Step 3 in Overcoming Triggers: Dig Deep
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STEP THREE: DIG DEEP
Continuing in our series "Those Things That Trigger You are a Gift", and Level 1 for handling this new information: "Modify Your Responses," here are the first two steps we've covered, along with their links (in case you'd like to review or catch up): :
Step 1: Notice That You've Been Triggered. Stop Before You Speak or Act.
Step 2: Feel What You Are Feeling. Don't Resist.
The purpose of the first step, is to master the skill of NOTICING when you've been triggered, and to stop before you speak or act. These are vital in the process of unwinding your reactive inclinations. The second step is to allow yourself to FEEL...something that doesn't always come naturally, but is also vitally important.
Now onto Step 3, which is a direct excerpt from my book "Happily Ever After Right Now... Stop Searching! Start Celebrating!"
STEP 3: DIG: Go deep and ask yourself if this situation and your reactions trigger some memory from the past.
While experiencing anger, terror, sadness, or even possible relief, start to let go of the suffering, even if for only a moment. Try to tolerate some internal inquiries. What does the possibility of his waning interest remind you of that may have happened before? And then make note of the first thing that comes to mind. It could be as simple as never having been picked for the kickball team, or a pervasive as your father leaving the family when you were sixteen. Your mother became clinically depressed. You never felt you had a safe place to process what was going on. You took care of everyone else without ever tending to yourself.
It is important for you to realize that your parents' patterns of relating to each other had nothing to do with you. What happened in their lives was a result of the choices they made. Even so, because they had significant influence on your conditioning, it is possible that you may unknowingly repeat some of their patterns. This is particularly true if you have not had the opportunity to heal from the buried feelings left over from long ago. (Don't think you are alone here: Rare is the person who doesn't have some hidden hurt that has resulted from a painful situation in the past). When things get really uncomfortable and we are ready to take a look at why we feel the way we do, we can usually cite something from our history that feels familiar. It may be time to uncover unconscious patterns without shame or blame. Your willingness to face the truth is a healthy sign. Congratulate yourself.
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All content copyright 2012, What A Gem, a.k.a. Luann Robinson Hull (a.k.a. Happily Ever After Right Now)