Triggers are a tricky thing, my friend, and we seem to collect quite a bit of them over the course of living life.
By the time we get through childhood, which I believe lasts well into most people’s twenties, we’ve suffered wounding.
Wounds, that when revisited, result in being triggered.
Maybe you’ve been abandoned by someone important. The result being that you fear this same action being done by others, so when someone stomps off in anger this triggers that old wound and you feel you’ve been abandoned again.
Or perhaps you’ve been cheated on, verbally abused, let down, disappointed, led on, taken advantage of, or heartbroken… and each time you’re placed into a situation that is reminiscent of that hurt you are propelled back into that pain, fearing it will happen all over again.
No matter how much effort we spend on healing these wounds, until we put ourselves into a situation in which these hurts are triggered we can never fully heal.
Until we’re triggered we may not realize how many barriers we’ve erected, or moats we’ve dug to protect these damaged parts of our hearts.
Friend, I’ve experienced each of the hurts I listed above. I’ve been abandoned, cheated on, lead on, used, taken advantage of, verbally abused, let down, disappointed and heartbroken.
When I am put into a situation in which vulnerability is experienced and I feel that sense of being out of control, stuck in the unknown, I am thrust forcibly back into that old pain, and friend, I want to do anything to avoid experiencing those things again.
These triggers engage my survival instinct to flee.
Others, perhaps, would be triggered to fight or freeze.
Me, though? I run.
Any time when I feel vulnerable my body engages in survival mode, attempting to protect my heart from harm or damage.
Our instincts and intuition can be a beautiful thing.
Engaging survival mode when our physical, mental, or spiritual safety is in danger is essential to our well-being.
However, over time we acquire hurts and damage that result in fear.
This fear parades around camouflaged as intuition, protecting from vulnerability and the unknown.
These very things which can open us up to potential hurt and harm, also have the most potential for growth, connection, and acceptance.
Our challenge is to be able to truly discern between when our body is telling us that we are in danger, versus when we are just scared of vulnerability.
It is in these vulnerable triggered moments we can engage in extending compassion to our broken parts, and then begin to take the strides necessary to heal.
Continually running from triggers may keep the heart safe from further harm, but it also keeps people at arm’s length, and doesn’t allow for a true connection or opportunity to be seen, accepted, and cherished.
Triggers and vulnerability are not in and of themselves bad.
It is how we react to the situations that cause these feelings to rise up in us that has an opportunity to initiate healing, create growth, and foster deeper connection.
To be vulnerable is a great gift that we can give and share with those who matter and, while triggering, shouldn’t be fled from.
The more we are brave enough to give away, the more we are open to receiving.
Your Trusted Friend ❤