Transmuting your Triggers into Inner Peace
Does your inner Hulk tend to get triggered in the blink of an eye? Then, you might be in the presence of an anger button or trigger. However, we have buttons for every type of emotion: sadness, unworthiness, disappointment, frustration, etc. Buttons or triggers are simply parts of your ego that you deeply and most of the time unknowingly identify with. These might have been developed as unfelt emotions from your past, or are simply concepts that you learned through your life experiences that now make part of your own identification of who you are as a human today, and which, when threatened, make the ego feel at risk of losing what it loves the most: its own existence through conceptual identifications.
In any case, when pushed, buttons may be felt as a field of emotions arising within you that, when left unattended, may lead you to react in ways that you may later regret. Sometimes the emotional reactions are so strong that we may feel that they fully control us. Our brains immediately try to find a cause for it on the outside, blaming whoever it thinks has caused such an emotional reaction. However, the truth is that buttons are there in you as a current part of your psyche, and people and situations simply push them, sometimes without even noticing. It is then your responsibility to be aware of them so that they do not control you anymore. Thus, since buttons point at a part of us that is currently taking away our own inner peace, they represent a huge opportunity for growth.
When you can stay calm and face the same situation again without feeling those emotional reactions, or at least having them so diminished that they do not force you to act in a certain way, then you have been able to transcend your trigger and you are one step ahead in your own growth, happiness and inner peace. Below is my advice to deal with buttons:
1 – Stay conscious when your buttons are being pushed: feel the emotions arising within you when your buttons are being pushed. Denying the trigger and its emotions is going against the present moment and can lead to emotional repression, which can make them accumulate in the long term and give more energy to your triggers, so it is important to acknowledge it so that you can liberate its energy and grow in the process. This may require a certain level of consciousness, but with practice, it can be mastered. I recommend to not just feel the emotion, but also your inner space, your energy that gives you life, so that you can more easily dissociate from the trigger and give it less energy which is provided by thoughts.
2 - Pay attention to any thoughts that arise when a button is triggered: What concepts or situations from your past are you attaching yourself to? These thoughts give you clues to what it is really that is bothering you so that you can transcend it.
3 - Explore these thoughts: once you have some free time, you can inquire about the truth behind them. Where did you learn that concept? Is that concept you are attaching yourself to absolutely true? How does it make you feel when reality goes against that concept? Is it really worth it to lose your peace of mind to that concept? Who would you be without that part of your ego? If you do this consciously, you will definitely find out that there is no concept worth losing your own inner peace to, as we are at our core beings of peace.
4 – Make a plan: How will you respond next time that your button is triggered, in case it happens? What mental process will you use that will take you out of there quicker? What will you do?
In my experience, step 1 is the most fundamental one. If you understand that there is no concept that can really define us, and that the ego is simply striving to get a hold of you and to be honored its identity, forcing its illusion of separation through such concepts, then the process will become a lot easier. In this state of mind, simply recognizing your trigger in the moment, and seeing through it by feeling it while also feeling your own inner body, You will create enough space between yourself and the trigger so that it will not control you anymore. You can then respond consciously, and you will love how it feels to master yourself! Remember to breathe in the process and to quiet the mind as much as possible, which is easier when you are feeling yourself. Also, remember to enjoy the underlying stillness and peace that lies behind the trigger. That is our essence.
Try this process for a couple of weeks and you will see how one by one, your triggers are being overcome and how inner peace is a natural process where you will slowly return.