Porcupines and Triggered Spines (transcending defensive reactions)

Inner wounds. Triggers. Reactivity.

In our lives, I imagine many of us have experienced certain traumatic circumstances. Perhaps for a moment, perhaps consistently for years.

Maybe it is a bad relationship that we just can’t leave, that gets worse and worse and devolves, dragging us with it.

Maybe it is a moment in time where our trust is broken.

Part of this life path seems to be experiencing trauma, letting it get the best of us by incurring wounds and growing walls around our heart…., and then learning to heal those protective mechanisms. Break down those walls.

And become the masters of our own emotional reactions.

That has been my path, anyhow. And while I am proud of myself for all the times when I experience triggers and bite my tongue, I am always humbled (and downright frustrated with myself), in the circumstances where I still get triggered.


Shopenhauer and Freud both reference the Hedgehog’s dilemma, which is an analogy about human intimacy. It describes a situation in which a group of hedgehogs (porcupines) want to huddle together during cold weather to create mutual warmth from bodyheat. They are forced to remain far apart, however, lest they poke each other with their sharp spines.

In looking at this arc of separation via the Human Experience through the lens of “everything had to be what it was in order for us to become what we are”…. it seems as though the birthing of our quills of defensiveness are a crucial aspect of the Loss of Innocence, which is a necessary part of gaining maturity.

It forces us to suffer, so that we are driven and stimulated to seek help from within.

There is no where else to go when you are in pain. It forces us to seek our own growth and purification. Seeking purification of wounds incurred, leading us home towards innocence, towards the stillpoint of meditative abstract truth, where the illusion dissolves and we touch magic and Home

We may not even know where our wounds come from… we may think they have scabbed over and healed, but then suddenly someone comes along and touches that pain point, says something insensitive … does something controlling or belittling …. makes a sexist comment … and it bursts open again as if it never had formed a skin over it.

I wish to be a master of myself, and embody my highest potential on this planet, so learning to conquer these weak points is a driving force in my quested Lifepath. The songs I write are generally mental medicine for my wounds.

I can see my wounds. I can tell you in advance what will likely trigger them. Most of the time I can put my hand over my mouth and go seek solitude when I get poked. But alas, I am still a student of this homeward-bound path

I grew up in a sheltered environment, with a lot of love, so I have a core that is 99 percent cheerful and goofy and quirky and silly.


And then there is that 1% (which in the grand scheme of time spent breathing on the planet, is actually probably more like .0001%) where I can suddenly grow barbs, porcupine needles, walls.


I used to often journal that “it is a daily struggle to maintain my innocence in this crazy world.”

But of course, I went out into the world with a big open heart and no boundaries or guards to speak of.

As life will do, it brought me people and experiences who took advantage of that innocence.

People who pushed me to the edge of my own happy face, showed me my own shadowy places and forced me to meet them and admit that they were a part of me.

We have to embrace our darkness in order to activate our light fully.


At first you think that the suffering in your life can be encapsulated into a brief moment in time that will quickly pass and leave you unscathed. You think you are strong enough not to be imprinted by it.

And then POOF – one day you wake up and you notice that you are not quite as friendly, warm, openhearted and trusting as you used to be. That you can’t just bounce back.

You notice where maybe you put up your guard and wonder “what do they want from me” when someone reaches out to connect with you.

Perhaps you start to isolate yourself in a self-protective bubble, with guards outside the gate.

Your naturally gregarious extroverted Self develops an equal inner aspect  that is introverted, defensive, and feels misunderstood.


This is often how artists are born.

You start to discover such Love and Trust and safety within the act of Creation, that you feel Home at last.

You learn that when experiences trigger you, you can sit down and alchemize amd create something out of your feelings, rather than overreacting externally to the trigger.

It is a journey to learn how to go deeply into the experience of being an artist … Feeling everything, trying to harmonize your wounds, responding to your stimuli and transmuting it …

It is a journey to learn to be the most grounded, serene, peaceful, self-controlled Human Beaming as possible.


Fortunately, I have extracted myself from all circumstances that were traumatic. Time heals and reveals all things …

Oh the heart, how brightly it can shine, when it is unfettered.

And i know the music that can come from that place is what I seek and strive to create. Nothing less will do.

So I must be an archaeologist of my own heart, unearthing its beaming core so I can transmit homing beacon signals from it, to call in my soul family, my friends, my loves, who await my self discovery, so they can recognize me.

I know what that feels like, I know I can return there. I know I can exist in this world as a calm still point in the center of a stormy world.

Once we have our destination coordinates set, our arrival there is inevitable. Patience, patience … Virtue, Virtue

Home, home, home.

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