In the last Gem, I shared how it’s possible to view those things that trigger you as a gift or an opportunity. It’s true. Once you realize what triggers you, you can begin to learn the art of stepping back, and taking a breath before you act. This “non action” is the first step to restoring balance and peace. Realize that 95% of the things that send you into the vapors are caused by some thought or memory that is lodged in your subconscious, which means you have no clue what is actually happening in that head of yours—just that a situation in the present has caused you discomfort. And that discomfort is your memo to ask yourself what may really be going on that could be triggering unresolved stuff from your past. Does this behavior seem familiar to you? Does it remind you of anything you have experienced before?
Today we’ll simply touch on the first step of “Modifying your Responses” to those triggers (also covered in my book “Happily Ever After Right Now… Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!”):
Notice that you’ve been triggered. Stop before you speak or act.
Imagine any circumstance that causes a negative reaction. For the sake of example, we’ll say that your partner is an hour late for a romantic dinner you’ve been preparing all day. You’ve passed through a myriad of emotions and thoughts over this hour, from worry or anger, to feelings of rejection and fear. Then the telephone rings and your lovely significant other merely apologizes and promises to be on the way soon. You are still steaming. Is that it? Shouldn’t there be a better explanation?
Here is your golden opportunity! NOTICE YOU’VE JUST BEEN TRIGGERED. Stop, take a breath and resist the urge to react. Take this opportunity to look in the mirror (literally or figuratively) and think about a few things prior to the next step:
1) Could there be good reason for what you are seeing as an infraction or disrespect? Be fair when defining what qualifies as a good reason – to yourself and to your partner.
2) Have you sent messages somehow that this behavior is okay or acceptable in the past?
3) Do you ever commit the same offense?
4) Is this an isolated situation or repeated event?
These are all examples of very important things to think about when you notice that you’ve been triggered. What you do with that realization is what truly matters. I’ll cover the next step in the gem to follow, but a here’s a nugget to help you until then:
When your partner, or a friend or family member does something that triggers you, breathe and think before you speak. If you must, take a break or go for a walk – whatever works – but try not to speak out immediately. If you do, it’s okay. Realizing what triggers you is still the wonderful gift it always was. Rest assured that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice, and as you do, you will definitely notice a shift—you are more peaceful and less worried about the little things. Then, maybe you’ll ask your partner to treat you to dinner out. Ya just don’t feel like cookin tonight!
Until next time!
You can find the book “Happily Ever After Right Now. Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!” here.
All content copyright 2012, What A Gem, a.k.a. Luann Robinson Hull (a.k.a. Happily Ever After Right Now)