Triggers are an annoying neighbor...
The goal in life isn’t to avoid all triggers or situations that make us uncomfortable.
It’s not like we’re murderers trying to hide all evidence of our crimes, though some of us still try.
The trick is, of course, in knowing when a situation is not necessary and perpetuates more hurt, in which case, we say no. Walk away.
However, the goal isn’t to avoid it all. It’s impossible. We can try to run from all triggers and just seek this illusion of constant happiness…but the flow is like the Force. It doesn’t stop. It is in all things and encompasses all things. And we, as humans, are here really to experience it all.
Triggers allow us to strengthen our own practice. Triggers teach us how to come back to center. Triggers are catalysts for us to witness ourselves.
Triggers allow us to get curious about how we deal with things.
They can be beautiful markers of growth. If we choose to pay attention to our own growth and evolution — if we choose to take the path of self-awareness and self-actualization — we see that growth is omnipresent in moments of trigger and challenge. How we dealt with a specific trigger last year is different than how we’ll deal with it now. That is progress, and in my book, that is f*cking cause for celebration. It is success.
If, and only if, we choose to pay attention and we choose not to run from all things, we can begin to understand our triggers.
The root of them… The story or belief “behind” or underneath them…
Our brains operate on an association basis.
We are just trying to connect the dots, every day, moment by moment, thought by thought. The trigger cannot harm you unless you are unaware of its existence. Even if you are completely, blindly, and utterly ignorant, nobody’s ever died from a trigger.
You don’t have to take your triggers out for a drink, but you can get curious about them. Where were they born? How can you set a boundary with a trigger, as you do with a friend that you love?
They’ll always be there, like an annoying neighbor you wish to avoid just so you don’t have to ask (again) about how their grandkids are doing.
So, rather than sh*t talk them and try to run, what would happen if you just took them as they are?
…Merely something you’ve associated with a part of you that is still hurting. …Merely a neighbor that is reminding you of parts of you that are still healing.
A practice moment. A growth moment. A witnessing moment.
It doesn’t have to be more than that, for there is no cure for the crime because it was born of the system, nurtured by conditioning, and grown by the family that raised it.
Triggers don’t have free will, but you do. You get to choose how you show up for them when they knock on your door with a freshly baked pie in your least favorite flavor.
What’s it gonna be?
Will you throw the pie in your neighbor’s face? Or will you say thank you, honor it, and throw it in the trash with grace?
The choice is always your’s.
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