I recently had a conversation with a dear friend during which I got triggered. Badly.
You see, we all have this stuff. Stuff that comes up from our past (or past lives) that serve as hot buttons for us and exacerbate our emotions in a way that is inconsistent with the actual stimulus of what’s going on.
The easy way to say that?
Triggers are what happens when we react in a disproportionate manner to whatever just happened, because we’re caught up in our own stuff, emotionally.
So, what happened with me? I was having a fun conversation with someone I care about regarding the changes I am making in my own life for greater health and wellness, and suddenly… Boom! Triggered. I can’t say exactly what did it, but there I was, heading into my reptilian brain (fight, flight, freeze), and losing my grasp on the actual conversation, and that’s ok. It’s what we all do. It’s normal.
Here’s the cool thing though: After I recognized what was going on, rather than continuing on the path of reaction I chose to tell my friend that I was stepping away from the conversation, because it was triggering me.
The simple act of recognizing and owning what was going on gave me enough pause and perspective to choose something else.
Yes, I was still being triggered, and yes, I was still in a semi-emotional state, but I was engaging with it, rather than pushing it away. Then the most awesome thing happened: I said to my friend, “this is a learning moment for me.” And it was! I suddenly realized I could use the trigger to re-engage in a healthy manner with something I had stuffed away. Hooray!
I finally see triggers as a gift. Yup, a gift. They’re an opportunity for us to look at, accept, and let go of something that is keeping us from being our whole selves. They are obstacles on our path of life that we put in place long ago, and often continue to reinforce by fearing them and stuffing them when they show up.
Instead of giving them that level of disconnection, if we look at them as opportunities to learn and move forward they become springboards for us to jump further down our path more easily. We end up leapfrogging in our growth and understanding.
So, those obstacles that looked like boulders are now trampolines that we can use to propel ourselves further along with less effort and more flow. How cool is that?
Triggers as opportunities. I’m liking it.