These have been questions that I’ve been holding in my system as I have been noticing the toll the state of the world is having on me and those around me.
When triggers are at an all-time high, so are our emotions and, our emotions aren’t always the most rational.
We all have different ways of processing information, energy, and emotion through our nervous systems and bodies.
What’s true is that when the collective nervous system and body is out-of-sync and activated, we all feel it.
We also each have different ways that we are programmed to respond to stress, uncertainty, fear, grief, and pain.
I’ve found it helpful to orient around a practice of not taking things personally.
This orientation of understanding and relating creates more space to not get wrapped up in the content or story of what’s happening.
This might feel challenging when we are on the receiving end of someone else’s reactivity with little to no provocation.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the story of who’s right or wrong, especially when we have felt mistreated, invalidated, or like someone’s intention was to purposely hurt us.
This is where coming back to the practice of not taking things personally can be helpful.
I’ve found that when I or someone else that I care about is having the experience of feeling triggered, there is usually a lot of raw emotion and unprocessed energy right at the surface.
I’ve learned that an activated trigger is a signal that wounds under the surface are being touched.
When we are activated into a triggered response, we are usually so blended with the unprocessed emotion of the original wound that we can’t see reason beyond what we are feeling or have the capacity to think logically about our behavior.
When we are stressed or feel scared, it’s much easier for us to lash out at those closest to us.
When we feel unsafe, we are more likely to feel defensive and protective of our physical and emotional space.
We can have compassion for others without taking on their experience.
We can also continue to practice becoming clear around what we are and aren’t available for.
When tensions are high, attuning to how to best resource ourselves before we engage is usually always the best course of action.
When things feel activated or unclear, taking time to pause to reconnect to ourselves before we act often saves us time, energy, and hurt feelings in the long run.
This practice of pausing and re-evaluating also helps us to skillfully navigate around any potential conflicts or landmines that may arise unexpectedly from a space of deep self-awareness and connection with the truth of how we feel.
Some important things to remember are:
- You are not responsible for other people’s experience.
- You can be compassionate, loving, and have empathy even when someone doesn’t agree with you.
- You don’t need to take the bait.
- No and yes are complete sentences that don’t need any further explanation.
- There is space to feel however you feel, even if other people aren’t available or able to receive it.
- Loving yourself and loving others sometimes looks different ways.
- Sometimes, love looks like taking space and time apart or making an agreement to agree to disagree.
- You are still lovable when you are within a trigger.
- Just because someone is reactive towards you doesn’t mean that they don’t love or care about you.
- The degree to which we feel triggered is usually always reflective of how much we truly care.
- Our ability to feel triggered means that we are human and have the capacity to feel.
- Our human ability to feel means that we also have the ability to have compassion and love ourselves and each other through the places that feel soft, vulnerable, tender, and sometimes hurt when they are touched or seen.