Zalman Nelson - Therapist
Is Life Against You?
Updated: May 22, 2022
When people and circumstances in life press our buttons, many of us wonder: Is life against me?
Many of us feel that way...were raised and trained to feel that way...saw that modeled for us growing up. And, so, we adopt a life script of martyrdom, because we imagine that life "has it in for us" or is "cheating" us in some way, even though life is neutral. It just is.
The truth: there is no enemy "out there." The person who triggers us to react is just being a person, and the situation going on is just a situation. We often regard such people as an enemy only because we don't yet have the ability to understand and master our inner world and patterns, which we project on to those around us. We're not able to take responsibility for ourselves and our role in it and explore it.
How Should We React to Being Triggered? The emotional rise in me = a signal that something needs checking inside. It's a "check engine" light on the dashboard. Although we were long-trained in life to react to our own emotional triggering by projecting outwards, blaming and attacking others and pointing fingers, or playing the victim, we can retrain the response.
I train myself to respond to emotional reactivity with a different response: go inward. I can't change what others do and say to me or the situations that occur. But I can change my response to it. I can take it as a check engine light and focus on my own growth. No one checks their neighbor's car when their own check engine light comes on. I can try this different approach once and see how it goes...how different it is.
Did you try it? What happened, and how did it feel?
And the more I do it, the more I clearly realize that there are no enemies and people against me, no world collaborating to take me down, but rather that I'm surrounded by guides to inner growth. Everyone and thing around me is a mirror to my inner blindspots. Life challenges can become opportunities for emotional change, healing, and harmony. After all, it's all coming to tell me, teach me, point things out to me.
The people, events, and challenges around can lead to a new and different inner dialog: "What is this coming to teach me?.... What can I learn from them? What is it showing me about myself?... What do I see in the mirror that is that person or situation confronting me?"
Then, the voice of the real, authentic you is more of a presence in the dialog in your mind. And the voice of your patterns begins to weaken, lessen, and fade. That's a mind that anyone would love to hang out in more often.