I hosted a Soul School workshop last week in Seattle. The topic is my favorite thing to teach: How to quiet your #ittybittyshittycommittee.

Our inner critic loves to blame others and it never takes responsibility. One way you know you’re in alignment with your ego is when you feel inferior or superior to someone else. You’re stuck in comparison or judgement.

What came up a lot during our workshop is how those who are closest to us trigger our inner critic the most.

Specifically: how our parents trigger us.

Of course, as women were sharing how their parents are so annoying, don’t get it, and trigger the crap out of them, there was a mom and daughter in the room. They were so awesome to show up together!

I know I can’t see you, but I mean, raise your hand if you have someone in your life that seems to deliberately trigger you? Like your parent who knows just what to say to shame you into feeling like you’re a bad child again? Or your partner who brings out resentment? Or your child who brings out the demon in you? Or that co-worker who knows just how to get under your skin?

Our relationships are direct portals to our wounds.

If we can view our triggers as our greatest teachers, we can then heal our inner world to affect our outer world.

Ironically, we are triggered by those we care about the most and are closest to. Although we love them, we have developed patterns of our thoughts and reactions.

One woman shared how her mom triggers her and asked: “How can I get her to stop triggering me?”

The real question to ponder is: “How can YOU take ownership of WHY YOU are feeling so triggered?

Her mom loves her and is probably not intentionally trying to cause harm, although it may feel like she is sometimes. Most likely they trigger each other.

Together, they have developed a pattern, where just one look, or an eye roll or one word triggers the other person into their reactive patterns of recycled thoughts and conditioned beliefs.

Breaking the reactive pattern starts with you. You have to be the one to bring consciousness to these unconscious patterns.

We all have those relationships in our life that can bring out the worst in us. We have developed conditioned patterns of reacting when triggered. It gets us nowhere.

The work is to watch and witness your thoughts. Most of our thoughts are recycled from our conditioned thinking.

We are triggered when the reality is not how we want it to be.

Your triggers are your greatest teachers. Invite them in.

When I feel resentment, offended, hurt, or any kind of hot emotion, it’s an opportunity to turn inward, not lash outward.

Although we would love a carefree and happy journey – doesn’t that sound lovely? The reality of life is that you’re going to experience disappointment, heartbreak, friction with others, and you’ll have set-backs and challenges. This is life.

Trying to avoid it just creates more suffering.

Anything that causes you to be in an emotional state is your spiritual teacher.

Become responsible for the way you think. Question your beliefs:

  • Is this true?
  • Is this really true?
  • Or is this my perspective of what I believe to be true?
  • What is real?

Usually reality has no emotional charge- Us humans are what creates the emotional charge behind reality.

Taking responsibility for how you show up and changing your beliefs by watching your thought patterns leads to freedom.

Your external world is a reflection of your internal world.

Change your thoughts, change the result.

Change your actions, inspire others to change.

And even if people around you don’t change, you can change. And the beauty of that, is they don’t trigger you as much, because your internal world is at peace with what is.

Change always begins with you. You have the power to allow yourself to be triggered. You can let yourself be affected by your triggers and be upset and angry, or you can allow your triggers to be your teachers to show you where to heal old wounds and patterns, how to bring what is unconscious conscious and how you want to show up in the world from a place of openness, empathy and love.