Triggers and Autonomy

Triggers are external stimuli that reconnect us to parts of our mind, body, and soul that have been fractured by trauma. Like a live wire, external stimuli (be that as simple as a colour, a smell, or someone else’s body language) touches a wound inside us and creates a jolt of energy that alerts our brain that we’re in danger and need to act NOW! Most often, there is a difference between the present circumstance and the past experience, but our brain doesn’t know this and reacts the way it has been programmed to.

How we act is based on, unsurprisingly, many factors. Included but not limited to: our childhood and upbringing, our mental health, our biology, our culture, our stored intergenerational trauma, the cyclical span of our past abuse/trauma, our tools of self-awareness and self-care, our education of abuse and trauma, our resources and access to help, etc.

Overall, it is clear that trauma and how it is triggered can take shape in a multitude of ways, and thus it is not as simple as connecting the dots from Point A “Trauma” to Point B “Trigger” in order to restore our stability post-jolting. Our reactions to external stimuli (triggers) remind us of our past pain and they been formulated over long periods of time. Subsequently, it take long periods of tending to in order to shift ourselves and our reactions in a new direction.

The initial goal in this is to slowly begin to recognize what happens to our body when the live wires touch. This looks different for everyone, and it is never going to be about instantly knowing how to create boundaries with your emotions and healing. It’s about the practice of committing to simply, honestly, vulnerably understanding your base line. How emotions and pain and grief rest in you right now. Which is all about learning. And messing up. And being messy. It’s not easy, but doing a tiny little bit each day does begin to move us toward the end goal. Which is to develop autonomy in our individual relationship to our tiggers and traumas.

Autonomy gives us the permission to say: I recognize I am triggered, and I feel subconsciously compelled to react based on what I have known. I hold self-compassion in this work because I know I may not be able to always keep myself from reacting the way I was programmed to, but I do have the tools to use that can bring me back to the present moment so I have the option to respond in a new way. I do commit to being self-aware, and learning over and over again how to author a new life that isn’t rooted in trauma.

Self-healing is not a bandaid, nor it is a doctor. It is a multifaceted approach of response to intergenerational devastation that has resulted in very real residual impacts, not limited to the continuation of the abuser-victim cycle, racism, segregation, and colonization. Self-healing is justice to crimes that our world attempts to erase. Our compassion towards our multiple selves is paramount because we are the authors of a new story that has had one ending for too long. - “Owning My Triggers and Reclaiming My Autonomy”


To partner with this post I’ve created, hands-down, the clearest, most powerful, healing resource I’ve authored to date. It moved me, broke me open, birthed from my current grief work, and partnered with my own lived experiences of self-healing. It is raw, honest, and intimate. Completely my privilege, and deeply woven into and from my soul. I am in awe of it, and I feel immensely humbled to offer it to any one who feels called to receive it.

Five sections, for five+ weeks of healing work. Each section unpacking trauma, inviting in softness with written meditations, and orchestrating a deeper understanding of our mind, body, soul connection to guide us into deeper union with our self-healing. Trauma-informed, inclusive, and poignant, this resource is one you can personalize within your valid experiences of trauma, life, and identity. (22 pages in total.)

Owning My Triggers and Reclaiming My Autonomy: A Written Guide To Partner With You In Your Self-Healing

A Dedication to the Work - Remembering and/or Finding Your "Why".

Suggested Donation: $10-15, sliding scale* always for free for anyone who needs it.

Find it here

Skyler Weinberg