Overcoming the emotional misfires of life.
The word “triggered” has been used a lot over recent years in mental health circles. I’m finding in my own life that being “triggered” is something to be dealt with. Sorry for those of you who are anti-gun but for this post, a gun is the picture God showed me. If you’ve ever shot a gun then you know it has one trigger. You pull the trigger and the weapon fires. Could you imagine how confusing a firearm would be if it had multiple triggers? This is what we look like as we go through life allowing multiple things to trigger us. Triggers are those things bring up an old habit, hurt, or hang-up. It can be a song, a movie, a place, a person, or anything that puts us in the same emotional state of a past traumatic (angry, sad, hurt, etc.) experience.
As I get older and experience the process and pain that comes with life, I’m finding that my triggers are trying to multiply! ha! Even recently, I saw something online that triggered feelings of anger, betrayal, and hurt. Unfortunately I did the exact opposite of what I’m going to tell you to do! When those feelings were triggered in me I responded as if it just happened to me. The anger, the hurt, the frustration…. all of it rose up in me at that very moment and I responded poorly. They say hindsight is 20/20 and it is so true. Looking back, I know the exact moment something was triggered. At that moment here are four things I should have done…
1. Phone a friend.
Yes, I said PHONE a friend. I didn’t say text or message. BUT literally, CALL someone you trust so you can explain how you are feeling and they can help process why. I did end up doing this hours later and it helped me immensely!
2. Ask is the feeling true?
I did a little video about this recently. Feelings are powerful and they can drive you to do some dumb things so you have to pinpoint what the feeling is, why you are feeling it, and then is it a true feeling? Meaning, that no one can make us feel a certain way. We choose our feelings but sometimes our feelings want to choose us. We can become offended or enraged at something and not even know the full story.
I know this sounds so trite but it’s so true. I’ve found that when I am triggered and I stop to pray either for myself, the person, or the trigger… I immediately feel better. It’s not to say I won’t feel that ever again but for that moment, I’ve released it to God and He can deal with all that way better than I ever could.
4. Find healing.
The older I get the more offendable I can become. So I seek healing. I reach out to counsellors and friends. I read books and listen to podcasts. I read my bible and listen to it on the bible app. I put on worship really loud and full-on worship at full volume. I place myself in environments of healing. I ask for prayer. I do the things I need to do in order for my soul to be healed and whole.
In conclusion, the goal is to not be triggered. The goal is to not misfire in life and wound those around us. We could be shooting people who are unarmed and not a threat! I don’t want to look like that goofy gun in the title. I don’t want to walk through life having so many triggers that if some little thing pulls on me I just go off on everyone around. And my bet is you don’t either.
Let’s ask God to help us with those things that trigger the darkness in our souls.