Belief · Encouragement · Healing · Hope

The Truth About Triggers

Trigger warning: __________________.

It seems like every other post I read has a ‘trigger’ warning. These warnings, while intended to be a nod toward consideration {and I appreciate that kindness}, give me permission to scroll on when I may need to sit with big emotions. The fact of the matter is, we were created to experience deep feelings. That’s not to say we will love feeling them, but we were made to feel.

To be honest, I spent many years of my life avoiding stirrings in my spirit. I lived with so much disappointment that I crafted some lovely {not lovely} padding around my heart. The layers became as difficult to penetrate as Fort Knox. I am not telling you this because it worked for me, or was a good idea. I didn’t consciously create the steal traps threatening strong emotions. But self-preservation birthed a robotic-like countenance in me.

While engaged in conversation with a sweet friend a few years ago, I heard words escape my mouth that brought tears to my eyes. I said, “It’s time for me to begin feeling again.” As the tears slid down my face, I knew God was initiating healing in the secret places because I was finally willing.

To feel again meant I’d have to experience relationships from the spirit and break up with my habit of stuffing and avoiding. My default mode is to let interactions be largely cognitive, but this required surrendering my tight grip on what I was willing to experience.

Here’s the truth about triggers:

We each have them.

We are probably inclined to avoid them.

We get to decide if and when we deal with them.

We need to be honest with ourselves about them.

We can receive healing from the things that elicit them.

Life doesn’t necessarily come with trigger warnings. The smell that takes you back to your grandmother’s kitchen. The song that immediately takes you back to the relationship that broke your heart. We have affiliated emotions with many of our experiences. Can I say one more things about triggers? Be careful if you are blaming poor behavior on a particular trigger. Instead, let that be an indication that healing is necessary.

Some experiences, while hard at the time, become bedrock we build on for years to come. That’s true for my friend, Andrea. She published a book last month,  and in it she writes about a time in her life that triggered a season of doubt. Her questioning through the season ultimately brought clarity.

NTYYS Blog Series Image

I’m sharing a note to my younger self on her blog today. Hop on over and enjoy the posts in the series {they’ve been amazing}. Also, I’m giving away copies of her book, English Lessons! If you are interested in winning a copy of her new book, simply answer the following questions {you must leave your answers in the comments section on this post}:

  1. Where did Andrea get her Masters in English? {look here}
  2. What is the setting of English Lessons? {look here}
  3. Where does Andrea currently call home? {look here}

 

The first five people to respond with the correct answers will receive a copy of Andrea’s book, English Lessons.

English Lessons_launch day image

14 thoughts on “The Truth About Triggers

  1. Beautiful post!!

    This part is my favorite: “Life doesn’t necessarily come with trigger warnings. The smell that takes you back to your grandmother’s kitchen. The song that immediately takes you back to the relationship that broke your heart. We have affiliated emotions with many of our experiences. Can I say one more things about triggers? Be careful if you are blaming poor behavior on a particular trigger. Instead, let that be an indication that healing is necessary.”

    Like

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