From Triggered to Empowered: A Healing Experience of Accompaniment

I remember a powerful experience when I had just held space for a team member who was triggered, and I was beginning to debrief with my co-facilitators. As I looked into another team members eyes, I felt a lightness in my chest and a sense of resonance. But suddenly, I felt a drop of energy in the room, like a void, a dark cloud of energy.

Glancing to my right, I noticed one of the women sitting quietly, still-faced, and looking away. I recognized a familiar sense of dread and nothingness waft over my felt sense of existing in that moment. I felt like doom was eminently near.

Immediately, my Compassionate Self silently acknowledged this inner felt part, saying gently, "I see you. I am here with you. It is safe to be you, especially now."

Breathing into my belly, I turned with curiosity to the still-faced person and said, "I'd like to check in with you. I sense it may feel as if I rolled over you, and that was not my intention. I apologize."

"Well, I understand people get excited," she interjected with a flat affect, and then redirected the flow of conversation.

Feeling some shock course through my body, my inner self viscerally recoiled as I silently acknowledged my truth to my Compassionate Self, "I wasn't feeling excitement - I feel a sense of wonderment and awe laced with celebration from the discovery the participant made!" Sensing this inner part withdraw inside, ever so slightly with shame, my Compassionate-Self intentionally stepped forward energetically to hold my physical position in time and space.

As I sat silently, I noticed a slight collapse in my core, utter disbelief, and a trace of horror. My breathing was shallow. I heard my Compassionate Self gently offer reassurance, "Remember, this is why we chose to come here - so that you could have a different experience in the face of this specific flavor of energy when unexpected shifts happen. For you to experience and know you are never alone."

"Well, it feels really uncomfortable and incongruent right now!" my inner self grumbled quietly.

With curiosity, my Compassionate Self was empowered to stay present - noticing the subtle energy and information flow of what was here in the moment - my inner self believed she was not being trusted, or else was being punished for some unknown crime she had committed. I needed acknowledgment that there had been no conversation around the experience for self-understanding to unfold.

"I feel demoted. I feel pissed off. I need clear, contingent communication, especially with those holding the position to guide the flow of connection." Silently empathizing, my Compassionate Self listened deeply as the thought clouds sifted through my mind, "I really like it when I am seen, heard, and my intention is acknowledged, and plans are made and changed with consideration and care."

My Compassionate Self rested beside the inner experience, tracking the subtle shifting sensations moving from my belly to my heart, radiating out to encompass the wholeness that is me. Clarity that comes from compassion timelessly shifted the clouds of fog from my brow. My breath slowed and deepened with calm. My vision widened.

In this moment, I recognize anew the powerful healing that resonant, warm accompaniment brings, especially when held empathetically. As the experience of accompaniment rests with me, right where I am in the moment, the pain isn't as overwhelming as I had feared it would be. It's actually quite tolerable, and my cells feel really alive and new rather than semi-frozen. How relieving and rather astonishing this new plane of possibility is to experience in the here and now!

A sense of empowerment swells within as I honor my inner experience in the moment.


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