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Triggers Show Outer Experience Mirrors Our Inner Reality

© Donna Bond

As a professional life and business coach, spiritual advisor and inspirational speaker, Donna Bond’s work centers on serving individual transformation of consciousness. Assisting individuals and businesses to live into the full potential of their lives, from the inside out. Donna offers inspiring workshops and transformative in-depth coaching programs to assist clients across the globe achieve new heights of meaningful success, personal fulfillment and Spiritual aliveness. Donna Bond, M.A. is a graduate of the University of Santa Monica where she earned her master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology with an emphasis in Consciousness, Health and Healing.

In Spiritual Psychology, we operate with the premise that ALL of life is for our growth, learning and upliftment and we are constantly being given opportunities for our own inner expansion and growth.

One of my favorite principles of Spiritual Psychology is that “outer experience is a reflection of inner reality.” In other words, all of life is mirroring back to us material within our own consciousness. The healing opportunity in this is that when we find our buttons being pushed, it’s a clear sign that the opportunity for healing is present.

Most people find this unpleasant, of course. Actually, it’s our ego that doesn’t like it (our soul knows this as truth). Actually, some of you are likely triggered simply by reading this sentence. The main reason our ego doesn’t like this idea is our ego likes to be right, and this idea forces us to take 100% responsibility for our life and everything that’s happening in it. The ego is really good at playing the blame game and not wanting to take 100% responsibility, so this is one of the more challenging growth concepts to work with.

The best way to understand this idea is to look at it in the positive. Our ego can “try this on” in an easier way. When you see someone you are inspired by, you feel uplifted and enthusiastic, right? You may even feel touched emotionally and have feelings of love and admiration toward the person. It’s easy for you to quickly recognize all the amazing qualities and attributes this person is reflecting to you.

The reason? You have within you the same qualities and traits you’re inspired by in the other person.

If you didn’t have them, you wouldn’t even be able to recognize them.

On the flip side (and this is where the opportunity for healing exists), is when someone pushes your buttons giving you a negative emotional response to their actions or behaviors, it’s likely you’re demonstrating this same type of action or behavior WITH YOURSELF.

A key here is that it’s an opportunity to become more aware of how you treat yourself. How are you “with” yourself?  When you are triggered, the other person is simply acting as a mirror in your movie. This “upset” is a key to uncovering how you are being with yourself, and a clue to healing that part of yourself.

For instance:

  • If you’re emotionally charged by those who refuse to cooperate, what you may actually be dealing with is your own reluctance to cooperate with some aspect of yourself!
  • Do you get particularly fired up by betrayal? It could be good to ask yourself if you have a tendency of abandoning yourself
  • If you’re judgmental about how hard the boss is driving the team, turn the mirror toward yourself and inquire within as to how hard you are on yourself

Let’s look deeper at a popular example; criticism from a parent. When your parents are critical of you, you might have a strong negative response.

My own mother sometimes will try to be helpful in what seems like a clumsy way when she comments that about how she liked my hair better longer and whether I’ve put on a few pounds.

Now if I allow the trigger to “fire” up my psyche, I’ll get a rush of “my mother doesn’t approve of the way I look” and therefore “she doesn’t approve of me.” A completely disempowering train of thought!

The good news is that this kind of automatic judgement – or automatic programming – is not our natural state. It was inherited. Can it be reprogrammed? A resounding yes!

Where do we start? With the judgments we have of others, because they are really judgements we have of ourselves! We needn’t even feel bad about having them, because they are the key, or the roadmap, to freeing ourselves of these judgements that are blocking the abundance the universe has to offer.

If I let my mother’s good intentions (and maybe even some programming she inherited) to ruin my day with a deep feeling of “I’m not good enough,” this can expand into other areas of not accepting myself. The path to healing this is to move into that loving place in our hearts and bring that love to the places inside that are in pain, something I help facilitate with many of my clients. To be able to move into that space of compassion and gentleness for ourselves is a courageous and heart-centered way of being.

Is this difficult to do? It depends on your level of commitment to living a life with this kind of freedom. Some people find it challenging to be “in the blender” (work, home life, children, etc.), where they tend to get caught up in the drama that’s fueled by emotion. This produces a tendency to react, rather than taking a moment to elegantly craft a response to a given situation. This is all perfect, of course, because it’s a sure sign that “school is in session” and a healing opportunity is being presented.

When you can take the seat of the observer and step back from the blender to see the upset apart from yourself instead of being “in it,” you can use the tools of Spiritual Psychology to generate a meaningful inner inquiry. One of my clients recently found herself falling down and hurting herself repeatedly. Her home assignment was to reflect on the inquiry, “How am I constantly beating myself up?” which yielded valuable results in her healing.

From the soul’s perspective, everyone is on their own path. We are all given perfectly designed experiences that present us with the opportunities to learn the lessons we took embodiment to learn.

Remember, the soul does not make judgements about what is right or wrong, good or bad. Only our ego does because it lives in a world of duality. The soul is here, embodied on planet Earth, for the experience only. We sometimes forget we are divine Spiritual Beings having a human experience. The higher we raise our consciousness the more we naturally reside in the loving that we are. Our soul essence is pure divine love. The unresolved issues you carry with you are what blocks you from knowing the love that you are. Your judgements are the keys to unlocking and dissolving these issues within you.

The more you can free yourself from your unresolved issues and move out of judgement into acceptance, the more you will naturally rise upward on what Dr. David Hawkins calls “The Scale of Consciousness.” This scale measured the vibratory frequency of all emotions and proved (through kinesiology) that emotions of love, joy and peace vibrate at a much higher level than emotions of shame, guilt or hate. When we are walking around in the world being triggered the natural byproduct of that is that we feel bad. This occurs on all levels: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. When we reside in the love that we are, we feel great.

This is the incentive to do the work to heal our unresolved issues.

Through your willingness to accept that these emotions are how you are treating yourself, gives us the opportunity to move into compassion and forgive yourself for making the judgement in the first place. It’s a truly beautiful thing.

In summary, I must come back to All of Life is for Learning. You are given the chance for healing each time you find yourself in upset. When someone pushes your buttons it’s the perfect opportunity for healing and self-reflection. Your life is an out-picturing of what you have going on inside of you. The quality of your relationships with others is a direct mirror to the relationship you have with yourself.

Bringing your conscious awareness to the idea that “outer experience is a reflection of inner reality” has several benefits. The first is to recognize when you find yourself in upset and emotional reactivity, this is an opportunity for your healing. It allows you to use your life as a feedback mechanism for your emotional healing by releasing conditioned patterns within your psyche. It gives you the opportunity to move into higher quality emotions such as empathy and acceptance for yourself and others. Your life then becomes a platform by which you can empower yourself by accepting 100% responsibility for everything that is happening. By taking dominion over your own consciousness in this way you heal yourself and in turn, heal the world.

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