June 9th – Triggers?

Dear me,

As part of the call last night, there was one exchange that had me literally holding my breath as it rose (or really, fell) to it’s conclusion – the relationship coach did an exercise with our group coach on sentence completion to reflect back on something that had triggered negative thought patterns in the group coach. It starts with and “I feel/felt” statement identifying the primary emotion and then is followed with a “because” statement.

Por ejemplo: (not a real scenario)

I feel fearful.

Because I found out my ex is getting married

Because my ex is getting married, I feel like there is something wrong with me.

Because I feel like something is wrong with me, I don’t think I will meet anyone.

…and so on as you work through what each statement leads you into believing about yourself or to a root feeling. As you unravel those steps you are revealing to yourself that this is all just an incorrect thought process that is not true about who you are. By shining a light on these normally unconscious, habitual thought patterns, we can change them. First, of course, by being kind and empathetic about the wounds revealed that need to be healed, but then by developing a different set of responses to the potential triggers.

Quite simple, but also very powerful and effective.

It’s designed to be a journal technique, but listening to the two coaches go back and forth with it had a deep impact. You could hear how the coach working through the statements might have wanted to resist the process, but with someone there gently prodding you along, you have to commit to it. It seems like it would be even more cathartic and revealing to go through it with someone you trust.

The interesting thing for ME to think about is to identify what exactly triggers me in the first place. The last time I think anything did that was perhaps when Nick rifled through my things in my room or even the last confrontation I had with Carmen. I can’t think of anything else recently that sort of bore a hole into my thought process for days on end like those did. On the other hand, they are more than a couple of months ago now so I am not sure how deep I could get into them. I am definitely past the issues with Carmen. I could perhaps bring back whatever triggered me with Nick. But I feel like we both moved past that – we’ve obviously had multiple conversations since then and I don’t feel it is hanging over us or between us.

I think I am again mostly going to soak myself in gratitude over my relative *lack* of triggering events in my life. However, since I do feel much more in tune with my inner self and very mindfully present each day, I will note the next time my gut does tighten and try to do a quick version of sentence completion to identify what’s going on.

Be kind, be loving, just be.

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