If you’ve never heard of that word before it’ll change your life!
Triggers (according to my definition) are areas in your heart where you’ve experienced pain, heartache, trauma, or anything that makes you go into SURVIVAL MODE.
A trigger is like a wound in your heart. Like any wound, it takes time to heal. When scratched, prodded, or pressured, it causes a violent response.
OUCH. TRIGGERS HURT. It’s a soft spot that has always been there but is triggered by the people around us when they choose to act in a way that reminds us of previous hurtful experiences.
When we’re triggered, our heart goes, “Wait a minute. This looks and feels familiar. Remember the last time something like this happened to us before? Nope. No way am I going through that again.”
And in response to being triggered, our hearts usually react with either FIGHT or FLIGHT.
Both are reactions to feeling powerless and victimized.
The fight response goes, “You’re making me feel powerless. I need to feel powerful so I’m going to take my power back by removing yours”.
The flight response goes, “You’re making me feel powerless. I need to feel powerful so I’m going to distance myself from you either physically, mentally, or emotionally”.
Though both reactions have different means of taking back control, both result in DISCONNECTION.
We lose connection with people. People who may or may not realize they’re triggering us. People who may love us but whose actions remind us of our past.
Is there a way to get triggered and STAY CONNECTED?
Yes. But it’s going to take courage.
It will require the courage to not react when your heart wants to fight back or check out.
It will require the courage to be aware of your feelings while being patient with your “attacker”.
It will require the courage to express how you feel vulnerably and risk being hurt all the more by their response.
But the only way to heal a trigger is to be loved in it.
At the beginning of our marriage, my husband and I got a gym membership and wanted to live a more active lifestyle.
I invited him to be my personal trainer and he took the new role with excitement.
He went on social media and immediately looked into different exercises that would help me reach my goals of gaining better posture and increasing my upper body strength as a woman.
One day, he excitedly showed me an Instagram feed by this woman who was a trainer and used social media to share health and work out tips.
As he was sharing her different posts with me, my heart started to hurt.
It felt sharp, deep, and familiar. With the pain came a foreboding, dreadful ache. It felt familiar.
It felt like when I was with my ex-non-relationship. When he would coach me and my internal narrative would receive it as “Oh. I’m not good enough. My body isn’t as great as so and so. That’s why he doesn’t want to call me his girlfriend. He’s not happy with how I look.”
Years of that narrative taught my heart to be weary of men who looked at other women.
And despite the fact that I invited my husband to help me with my health, my heart was saying, “MAYDAY! GET OUT OF THERE! DON’T GET HURT AGAIN!”
In the past, I would internalize those fears and stay quiet about them. I didn’t want those fears to be real so I thought internalizing them would keep them in my imagination.
But my mind and my experience with my husband taught me that he wasn’t like any other man. I could trust him.
So I took the leap and shared my heart.
“I feel really insecure right now because I’m believing that you’re showing me these photos and posts because I’m not sexy enough for you. And I’m jealous of these women with the perfect body and I’m afraid that one day you might leave me for someone like that.”
Yup. Just like that.
And like the amazing self-aware wholehearted man that I married, he coached me through it, affirmed my value and thanked me for letting him in.
He then asked how he could help me without triggering my wounds and that was enough for my heart to feel safe, known and heard.
I didn’t need to control his actions or tell him never to look at a sexy woman ever again.
I knew he was genuine and that he chose me.
JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE
CONNECTION is POSSIBLE when you’re triggered, Lovely.
But it requires 1 thing: NO JUDGEMENT.
A safe person who won’t judge you for how you feel and what you think.
And being safe for your own heart to feel and share what you think without self-judgement.
It’ll take 2 parties that have taken the path to wholeheartedness to really experience the freedom that vulnerability can bring as a result of experiencing connection after a trigger.
But it’s not impossible to walk that journey alone as well.
If you’re taking the risk to share your heart and the other person reacts with fight or flight, find someone that’s separate from the situation that can hear your heart without bias and champion your vulnerability. Either way, find someone safe.
Have any questions about triggers or how to overcome them? Share them with me in the comments.
BELOVED, YOU ARE WORTH IT
Triggers are awful. But not as much as being afraid of them forever. You are worth the journey to overcome them and finally feel connected and known and free.
Wear these earrings as a reminder that your heart is worth the journey.