NOTE FROM NOUK: This is a powerful essay from my amazing friend and colleague, Coreen Walson.
There is an area of great confusion among those on spiritual paths about triggers and whether we ever have the right to expect someone else to change their behavior. If everything is in my mind, and there is someone is triggering me, then it is all my stuff that needs to be healed, right?
Let’s take a closer look at the dynamic behind behaviors that trigger us. Recall that each of us are presumed to be separate human beings in a physical world, and that in order to maintain this illusion of separation rather than Oneness, we need to experience the opposite of what we are in Truth, which is Love without opposite. We need to receive the message early on that we are not lovable, that we are unworthy, flawed and that we must compensate for our deep unworthiness.
Now from this large pool of children who have been devastated by this news of their unlovability, half go into a people pleasing mode and end up as co-dependents, financially broke, emotionally imbalanced, experience broken relationships, and perpetuate this belief of unworthiness in all areas of their lives, believing that the meager hand out in life is all they are entitled to. The other half however, enter into a phase of super performance, where they over achieve, over compensate, over act, get the A, take first place, and put on a general persona of having achieved “success” according to the ego’s standards. There is not much one can say to an over achiever because by all the world’s standards, they have “arrived”.
So from this pool of opposites, we end up attracting our counter-part in order to perpetuate conflict and of course, more guilt and unworthiness! Let’s look at some common examples: the over bearing parent who demands perfection and the child who never seems to be able to please this parent; the domineering, demanding intellectual boss and the employee who is empathic, sensitive and placates; the wife is who controlling, successful and withholds and the co-dependent, sensitive and unwilling to make “waves” husband.
The world is quick to recognize that the one who repeatedly enters into poor relationships or is consistently financially broke, or struggles with addictions obviously needs help. Yet the world would actually commend and look up to the one who has money, acts confidently, has material possessions and the respect of his or her colleagues. One who has amassed a lot of knowledge or college degrees, one who can outperform the rest, or is popular is rarely ever open to criticism because by the ego’s standards, they are doing quite well and are envied.
A visual now is helpful. Imagine a pendulum, with a “victim” on the far left, as far left as the pendulum can go. At the extreme opposite, on the far right, is the “victimizer”, and in the very center is the point of Verticalness, or where the thought is aligned with Christ consciousness. Notice that whatever flavor the ego is using, whether it’s the idea abundance with the victim being utterly broke and the victimizer being hugely wealthy, or sexual molestation and the victim having been molested as a child and the victimizer is the predator, both extremes are required for the ego to be able to use the beliefs of “lack” or “children being molested”. We must have both extremes to actually play out each of ego’s themes of separation from God.
Here is the important lesson to get from this, that is, that BOTH the victim and the victimizer are equally participating in the belief and that in truth there is no victim. The one who seems to have been unfairly treated and deserving of our sympathy has willingly engaged in the seeming dynamic with their counterpart, or victimizer, and that it is the feeling states that accompany the seeming dance between the two that is the pay off, the sensation of fear, guilt, trauma, pain, etc. that we need in order to believe that the separation from God has actually occurred.
The ego will take great exception to this as it does not want this dynamic to be seen for what it is, a cleverly disguised way to keep at least half the population feeling like they are unfairly treated. Yes, but what about the other half? This is so good! Look at how those who choose the path of being the overachiever become lulled into a sense of apathy. They never think to question that there is anything wrong because they have achieved all that the world says they should, they have the so-called respect of their peers, they have money and therefore power, and the world applauds their human achievements and accolades. These are the “un-teachables” because nobody ever dares call their lives or decisions into question. What a perfect ploy to make sure that those on this path never question the underlying feelings of unworthiness that drive their need to be on top.
It isn’t until that pendulum is at rest at Christ consciousness that awakening takes place. This will occur only when one of the two in the dynamic decides to back away from the situation and take full accountability for his or her part in the illusory dance of victimization. Like a game of ping pong, when one player puts the paddle down, the other player can no longer play that game. If both continue to engage, the pendulum continues to swing back and forth and nothing Real ever takes place.
Our triggers reveal when we are engaged in any pendulum dynamic with another. The trigger is the sign that we are believing something about ourselves and others that is not true, for the purpose of administering fear and guilt. We take accountability for our part in the dynamic, forgiving ourselves for having used a Brother along with the false belief (i.e. lack, molestation, etc.) to try and experience a separation from our Creator. We come to a place of gratitude for our Brother because without him or her we would not have had our attention brought to this belief we have running in our consciousness that is preventing us from awakening to the glory of our Holy Self! When you have reached the point of gratitude, you know you have healed this belief.
Yes, but what about the other guy? He or she is still acting like a jerk! Once we have done the healing work within our own thought, we must Love our Brother and express our gratitude to him or her by continuing to join, either mentally or physically, and offering a place where healing, or the Holy Instant, can occur. How this is to happen is solely up to the Holy Spirit. We may be led to speak to the person and speak honestly to them about what our role has been in the relationship and how we are accountable for our part in it. We may be led to write a letter, or make a phone call. We may be Guided to simply forgive the dynamic, and hold the other person in Love when we think upon him or her. But whatever the Guidance is, our expression of gratitude is sincere when we want to close the gap with our Brother more than we want to identify with our “story” of victim/victimizer.
It is incredible when the other person is open to healing and agrees to let go of the dynamic with you. In this Holy Instant, healing is maximal and achieved fully. Any seeming gap between the parties is closed and union is realized. Oftentimes however, the other person is too fearful to heal, or is too heavily invested in the dynamic and will go find another person to engage in the pendulum swing with them. In this case, we remain clear about his or her identity as the Christ, forgive our part in the relationship, and move on with gratitude for the lesson learned.
The key takeaway is that both parties to any ego dynamic are equally mesmerized and are playing the opposite sides of the same coin. Healing and forgiveness will remain an impossibility until at least one recognizes the ego’s ploy and interrupts it by being willing to forgive and has the desire to join truly.
NOTE: Coreen Walson is one of ourHosts for our 12-month online, Total Transformation Course (TTC) which offers a highly practical curriculum based on ACIM and The End of Death trilogy – Jesus’ deeper teachings. Click here for details.
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