Photography and Text by Jules Steffen
As in this photo, we dance in relationships, paralleling, mirroring, and connecting in ways that are incredibly synchronistic. Yet, the drive for creating drama in relationships runs rampant in our society, and hugely impacts our personal health and the health of others. We tend to bring forward the wounds from our personal back story when we remain unaware and unconscious of the ways in which these wounds are repeated in our life. When our wounds seemingly join forces with the ego that longs to be right in every way, the potential for drama in relationshipscan be quite high. To add more fuel for drama, we tend to wound others in the way in which we have been wounded. The cycle keeps going unless we actively choose to shift and stop the cycle.
We can get triggered by someone's behavior and we may react in some way. If we are honest with ourselves, we are likely feeling mad, sad, or afraid - or a combination of these core feelings. We often don't check in with ourselves about the feelings we're experiencing, or we may minimize or deny the feelings that surface within us concerning the interaction with this individual who triggered us. If we but acknowledge the specific feelings that are present for us in the triggering situation, we are closer to feeling into what it takes us back to (i.e. an earlier wounding experience). The mere act of feeling triggered into our feelings is for us an opportunity to receive a layer of healing for the wounds that remain tethered to us. It's as if the potential for our healing is given to us on a silver platter when in the presence of a triggering situation.
Given that we often remain unaware of the wounds we carry, that we can react in unconscious ways, that the ego inside of us can get so ramped up and crave to be right about everything, and that we tend to wound others similarly to the way in which we've been wounded - it's essential to realize that we have the propensity to create drama and destruction with those who surround us in life, unless we proactively choose otherwise. In addition to the potential healing that is offered up to us on this silver platter when triggered by someone's behavior, we also have the opportunity to be a healing agent for the person who triggers us by staying present for ourselves: owning our feelings, connecting with the wounds that surface from our past, and resourcing ourselves around all of this so that we aren't overwhelmed. In so doing, we choose to come from a place of compassion for ourselves, which lays the foundation for offering a sense of compassion to the other person who is triggering us, and for the wounding that they may be carrying.
Our back story is written from our pre- and perinatal experiences. The threads that are woven through these experiences tie together, highlighting specific themes that resonate throughout our life. When we consider all the threads and connections that comprise our own life story, we begin to realize that we are profoundly all one - connected by the triggering threads that ignite our emotions, as well as, the potential healing threads - if we consider the possibilities that arise when we own our feelings, feel into what it takes us back to, have compassion for ourselves and what may have occurred for us, and begin to have compassion for what may have happened in the back story of the individual who triggers us. When we touch into all of this, we are resting in the wisdom of the Middle Ground: Where Sages Dwell. In light of the amount of negative energy that is fueled by our unresolved wounds and the ego that strives to prove itself right - may we shift this reality and find ways to show compassion to ourselves and others. Ourhealing, the health of our families, and the wellbeing of our nation and our world - all depend on this.
Jules Steffen, LMHC
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