Our goal—in regards to healing—should not always be to avoid our triggers, but to learn to pay attention to our instincts.
I often hear the question: Is that desire heart led or trauma led? What if it's both? What if allowing ourself to be triggered, or to be uncomfortable, is the experience that allows our heart to open more?
My trauma will sometimes speak through my heart. My heart wants to open and connect with the world. I want to deepen, grow up and heal. That means shedding the security blankets that once felt like safety but no longer serve me.
Therefore, I do not necessarily consider the heart's goals for intimacy and expansion to be antithetical with a part of me that is seeking connection through a trauma lens. It is my instincts that I feel the most compelled to pay attention to. If my instincts say that someone is off (unsafe) then the potential to resolve trauma through that interaction is not worth the risk.
If, instinctively, I feel they are safe then I may risk a bit of pain and reactivation to move more deeply into myself through a potential trigger. The goal of this exploration is to help me heal and rest more fully in myself.
This does not mean that we should carelessly put ourselves in dangerous situations. There is never a need to willingly step into harm's way. However, if we really want to grow, we may need to let go our childlike comfort zones in order to root more fully into our own maturity.
Instinctive awareness is the key distinction between safe or traumatic triggering. When we are attuned to our bodies, and our needs, it is so much easier to be responsible for our safety.
This can be hard as many of us are systematically conditioned out of paying attention to our primal responses. We are told not feel that way, or to give this person who makes our skin crawl a chance. We are told that our impressions are wrong or unimportant.
We shut down our primal awareness in exchange for approval.
This is where rewilding comes in. We need to allow ourselves to feel what we feel and know what we know.
You know what you need—deep in your bones.
You know who, and what, is right or wrong for you. You know how to keep yourself safe. And you know what is worth risking your comfort zone for. Your salvation, safety and soul is right here. It is in the smell of the wind, the taste of spring. It is the blooming bloodsong vibrating through your flesh.
It is your belly born howl for freedom.