Triggering Day

Today was the second part of an Enneagram workshop I attended; it is a tool to determine your personality type.  I have been going to workshops and conferences for the past 4 years, and this is one of the best resources of transformation, I have ever used.  Few personality systems delve into the motivations of our behaviors.  This system helps us to understand our habit of attention and what needs we are trying to fill, basically the need for security/survival (food, shelter), love and belonging.  When we inquire into the need that is motivating a certain behavior, we begin to perceive through the eyes of compassion.  Although we may have different ways to go about filling our needs, as described by our Enneagram type, we all have the same underlying needs. Then we can begin to let go of all default, defense mechanisms.

There are 9 Types. I am a Type 1, Perfectionist, and by default I see things right or wrong, black or white, my way or the highway.  My wounded message in childhood was, “It’s not okay to make mistakes”, and boy did that play out in my family.  My healing message (one I didn’t receive/hear) is, “You are good”, simple message, but so hard to believe.  My fear as a 1, is being bad, corrupt, and defective.  And with all the trauma and abuse, these messages and fears piled up throughout my life.

Knowing that I am not my personality type, means I can let go; let those default reactions fall away. I can never attain perfection, yet I keep striving for it, so that I can tell myself I’m good.  Doing this work of transformation has helped me to understand myself and others, and to be compassionate toward myself  and others. It has been extremely helpful in my therapy as well. It helps me to understand my mind, perspectives, reactions and motivations.

I also love that it integrates the quest for psychological health and my spiritual walk.  The more we are aware of our habitual way of perceiving ourselves and the world, the more choice we have to choose differently.  It has also helped me to determine each of my own parts’ personalities, what types they are, and how to better help them.

After saying all of that….I was completely triggered today because the content was all about body work, mindfulness, and feeling things in the body.  I did well for the first section; I was extremely anxious, but I stayed with the feelings and the emotions that came up.  It was like my insides were constricting to where it was difficult to get a breath. I would normally “get out and go do something” to shut all those intense feelings down. So that was a positive to stay with it, but it was emotionally exhausting too.

I felt anxiety around the fact I couldn’t stop crying, in a room full of strangers, and that they would judge me for what I could or could not do. I was there with my friend (who’s a therapist) and another one of my friends (also a therapist) was in charge of the event.  I had resources to help me, but I was afraid I would switch or digress to a pool of tears on the floor.  I packed up my things, and decided to walk home.  It was a beautiful day, and the sun and wind at my face, helped get me back to better place.

I hate that events like these are always an uncertainty as to whether I will be able to go, stay, or be triggered.  I’ve decided that if I want to attend group activities, that it is okay if I have to leave, if needed, for self-care purposes.  So, tonight I’m worn out, feel liked I’ve cried all day, and feeling some shame about my behavior at the workshop….got to let go of that one, though.



3 thoughts on “Triggering Day

  1. My heart goes out to you – wanting to participate in a workshop that has at times felt helpful, only for it to be triggering. It is so hard to know or predict, isn’t it? When these triggers might strike. There are so many factors involved, no day is the same. I’m so sorry, it sounds like this trigger also is in tandem with the therapy abandonment/trigger around canceling and not receiving an inquiry from her. A lot of pain in your world, sending tenderness.


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