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Loving Someone Through Their Triggers

Being able to listen openly and stay in your body and your heart when someone is triggered is a gift, coming and going.

What is apparent to me is that there’s really no ‘other’ who is going through their stuff. It’s really just one of us taking our turn in that moment at experiencing a karmic bubble, some unresolved shadow material (this is where we get triggered), or what Eckhart Tolle calls ‘the pain body’.

Last night as I was putting my daughter to bed, she had something come up. I said something and it just landed wrong. Even those of us who are relatively skillful are clumsy at times. She got upset and it took her down into a vortex of hurt and sadness.

Her pain body was triggered and I just lay there with her in bed. I waited. I invited her to look into my eyes and see me loving her. I did not try to fix or change her.

She wept, buried her head in her pillow and asked for tissues. She went through cycles of collapse and self-criticism and then she calmed down as I held her, my hand on her back bringing her into the present reality of her Mama with her, loving her. It was simple and required patience.

I witnessed her as she rode the waves and I stayed. Quiet. Present. Open.

It’s perplexing to me that my child, who has been loved so well by her Papa and me, and many others still has these insecurities and triggers at just 10 ½ years old.

We do our best as parents and still, we make mistakes. Of course we do. We are human.

I have compassion for myself and for each of us as we endeavor to do this dance of relationship.

The art of loving is deeply nuanced.

My true prayer is that my child understands how much she is loved. She sees that love is steady. Love doesn’t come and go. Love is ever-present in its embrace, inside and out.

My offering to her and to everyone I care for in my life is to not take things personally and to simply be willing to be with what is in a deep, compassionate and loving way.

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