Unconditional love: Very few of us had even one parent who loved us unconditionally. More often than not, we had to be someone our parents wanted us to be or we had to do what they wanted us to do to earn their love. So it is up to us as adults to find ways to love ourselves unconditionally. We can choose to love ourselves, warts and all. 

Transference: Notice if your relationship with dad and/or brothers has had an impact on your view of men and the masculine, and if your relationship with your mom/sisters has impacted your view of women and the feminine. If there are unhealthy stories or patterns there, create and reinforce new ones that will help create healthier relationships. 

Consider that metaphorically, dad can represent God, and mom can represent the universe or the Earth. Notice if your relationship with your dad has any similarities to your relationship with God. Notice if you relationship with mom has any similarities to your relationship with the universe or the Earth. Is there any part of this you’d like to change? 

Parts Work

Each of us has a wide range of parts, aspects, or voices inside of us. Sometimes these voices can be in direct conflict. For example when thinking about doing exercise for health, you may have a voice of wisdom which says, yes, exercise is good for you. Just do it! Another part or voice which values ease and relaxation or is just plain lazy might be saying no need to exercise now. You can always do it tomorrow. This is but one example of many of how parts inside you can be in conflict. 

By recognizing, honoring, and giving voice to the many and sometimes conflicting parts within ourselves, we can develop an observer part which can then act as referee or coach to the various parts. This observer self can invite all parts to the table and give each one the opportunity to fully express itself. Some people find it useful to name the various parts. When you find yourself in inner turmoil or conflict, invite the observer self to step forward and help all parts of yourself to be fully heard and acknowledged. This can often help to release the tension and find a way to greater inner harmony. 

For a great example of how this can work, read about one man’s struggle with sexuality and how he worked with his monk self and horny self to resolve this at: https://talksex.us/sexuality-confusion-breakthrough 

Dealing with Triggers

When you notice you are triggered, here’s a secret formula for transformation: Stop! Breathe. Shake/move/sound. Remember. Connect. Choose from the heart. 

Stop! When you find yourself triggered, the vital first step is to just stop! Disengage from your partner or whatever is going on. This is the hardest, yet most important step. No matter how right you are, or no matter how caught up you are in the drama, just stop!

Breathe: After stopping, take a moment to just close your eyes and breathe. Slow, deep, full breaths. Focus on the air coming into your lungs on the in breathe and then leaving your lungs on the out breath.

Shake and sound. Next shake your body. You may want or need to separate yourself from the situation by leaving the room or going outside. If appropriate for wherever you are jump up and down. Let yourself vent any anger or frustration. Shout into a pillow or even cover your mouth and scream if you need to. Our bodies go into fight or flight when we are triggered, so this sound and movement is vital to releasing the pent up energy. Imagine that you are a balloon releasing all of the pent up emotion and tension. See below for more on venting. 

Remember: Once the tension has been released from your balloon, come back to stillness. If it feels right put your hands over the center of your chest. Remember the amazing, beautiful being you are in your core. Remember that no matter what is going on, in our heart of hearts, we all just want to love and be loved. Remember the really big picture of life on Earth being about learning, growing, and expanded our capacity to give and receive love.

Connect: Once you’ve remembered the bigger picture, connect. First connect with yourself, with your own deeper and higher self. Then open to connecting energetically with your spiritual guidance, and finally with whoever or whatever you were being challenged by. Feel your intention to invite deeper love and compassion with those involved. 

Choose from the heart: Once you’ve moved through these steps (which can take minutes or hours), choose from your heart what is next. Be gentle and loving with yourself. Be gentle and loving with those involved. If there is no clear direction, admit to yourself and those involved that you are stuck and don’t know what to do, but let them know you want to be a stand for love and compassion. 

The more you get used to following these steps, the easier it will become to move through triggers when they come up in your life. Give it a try and watch the magic unfold. And if you fail, don’t be hard on yourself. Make a commitment to improve the next time. 

Venting: Finding appropriate ways to vent anger, frustration, or other pent up feelings is a powerful, if not necessary means to develop greater emotional and spiritual health. It’s important to have the clear intention while venting of releasing pent up energy and not deepening the strife. Focus not on any person, people, or situation and instead vent to the universe. 

If you don’t have a large cache of pent up feelings, this will likely feel very liberating. If you do have bottled up emotions, this may feel scary. You might fear that you’ll explode and lose control if you allow all those feelings to come out. Use your own discernment and ask for higher guidance, but also be courageous and trust that done in the right way, this can lead to profound transformation. It may mean finding the right place to vent, possibly with a trusted friend who can hold space for you and keep you safe.