We often think that what unravels our lives are singular events, instances we can pinpoint our pain to.
This is actually the exception to the rule.
Two people can go through the exact same life event and have a completely different experience of it.
It wasn’t the event itself that changed them, it was how they responded, which is the result of the context it occurred in. It was everything that was happening beforehand that lead to that breaking point moment.
Triggers are actually tipping points.
In fact, we usually think that our triggers are what’s trying to destroy us, when in fact, they are usually trying to show us the ways in which we are already destroying ourselves.
If you are someone who wants to reclaim your power, then you are going to have to learn to respond to your triggers differently.
At first, this will be uncomfortable.
In fact, almost everything inside of you is going to want to engage. Your mind will implore you to overthink, obsess, return to the old behavior… see that person, do that thing, over and over again.
Your brain is going to start releasing chemicals that you’ll start feeding off of.
This will make it seem absolutely impossible to disengage.
You will, first, have to get back in your body.
The real transformation is not mental, but physical.
Move, breathe, exercise.
This is what helps you re-regulate the fight-or-flight response that compels you to engage in the trigger.
Once you’ve reset, you will then have to look long and hard at what’s bothering you, and why. You need to pry into the deepest corners of your psyche. You will need to get really honest with yourself about the origins of what’s bothering you and how you’re going to write a new story.
This is where you will have to start to build willpower.
When you see the opportunity present itself, you will have to consciously choose not to engage in the behavior that is destroying you.
Over time, the triggers will stop showing up.
You know this because there have been dozens of problems in your life that you never thought you’d get over, and today, you probably don’t think about most of them.
In years past, you were triggered by seeing your ex, you were triggered by your best friends’ not including you, you were triggered by how you looked, what grades you got, your relationship to your parents.
Maybe some of those are still with you now.
Chances are, you’ve forgotten about the majority of the hardest things you ever endured.
This is because you grew.
You learned how to see the situation differently, extract new wisdom from it, and eventually, you changed.
The same thing has to happen now.
You have to start asking yourself how your best self would respond to this, how you’d like to respond to this, how you’d prefer to live.
Then you have to start choosing it.
Trying to control the trigger into not existing anymore will never work. The only answer is to change the way you react.
This doesn’t mean you shove your feelings down.
This doesn’t mean you pretend you’re unbothered.
This doesn’t mean you try to avoid everything that might upset you.
It only means that you let yourself cry now, you express how you feel, you don’t stop living because of the fear that you might lose control of your emotions.
The triggers in your life do not exist to hurt you or keep you stuck.
They exist to show you where you are not yet free.