Neutralizing your triggers

June 14, 2011 Sandra Dawes

Have you ever found yourself in a situation or conversation, which at the surface seems pretty ordinary, yet find yourself becoming strongly emotional in some way?  For me, it is not something that happens very often, but when it does, especially these days, I am amazed at the power of my reaction to something so, for lack of a better term, “simple”.  With the work that I have been doing in my journey to become more self aware, I have discovered that these situations are tied to unresolved issues of the past.

It amazes me how unresolved situations from as far back as childhood, can have an effect the relationships you have as adults.  I am also learning that until those concerns are resolved, they will continue to appear in your life, no matter how hard you try to ignore them.  So what do you do?  Clearly avoidance isn’t working, and half the time you don’t see it coming, until it’s too late anyway.

In order to reduce the power of these triggers, we have to find a productive, positive way to deal with these outstanding issues.  Usually forgiveness is at the root of the resolution.  The cause of these triggers is things that happened in the past.   Why are we giving them so much power in our present and future?  While the incident had a definite impact on us at the time, we need to find a way to acknowledge what happened and move on.

Moving on, of course, is the challenge for most of us.  How do we release the pain of what was said and done?  Some issues, such as child abuse, sexual or otherwise may need the help of a trained therapist, others, we can handle by doing the work on our own.  We need to stop believing the negative messages that we have carried with us from those past experiences.  Whether it is the negative voice telling you that you aren’t good enough, smart enough or worthy enough, you have to shut those voices out.  Replace them with positive affirmations that remind you that you are worthy, smart and good enough to have anything you desire.  We have to find a way to leave the negativity that recalling the experience brings and take away its power from affecting you in the present.

Once you become aware of your triggers, you can have a discussion with those around you so they understand where your reaction(s) comes from.  If they honour your feelings, they will do their best not to push those buttons.  There may be times that they forget or unconsciously set off those emotional landmines, but because of your increasing awareness and self empowerment you will be in a better position to deactivate the bomb before it goes off!

I have learned not to beat myself up for allowing my triggers to go off.  It is a constant work in progress.  As Louise Hay says, “we do better when we know better.”  Recognizing our triggers and how they were created are the first steps.  Neutralizing those sensitive issues and learning how to live in the present are the crucial steps in moving forward in a positive way. ♥


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