How to Handle Feeling Triggered
I caught myself getting super triggered the other day at Costco. And no, it had nothing to do with the long line I was in — I was super engaged in a great convo with my teen, planning his return to school.
The supervisor must have noticed the long lines and called for back-up.
When the new cashier opened his lane, the natural thing I believed that should have happened was the person next in line, she should have moved over and gone next...simple.
But this is not what happened…instead, this mom and her three toddlers in tow, came flying in to the newly opened lane from the back of our line, jumping in front of all of us waiting!
No one said anything, but everyone was rolling their eyes and grumbling.
I could physically feel my blood boiling...
It's just respect. No?
It's about just being kind. No?
It's common sense. No?
Proper manners. No?
As I held back from what my son said would have been an embarrassing moment —"please don’t make a scene mom” (my old way of dealing with things) — I instead decided to go to a higher level of thinking, a greater perspective, and have an internal dialogue that went something like this...
“I truly have no control over what anyone says or does — imagine if every time someone said or did something I didn’t agree with, I lost it — YUP, some people live like that all day, every day. The only person I can control is myself, and it starts with my thoughts which will reflect in my reaction. Reminder, our thoughts create our emotions.
Detach from the need to ‘teach’ people about respect, kindness and common sense, and instead, just BE respectful, kind and use common sense every day.
And as I BE that, I will get into my ‘free flowing vessel’ and detach from any outcomes, knowing and trusting everything is exactly the way it's supposed to be.”
See, the thing is, when we let go of the control it allows us to be present, and when we are present we are at peace, in a calm place.
Trying to control others is exhausting.
Managing our own thoughts is FREEING.
When we can learn to let go of the control — our triggers — we can get to a place of greater perspective and we can choose our interpretations of why someone does what they do...
As in this case, with the woman who jumped to the front of the line, maybe she's a single mom of three and she's rushing to get one of her children to the doctor (she did have a big bottle of children's Tylenol...hmm), and maybe she has to get to work within an hour...
That day I chose an interpretation that served me, because in the end I will never know why she did what she did…so why focus on the negatives?
Being aware and in control of my own thoughts and reactions, I decided to send her love and wished her well, hoping one day her life will slow down and she too can stop and smell the roses, being present and aware of what's going on around her.
Do you get annoyed by situations similar to this? Insert your own story...maybe it's a colleague at work, a spouse, a friend, parent, a stranger (or maybe everyone I just listed!) who triggers you — could it be time to create more awareness of your thoughts so you have more control of your reactions?
Spend the time to reflect, going to a higher perspective of thinking, and, if you need a little guidance to get there, message me at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you!