Triggers, The Next Evolution

Uncategorized Jul 15, 2021

Last week I talked about triggers and how they can be used as an opportunity to improve your emotional well-being.

In this episode, I’m sharing the next evolution, if you will, in that trigger process.

So first, let me recap the example I shared in last week’s episode:

Let’s say that someone cuts you off in traffic and it instantly annoys or angers you.

Without you even being fully conscious of it, your brain has just instantaneously run through a series of thoughts that caused you to feel annoyance or anger.

Odds are good that the final thought or two led back to an area of your life where you’re allowing yourself to feel victimized in some small way.

Examples might be:

  • Letting your boss take advantage of you,
  • Or not speaking up when your mother-in-law disrespects you

The point is that, if someone else’s crappy or thoughtless driving habits have the power to induce anger or annoyance, then there is some connection that your brain has made in order to make that event about YOU, and not simply about the other person.

And so your opportunity -- when something triggers anger, annoyance, frustration, or disappointment – is to ask yourself the tough questions

  • Why am I feeling this?
  • What else in my recent or distant past has caused me to feel this way?
  • What am I allowing in my life that I know I deserve better?

And you take actions that support your answers to those questions, like –

  • Saying no to your boss the next time she asks you to stay late at the last minute, or
  • Kindly but firmly tell your mother-in-law that she’s overstepped her bounds

The goal is to eliminate or heal from as many of these “triggers” as possible so that you truly live your life peacefully, not allowing other people’s poor choices to rattle or upset YOU. Because it truly WON’T have anything to do with you.

I shared last week that the first indication that you’ve cured yourself of the trigger is that the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, you’ll shrug it off, like “hm. what an ass” and you’ll go about your day without giving it a second thought.

But I want to share with you how the next step in this evolution is that when someone cuts you off in traffic, you actually feel compassion for them.

I know, I know… just the thought of that might make you recoil -- it’s sounds a little too passive, or even submissive, like you’re right back to letting someone treat you with disrespect.

But hear me out ---

It takes a healthy dose of self-love to go through the process of healing from and eliminating the things that trigger negative emotions inside of us.

You have to become your own best friend to ask the questions when you’re angry or disappointed…


“Why am I feeling this way?

Why has this other person’s behavior impacted ME so intensely?

What am I doing, or NOT doing, that’s contributing to these emotions?”

This is a gentle, compassionate kind of internal discussion, not a harsh, judgmental one.

Only compassion and self-love will get to the bottom of these triggers, which are often rooted in something that began for us long, long ago, perhaps even in early childhood.

And so, little-by-little, as you coax yourself through healing these triggers, you develop a PROFOUND sense of self-love and compassion.

And the more you are in a state of self-love, the easier it is to feel compassion for the struggle that other people are going through.

From a state of pure self-love and compassion, when you get cut off in traffic, you might think any number of things, like

  • I hope they’re okay (like, I hope they’re not rushing to the hospital with a sick child in the backseat), or,


  • I can see that it’s a carful of young kids, acting out. I remember feeling young and invincible and doing dumb things. I hope they have the chance, like I did, to grow up and mature a little before they hurt themselves or someone else.


  • Or even, “I wish the driver knew how precious she is, and that she doesn’t have to act outrageous and reckless to be worthy of love, attention and admiration.”


So maybe this is landing for you, or maybe you’re rolling your eyes right now. Maybe it’s sounding a little too PollyAnna, as they say.

But the truth is that eliminating your own emotional triggers is hero’s work. The more you do it, the more you grow in self-love and self-respect.

And from there, it’s   EASY   to have compassion for others. To forgive their shortcomings and weak moments and poor choices.

They say that the world is a great mirror.

What you’re seeing in the world around you reflects back how you’re feeling on the inside.

Give yourself the gift of self-love, by intentionally rooting out your emotional triggers, and you’ll be amazed by how beautiful the world looks.

See you next time!


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