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Wait, what? I'm Triggered?

You've spent the past 2 weeks practicing PAUSING in order to create space for responding rather than reacting when you've been triggered in a communication experience with an important person in your life.

Now what? It's time to explore our triggers. These are old wounds that get activated when someone says or does something that is similar in some way to something that happened to you when you were young and causes a reaction that is typically out of proportion to the current event.

Here is an excerpt from Tara Brach's Radical Acceptance that describes this:

"No matter what situation she was in, when the raw feelings of not being "good enough" were triggered, Laura was thrown back to her childhood, where she had been powerless to do anything but defend herself. Any of us, when our particular place of insecurity or woundedness is touched, easily regress into the fullness of trance. At these times there seems to be no choice as to what we feel, think, say or do. Rather, we "go on automatic", reacting in our most habitual way to defend ourselves, to cover over the rawness of our hurt".

This is why THE PAUSE is so powerful and important. When we don't, we end up reacting and then typically having something to apologize for later!

So what are the old wounds and stories you hold that impact your current communication experiences? I want you to be gentle here. This can be a very painful exploration. Stop if you need to. Talk it over with a trusted friend so you are not all alone in it. Speak to your therapist if you have one.

This is a very important process because in order to change our patterns we have to understand what they are and where they come from so that in the moment, after we've paused, we can recognize "oh, I'm doing that again. I'm responding from my wounded self not my present, resourceful self".

And then breathe and access our present, resourceful self.

I've shared this meditation by Kristen Neff before, but will add it in today. If this exploration becomes really challenging for you, take the few minutes to practice this guided meditation or if you have a little more time this one.