Here's the deal
Most of us don't walk around feeling like we're stuck in the past, but all of us do have trigger points around certain issues in our lives. When one of our triggers gets pulled, we are instantly pulled into stress or anxiety or dread or fear. And we are so good at telling ourselves why these variables make it a totally new stressor that we are fooled into thinking that we are actually in the present moment dealing with this one present situation. If we're able to change our perspective, we'll find that we've still got some roots giving life to the original issue that caused the trigger.
Being in the present more fully than in your past represents where you position your creative power and your primary identity. - Caroline Myss
Three Steps to Neutralize Your Trigger Issues
- Decide to let it go. This sounds easy, almost too easy, and totally obvious. The reason we created a trigger point in the first place was to protect us from something we didn't want to experience again, so deciding to neutralize a trigger can make us feel exposed. Growth requires us to decide that it is okay to be vulnerable.
- Take responsibility and stop playing the victim. When we allow a situation to make us act or react in the very same way each time we're stressed we're pulling the victim card. This is often the most easily seen in some of the ways we choose to cope during or after something stressful. Need that glass of wine, sweet treat, or carb-heavy meal as a reward? Are you always able to justify the fire-hose blast of anger or sarcasm that you unleash on people? A lot of the time the coping mechanism in and of itself isn't bad or wrong, but the way that we use it - or tell ourselves that we're using it - that becomes a way we give up our power.
- Stay present with forgiveness. This is truly the moment of letting go, but with triggers it is most often a series of letting it go and letting it go and letting it go, each time getting easier until eventually you don't ever pick it back up again. You may need it for yourself first, and then for anyone else involved. As you journey through these steps there will be a point at which forgiveness suddenly seems necessary and makes total sense to you. Don't rush into this step, trust that it will arise organically.
If you didn't have the tools necessary to move forward without the triggers, you wouldn't even know they were there operating within you. Your awareness of a trigger's presence means that you are ready to make the choice to keep them in place or move past them.