“At the center of your healing is you, has always been you, will always be you. You are the mender”Upile Chisala
I am madly, intensely, and unabashedly in love with a man who admittedly is the only one who can push every single one of my buttons. And as the old folks say, “get on my last BLACK nerve” lol. An energy reading confirmed what I already knew to be true. We have known each other 1,000 years, spanning at least 5 lifetimes. I’ve written about our relationship in my article, “Our Love is a War.”
I can be triggered by certain behavior and moods. I am instantly hurt and then I get angry. My first instinct is to become defensive and attack. That is when my past trauma comes rearing it’s ugly head. My insecurities and fear come knocking at my door and my general response is go off.
Over time, I’ve acknowledged the pattern and cycle. He behaves in a way that displeases me. I get triggered. I cycle through negative and unproductive emotions and my reactions mirror those same negative and unproductive emotions. This cycle that I willingly, albeit subconsciously participate in is emotionally and energetically draining. And I’ve grown tired of repeating this cycle. I’ve made the decision to stop the cycle and create a new pattern that will bring more healing and love to my life and my relationships. When I am triggered, I find it helpful to remember these three things:
- I am being triggered
- It has everything to do with me
- It has nothing to do with me
When I remember that I am being triggered, it has everything to do with me while at the same time has nothing to do with me, I can react in a way that honors my growth, maintains a peaceful internal reality, and allow me to be more compassionate with those I love and care about.
1. I am being triggered
When you feel hurt, pained, or embarrassed by someone’s words or actions, it is important to acknowledge that you are being triggered. It is important to focus on the facts. It isn’t the act or the words themselves that should become your focus. Identifying your specific feelings and your subsequent reaction should become your only concern. Remove yourself from the situation and realize that there is something you haven’t resolved, accepted, or made peace with. You’ve been reminded of this through someone’s actions or words. Allow yourself the grace to see the areas of your life that need healing. When my love distances himself from me, I remember that this triggers an insecurity and fear within me. I feel like I am not good enough and my abandonment issues resurface. I recognize that this is nothing more than me being triggered. Recognizing you are being triggered is the best way to handle being triggered. When you know what’s occurring, you can come up with a solid plan of action.
2. It has everything to do with me
When someone does something or says something that makes me angry, sad, or hurt, I must take full responsibility for my feelings and my reaction. I, and I alone am responsible for my internal reality. If I am triggered, that is on me. Because if the trigger wasn’t there to begin with, what was said or done would not bother me. If I remove my buttons, there is no button for anyone to push. A focus on my personal growth, development, and self-healing allows me to not place blame on anyone else for how I feel. That also allows me to establish healthy boundaries to limit the triggers I am exposed to until I can completely remove them.
3. It has nothing to do with me
Understanding that unhealed people hurt other people and to not take anything personal is important to remember when you are triggered. People are battling their own demons and also dealing with things they can’t or don’t talk about. Their words and actions come from their own suffering and pain. Their aim is not primarily to trigger you, but to maintain the elaborate defense and survival mechanisms they have erected and established to survive life. When someone is an asshole, I remember that has nothing to do with me. Their difficult day, their regrets, their grief, and their suffering are on them. When I remember that, I don’t need to go from 0-100. I can offer compassion to that person because I haven’t taken it personally. And I can save myself the trouble of having to remember numbers one and two.
When you are triggered, remember that you are being triggered, it has everything to do with you and also nothing to do with you. Break the pattern, heal and be free. And prayerfully your healing and freedom is the light you left on, to allow others to find their way home.