick is to learn to accept this human experience and still maintain our seat in our wisdom consciousness. To WATCH the human experience, such as emotions running through our bodies, and not get overtaken by it.

    It's all a continual practice, for all of us. I'd love to hear how Byron Katie's book goes for you and what you learn! I'll probably see if I can get a copy myself here soon.