Being triggered into a reaction causes you to behave in ways you wouldn’t dream of under normal circumstances, and once the dust settles, you most likely regret your actions and wonder why you couldn’t stop yourself – again. This occurs probably more often than you like. So what can you do about it?
If I’m “triggered” it’s a struggle for me to avoid being reactive. Triggers happen and immediately you’re effected, almost as if an alien took over your body and made you act out of character. I would love to remain calm and centered when faced with a possible trigger.
The key is ownership. The second I blame someone or something else – I give my power away and lose the opportunity to heal the wound that was triggered. But, it was all their fault! No kidding, it certainly looks that way and no one would question your claim. I’ve blamed my parents for several thousand things and a lot of good it’s done me. However:
There is no way to heal a past wound or fear by blaming someone or something else. It’s impossible.
I know, right? The argument against this and the amount of evidence one can produce is incredible. Blaming is a very hard habit to break. I was a passenger in a car and was blamed by the driver, who just backed up into another car, for not looking! I was immediately told off: “You were supposed to look!!!” Um . . . actually no, I wasn’t, you’re the driver. It was obviously a reaction. No one in a reaction wants to take responsibility – it’s like a hot potato.
Placing blame ultimately gets us nowhere and we only hurt ourselves in the long run. Although, some people are happy and content blaming circumstances in their life, for example, illnesses and dramas are like old friends they count on – no problem, it’s just that way for them. My “victim” role got a lot of mileage . . . until it didn’t. Something inside of me, greater than the payoff of the continued survival of my “victim” part wanted me to grow. Being unaware of this choice at first made things challenging.
The cost of holding on to this way of being increased. I had to face and feel the pain of continuing to live as a victim, forcing me to look at my behavior. Things became easier when I realized what was going on – a part of me really didn’t want to be a victim anymore, so I made a conscious choice to heal and grow. Who am I if I’m not a victim?
Does this mean you need to take responsibility for everything that happens to you in your life? Yes it does – if you want it to stop.
Not everyone wants to or is ready for growth. You know what’s best for you. I’ve found in my life that I sometimes have to get sick and tired of my behavior and patterns before I stop and take a look inside. I ask myself: Have you had enough yet?
Growth and real change requires:
- a huge commitment.
- ownership – no more blaming.
- a willingness to forgive yourself and others.
- opening up old wounds and feeling things like pain, shame, hurt without the story.
- questioning your limiting and negative beliefs
- asking for help – doing inner work with someone who knows what they’re doing.
Triggers hit old wounds, wounds that you’ve spent years covering up and prefer to remain unexposed. The scabs are your defense mechanisms – anything and everything you put in place to avoid feeling the wound again . . . you scare off anyone in your life who gets close, as an example. It will stay that way until you take steps to heal the wound for good. The more you take ownership of your life, the more power you have to create real change. Healing wounds is the only way to prevent further reactions and vicious cycles.
Make an intention to face your fear and feel your feelings. The more you make a conscious effort, the less afraid you’ll be. I know what trauma feels like in my body and I allow space for it to surface when triggered because I have faced and healed a lot of my wounds. I’m no longer afraid of feeling that feeling. Because of this, I have less triggered reactions and when I am triggered, I see it as an opportunity for more growth.
For healing negative beliefs: The Work by Byron Katie: Loads of instructional videos, downloadable worksheets and a help line – all for free! The Work website
The Landmark Forum: Incredible work to help you face your defense mechanisms and live a life of integrity. It offers a new possibility for living. Go to Landmark
You can also check out my Resources page here: Resources