This is hard to admit, but when I get triggered about what someone says or does, it usually means that that is a place I need to take a closer look at and raise my awareness. Sometimes, it is a place within myself that I have been avoiding. Those are the worst. It’s like this half-conscious awareness that I am miserable and I have inkling as to why but I don’t want to face it. Not knowing can be more blissful. I like to tell myself that.
It becomes obvious that that isn’t really true when the resentment builds. When I get resentful or feel anger come up, there is often fear or something else lurking underneath. Fear of many different names – fear of loss, fear of judgment, fear I am not enough, fear of failure, fear of success. All fear. It’s like a secret tripwire buried within and all it takes is that magic moment when someone steps on it for me to explode.
When I shine the light on my fear, or whatever is lurking underneath, it gives me the ability to clearly see what it going on and what my triggers are. Then, I can choose to sidestep my tripwire, or remove it. At the very least, I can be aware of what is going on so I can begin to make changes to how I react; I am no longer at the mercy of my own hidden tripwires. Because I know where they are, I become more at choice as to what to do with them and am not just a casualty of my own reactions.
People come into our lives to teach us the greatest lessons we need to learn. The process can be uncomfortable at times. Knowing this, though, helps. It helps me, at least. I like to think my painful times are at least lessons being learned and not just purposeless pain!
We know we cannot change others, though we sure may try our best to do that, regardless. It seems easier to do that than look inside ourselves, but it really isn’t. If you insist that the other person change, you are at the mercy of now your own hidden tripwires and them stepping on it, consciously or unconsciously. You might as well just hand them the detonator.
So, if you are done with being triggered and want to move through it a bit, you can choose to raise your awareness.
When you feel triggered, ask yourself honestly: “Could this be about what is going on deep inside me?” If you find you are willing to consider that possibility, then ask yourself, “What of my own stuff is this person bringing up for me?”
Face it – look at it directly and see what there is to learn. The first step is awareness.