4 min read

Today I got triggered

Today I got triggered

Being human is funny.

Besides the fact that we exist at all, our lives are so FULL. So full in fact, our brain has to delete, distort, and generalize sensory input so we can actually function.

What if our brains decided one day, "Nah. Fuck y'all. I'm going to turn all the taps on. Deal wit it."

We'd be goop. Globs. Puddles of organic matter.

The brain does interesting things. For one, it has memory. A way to store important pieces of information. I still don't know how it works. But it can take sensory information (patterns of energy), store it, and retrieve it when it's needed.

But there's more. Lot's more.

It, by association, can randomly access this memory without our consent.

And this is how we normally get triggered.

We know that our brain processes patterns of energy. (sensory signals convert to electrical & chemical energy in the body)

Our intelligence, possibly the subconscious, decides whether this energy pattern is relevant or useful.

The pattern is either stored or discarded. If it's stored, the brain captures more information than we think it does. (Remember, the brain is processing information that we do not have conscious access to)

For example, imagine you get dumped (congratulations!). Your brain encounters the patterns of energy in that situation (sight, smell, feelings, thoughts, whatever). It decides, "Wow. This dork just got dumped. Let's not do that again." and transfers massive amounts of data to your memory. (Using chemical or electromagnetic signals)

You may only recall a few memories of that event in the future, but your brain has the full data set.

This roughly explains how we get triggered.

Have you ever felt anxious for no reason?


You're trying to sleep, but your thoughts keep bringing up that embarrassing time when you pee'd your snow pants in the 7th grade. (I swear that wasn't me. 😳😳)

Something in your inner environment, a pattern of energy more specifically, has found resonance with the data you have stored in your memory.

You may not be aware of this energy pattern since your brain distorts, deletes, and generalizes things. However, your brain doesn't miss things happening around you. It is constantly scanning. And it may find something that matches the pattern you have stored.

So, when you got dumped, let's imagine it was at a Starbucks. The 15-minute episode consisted of you walking into the store, buying something, getting dumped, then going home. (A fast breakup at a fast food store, killer.)

Lots of information gets stored:

  • What you were wearing
  • What they were wearing
  • What the store smelt like
  • What they smelt like
  • How you felt
  • What you drank (because why not)
  • Regrets (which your brain manifests)
  • Your expectations of the event
  • And a whole lot more.

You probably only remember feeling bad, what they wore and what was said.

But your brain took in a WHOLE lot more. Do you get what I am trying to say? (There is an information asymmetry going on.)

Let's say you sat in a high chair (or bar stool) when it happened.  That small piece of information is not meaningful, but since it's tied to a greater context, it takes on a life of its own.

Now, flash a few years forward, and you find yourself sitting in a high chair (not at a Starbucks). Everything is going well – until you start to feel terrible! For no reason! Why?

Because the patterns match even if you aren't aware of it, and here's the kicker:

The patterns don't need to match COMPLETELY. They can be somewhat similar, and it'll work just the same.

It could be the smallest thing. A scent. A type of car. A way someone dresses. All of it can activate this pattern matching.

This process happens without our consent. We cannot always control how life appears to us. It's inevitable that we will be triggered. By something. Anything.

But what can we do about it? Can we stop it?

You can't stop it.

But you can do something about it after the fact.

You can clean the memory. You can clean the data stored in the brain.

My formula for cleaning triggers

  1. Acknowledge that your internal state has shifted
  2. Release the need for the internal state to change
  3. Investigate the source of the trigger by becoming more aware of what is happening around and inside of you (sight, sounds, thoughts, feelings, etc.)
  4. Accept & connect to the trigger once you find it. Love it for bonus points.

So, today, I unexpectedly started to feel sad for no reason. Ding! Ding! Ding! (Potential memory to be cleaned)

I stopped what I was doing. Closed my eyes. And went inwards. I mentally found the emotion and asked myself "Is there something that is linked to this emotion?". (I am exploring all possible options)

I waited and explored until I realized that "Yes! There was a thought. I was thinking about buying a new car when I saw a model that my ex-girlfriend drove and it reminded me of that sad time."

Great! We found the energy pattern to clean.

What happens next is magical. I ask (the unconscious), "Would it be okay for my unconscious mind to let go of this memory and have a conscious experience of releasing it?"

I wait for a Yes or No. It's normally Yes (which often appears as a feeling or symbol). Having gotten consent, I do the following:

  1. Chant "OM" into the emotion/thought
  2. Perform an Hoʻoponopono prayer (You say to the memory: I love you, I am sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you)

And the emotion/trigger/memory goes away, at its own speed. It's really that easy.

Life becomes simple.

You have stored a lot of garbage. It blocks you from your true nature.

Remove the garbage. Remove the blocks.

Peace is what remains.

You can either clean or not clean. Beyond that, it's none of your business.