The people around us trigger all kinds of thoughts and feelings in us. It happens so fast that we don’t realize we’ve been triggered into action until we’re already reacting, or we’re picking up the pieces post-reaction.
Not our fault. As kids, we were taught math and science, but nothing about emotions.
Plus, childhood experiences provide the foundation for our adult life, including the partners we select and how those relationships play out. If you lucked out, you had healthy parents who could meet your needs.
Sadly, many parents are unaware or minimize, deny and rationalize the effects of their own childhood. Despite their best efforts, those wounds get projected onto their children who readily absorb these messages and internalize them in the form of self-esteem and self-image.
Those projections and internalizations become deeply embedded over time and result in an unconscious set of beliefs, rules, expectations, perceptions, judgments, attitudes and feelings about the self and others.
And it’s all of that which is triggered and explodes in our relationships, interfering with our forming loving, happy, and successful relationships. The past is now alive and well in the present.
Relationships can either be healing or retraumatizing. Healing if we’re interested in introspection, developing self-awareness, and motivated to take responsibility for ourselves. Retraumatizing if we’re locked into reacting to perceived criticism, judgment, and rejection.
Awareness of how our early history has influenced our sense of self, interpretation of behaviors, and relationships, can free us of distorted perceptions and overreactions.
We can use triggers to put us in touch with those parts of ourself needing attention and healing and become whole, and immune to getting triggered. And then incredible relationships become possible.
Inoculate yourself against triggers and have amazing relationships!
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