Darn, These Triggers

An acquaintance of mine reached out to me after a few years. After a brief conversation, we decided to meet for lunch to catch up, and we agreed to bring along a mutual friend.

During lunch, he was telling us a story on how he came to own this dog, and in the middle of his story mentioned he kicked the dog for whatever reason. I don’t remember the rest of the story, because I got triggered. I couldn’t believe he did such a thing and immediately reacted by telling him so. Where was his compassion?

I turned to my friend who was stoned face. She was nodding her head, acknowledging to him she was listening. I felt like I had an out-of-body experience watching these two people in conversation while I had to breathe and recognize that I had to move this energy through.

A trigger is not something you push away or try to erase. A trigger is an invitation for Growth. It’s an invitation to Transformation.

My sister would post from time to time about animal cruelty, and I would sign the petition – but all in all, its one reason why I don’t follow the news, watch violent or scary movies, etc. 

When faced with one of these buttons pushing episodes, I can beat myself up or take out my frustration or sadness on those around me, or I can take a step back and acknowledge the feelings as they arise and say to myself, “oh, there’s that old trigger thing again”, let me look at this place within that’s calling for my attention and send it love.

I’m not going to beat myself for having feelings; I’ll simply detach myself from the outcome. This is a big difference. 


20 thoughts on “Darn, These Triggers

  1. I once kicked a guy only cause I saw him kick a dog. I wanted him to know how it felt, it was probably night a wise thing to do. He could have attacked me, but I think he was too shocked to react to me kicking him.

  2. Hello first I’d like to thank you for checking out my site and liking my post on vulnerability. That’s really what brought me over to your wonderful blog. I was particularly drawn to your post on forgiveness & your reaction to the story of animal cruelty. Here I want to share something with you about forgiveness. 9 years ago the love of my life was murdered in a terrible unprovoked knife attack, the man responsible was put in prison for life.From that moment my life changed…. All the plans we had for the future vanished and I was alone to make new plans and live the life we’d planned together. This was not a nice place to be so as time moved on I realised I pretty much had two choices – either remain stuck with the feelings of hurt, anger and a thousand unanswered questions or forgive and free myself up. Whatever I chose, it wasn’t affecting the perpetrators life, he was there in his prison cell without a care in the world – or so I thought. For the next 8 years I tried to meet with him through mediation to talk and finds one resolve for myself but he refused until one day he accepted. On the morning of our meeting I realised something, in the time I’d been waiting, I’d already found forgiveness and now, the only thing I wanted from that meeting was to let him know. No need for questions or resolve, I already found it as my focus had shifted from grief to meeting his killer. So the meeting went ahead and I realised he too was tormented by the fact he drank too much and took a life. Whilst in prison both his elderly parents had died – his father, a heart attack from the strain of what he did. We talked together and concluded the meeting with a heartfelt embrace and everything was over. My point, forgiveness is a perception on life if you want to see it, you can.
    Please keep your posts coming, you write about such wonderful topics. I look forward to reading more.
    Best wishes

    1. Julie, a heartfelt and touching story about forgiveness; Letting go of the pain and softening ones heart. Kudos to you for not allowing your heart turn to stone. A big hug to you!!

  3. I like that phrase. When you’re in the midst of it, it’s not easy acknowledging it at that moment but it’ll come with time. Thank you K for sharing!!

  4. I so agree, Bernice. My therapist used to tell me to use the phrase, “that’s my fill-in-the-bank-trigger” and then acknowledge and move through it. That’s been so helpful in many situations.

  5. Thank you for publishing this. Along with another related recent reminder I heard, this post was in my mind yesterday when one of my anxiety triggers popped up. These sentiments helped me to more consciously manage the situation and choose positivity – rather than the default spiral of panicking, worry, and negative actions.

    May your words continue to have a positive impact on others 😊.

  6. Beautifully said. What learning has this trigger come to teach me. I really like this. I totally agree everything is a growth and learning opportunity. Thanks for a wonderful share.

  7. My reaction for such a comment would have been close to yours and then I would leave, after telling the person to stay away from all sensible living beings like kids and animals. This person doesn’t deserve the love from the sensible.

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