Identifying Emotional Triggers
It has been said that one of the keys to healing is awareness. Awareness can come in many different forms – sometimes through presence and quieting the mind, sometimes through adding new tools to our spiritual and energetic “toolbox”, and sometimes through identifying our triggers.
In my healing journey of late, a big focus for awareness has been on identifying triggers – triggers of what causes me to crave certain foods (that may or may not be in my best health and interest), to responding in a certain way or out of habit, to experiencing fear, anxiety, or “fight or flight” symptoms. Rather than beating myself up after it happens, instead I am doing my best to channel that energy I would have used to beat myself up, into understanding why I act or react in certain ways. For example, I have learned that when I am feeling angry, my initial response is to want to swallow it or stuff it down, rather than express it . . . and that after enough time of swallowing it, I get physically or emotionally tired because it is draining to hold all that energy and not express it.
Last night, I had the opportunity to do a reading party for a new client and a few of her friends and family. It was a wonderful experience with lots of beautiful connections with Spirit. The only downside was that a few renegade mosquitoes decided to make a dinner out of my arms and hands. I was covered in probably 1 – 2 dozen big bites by the time the two-plus hours were finished.
I have always been a lure for mosquitoes and biting bugs (in spite of my best efforts to thwart them), ever since I was little. It didn’t matter what kinds of repellent I used (or didn’t use) . . . they always got me, even if I were outside for just a few minutes. And a few years ago, I realized I couldn’t use most commercial products, because my skin would break out in a bright red rash by the next day, even after washing it off immediately after coming inside. Then a few years ago, I was dealing with a flea infestation where I was living, and was full of bites and scratches from head to toe. This was also during a time in my life when other intense, challenging things were occurring (including my time in the hospital for surgery and rehab, a few weeks after the infestation).
Well, even though consciously I knew that there was no reason to panic, when I arrived home last night, I began to feel an unexplainable sense of anxiety. As I was trying to avoid scratching the mosquito bites, I found myself crying and panicking, totally overcome by fear. At first I found myself wondering, What’s wrong with me? I just finished an amazing reading party? Why am I freaking out? It’s just a couple of mosquito bites! But when I stopped myself, took a deep breath, and asked, “What’s the cause of this?,” I discovered that my fight-or-flight brain was equating the bug bites with that time in my life a few years ago. Even though the bites had nothing to do with the surgery or rehab itself, and even though this experience was entirely separate from the one a couple of years ago, the feeling of itchiness, helplessness and frustration triggered the panic and fear response.
Once I had that realization, the fear, panic, and anxiety started to subside. It doesn’t mean that it’s gone completely – quite honestly, I still had spikes of intense fear today, and a pretty “off” night’s sleep last night. But it’s lessening . . . and, more importantly, I know that as I become more aware and awake, more healing and transformation can and will happen.
Oh, and as an update — the bites were gone as of this morning . . . I mean 100%, completely, utterly disappeared. No creams, oils, ointments . . . just a hot shower when I got home. Awesome. 😀