Often when folks come to me, they have been suffering for 5, 10, 15 years, sometimes even a lifetime. They are finally realizing, on some level, that avoiding their pain is not working.
To state the obvious, it doesn't feel good to feel pain. We are masters at avoiding the uncomfortable, distracting ourselves from what's causing us distress..
That's why addiction is a thing. It's why we struggle in our relationships and can't seem to reach our goals. It's why we suffer.
Pain, unfortunately, is a fact of life. Suffering, though, we can change.
A Little Brain History
When you were a kid, your fight or flight response was tripped due to some threatening event--something that threatened your sense of security or safety, your sense of connection or love. When this was tripped, and especially if it was tripped over and over, then pathways were made in your brain that became real neurological structures. These structures over time solified into core belief systems that essentially proved to yourself that this pattern was real--and becomes the source of shame, of fear, of anger, of disconnection.
This biological response to threatening events is a trigger. They are often long-standing patterns that we have trouble shaking unless we take serious stock of these past patterns, reflect on ways they are not working for us now, and choose with intention and focus to change our reactions.
Take a New Path
So our bodies will react to our triggers--our fight or flight response is real and will be there--but our response is what matters now.
I always say, be smarter than your brain!
When we are stuck in the reactive pattern to our triggers, we suffer.
When we choose to disengage from our suffering, solicit self-compassion, choose positive coping strategies instead of impulse or instinct, then we are released from the patterns that get us stuck in the first place.
Noticing our triggers--being vigilant to what sets us off in little and big ways--is step one in the process. When we avoid them, we move away from our potential to grow and transform, to know our wholeness in a big way.
And who wouldn't want that?
PS. Try out my free ecourse--10 Days to Power and Purpose--to get you started in noticing, noticing, noticing! Click here.