Do you ever feel triggered by something and you realize it is from your past? This is pretty common, things that have hurt us in the past keep showing up in our lives. This actually just happened to me the other night at dinner with my family. We were out to dinner at the country club my parents belong to and there was a big group of thirty somethings eating dinner together. All of a sudden I was thirteen again feeling completely left out, wishing I was a part of this group. Now during the moment, I felt horrible, but now I am able to look back and notice that this trigger can be a good thing. One, I got to identify a trigger that is keeping me stuck in the past, and two I am able to identify lies that I am telling myself.
Where are you living in the past? What are the triggers showing you something negative that has happened and you haven’t had a chance to heal yet? When you can start building your awareness around your triggers and what they are linked to, you will be able to start the healing process.
Growing up I always imagined getting married and being a housewife, bringing my kids up to the country club pool and being a part of the community. When I was triggered over the weekend, I realized that I never gave myself time to release that dream. I am currently twenty-eight and single, I do not have any kids. Something that if I told my younger self I am pretty sure she would have freaked because she wrapped so much of her identity up in the “dream.”
Where are you triggered in life? How are those triggers tied to your past? What needs to happen to be able to acknowledge them, and heal from them? Keep in mind this is not a one-time thing. I know the next time I go to the country club I will still have this trigger. However, now I am aware of the trigger, and I get to show myself compassion and coach myself through the evening.
That brings me to my next point, showing yourself compassion through the process. Healing takes time, and everyone heals in their own way. For me, acknowledging where I need to heal and then giving myself a lot of positive self-talk helps me heal. I also love to write out my hurt, so I can get it all out on paper. This helps me distance my hurt from myself, so I can look at it objectively instead of having it tied up to my self-esteem.
I can then write what is true over the negative lies I tell myself. In this case, the lies would be: I don’t belong, I am not good enough because I don’t have these “dreams” from when I was little. The truth would be, I am worthy no matter what. Being single is not a disease. I am allowed to belong anywhere. No one is better or worse than me, we are all worthy.
Your turn! What lies are you telling yourself from your past? What is actually true?
Now that you have done this work, each time you are triggered you get to use it as a learning experience and an opportunity to continue to heal and release your past. You can start rewriting truth and release the lies you hold onto. You get to stop reacting from a place in your past, and you get to start choosing your present, and future!
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