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How to Identify and Manage Triggers…

Have you ever taken a moment to think about why you respond the way you do to certain situations, and what causes you to react the way you do with certain people or experiences? Life is not easy, and as a matter of fact, as my Pastor put it in a recent sermon, life at times can be unfair. How do you handle the frustrations of life when you are mistreated and/or deceived? How do you handle the pain when you are affected by the actions and decisions that someone else has made? How do you bounce back talking to a person you love, and within the next 24 hours, they are gone? How do you process being healthy and vibrant one day, and now being told you have a terminal disease the next? How does our mind comprehend the incomprehensible?

Recently, I have become very sensitive to triggers. I truly believe in this season of our lives we must be cognitive of triggers. If not careful, they will get us distracted, discouraged, and can cause division. Triggers are powerful. Do you know you can self-sabotage your own blessing because of triggers? There are things that you have experienced or witnessed as a child, but even now as an adult those experiences have become real life triggers. Sometimes we are not only triggered by experiences, but also by words. When you hear certain words, it can trigger a feeling of neglect and isolation. In the dictionary, the word trigger defined as a verb means, “Caused an event or situation to happen or exist.” For example, an allergy can be triggered by stress.” In the mental health field, a trigger is a stimulus that elicits a reaction, and in most cases people with a history of trauma can be affected by triggers.

If I can speak personally and transparently, I struggle with vulnerability, and the root of that is triggered from hurt, disappointment, and failed relationships. Therefore, it’s easy for me to put up a wall, dismiss someone, or consciously be aware of how much I share and express. However, I know that to experience what I truly desire, I cannot allow vulnerability to hold me back.

What about you? What are some of your triggers, and how are you confronting them? I know for me, in addition to prayer and just talking to God, I must have conversations with a licensed therapist, and people of wise counsel. I have to cultivate conversations that will provide a safe place for me to express myself, but also love me enough to tell me when I am wrong, and how to perceive and act differently.

Let me give you some scriptures on how powerful it is to have someone in your circle who is wise and trustworthy to help you with your triggers.

Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”

Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.”

Proverbs 15:22 “Without consolation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.”

Proverbs 19:20-21 “Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days. Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.”

Proverbs 4:13 says, “Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her for she is your life.”

Psalm 94:18-19 “When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

I am fully convinced that in this season many of us are dealing with triggers and they are affecting our relationships, our children, our grandchildren, our careers, our finances, our businesses, and ministries. What we need and must cling to in this very hour is wise counsel and instruction. We will find hope there. We will find peace there. We will also find victory there.

I had a situation that happened to me recently and I was so devastated that the first thing I did was turn to my emotions. I felt privileged to let my emotions lead me in the same exact way I had handled situations before. However, because I am aware of my triggers, I picked up the phone and I told my spiritual mother, Elder Joylette Hilliard, “I need wise counsel.” I am so grateful that she did just that. However, here is what made the difference, I listened and acted on the counsel she gave me, and because of that, I had a different outcome.

To heal and mature regarding your triggers, you must first recognize you have them, and know specifically what they are and how they cause you to respond. You must be mature enough to reach out to listen and respond to wise counsel, and you must extend grace to yourself in the process. What you and I have gone through may not be fair, deserving, or favorable, but God has the final say. We can rise above our circumstances. We can walk with confidence knowing who we are in Christ Jesus, and we can find safety in wise counsel to experience something different in our lives, including fulfillment!

Live Life on the Promise of IMPACT!

Min. Carenda Deonne

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