Life can be very interesting. It has a way of hitting you over the head and opening your eyes. A few years ago, I got an eye-opener. I realized that a great part of my life had been spent building and salvaging relationships. From a young age, I have always had to be the one responsible for holding everything together. In retrospect, I can see that was a burden much too great for any child to carry. After a while, it became part of who I was but only to my detriment. I began to place myself on the back burner. I felt I was being self-less. Yet in reality, I was neglecting and exposing myself emotionally.
Therefore, I have decided to focus on me. God has begun to reveal things that trigger me emotionally. He has started to show me what disrupts my emotional and mental state. Such things tend to create unhealthy thought patterns and feelings. Why? Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. What we allow to infiltrate our hearts shapes our perspectives, the way we feel, and our responses. Therefore, we have to be diligent and cognizant of what makes us tick and get us off-kilter.
Recently, I found myself in a familiar place that I didn’t want to be emotionally. I was completely unaware until I recognized I didn’t like the way I was feeling. Once I realized, I began to seek the Lord concerning what triggered it. He revealed that I had put my guard down and the enemy has infiltrated my emotional space. Isn’t that just like the enemy? He is shrewd and strategic. He is patient and calculating. He circles the territory looking for any exposed areas through which he can enter. That’s why it is so important for us to be aware of those areas and be a step ahead of him. The truth is I thought I was completely healed. Yet, I felt a sense of heaviness when I exposed myself to such triggers. I had to pray myself out of that place and seek God further about the situation.
The truth is we have to be wise. We have to set boundaries and give ourselves the time we need to heal properly. If not, we can risk reverting to unhealthy places we used to be in. God doesn’t want us swinging back and forth between hurt and healed places like a pendulum. When we do, we deprive ourselves of all the good and promises of God that lie ahead of us. God is a progressive God. He is always moving, creating, and fulfilling things in our lives. He wants us to do the same.
What triggers you? The first step is identifying those triggers. Once we become aware of them, we need to confess them to the Lord and someone that will hold us accountable. Call it out. God can only help us with what is revealed or confessed to Him. We have to be intentional about safeguarding our hearts because nonproductive things will take root. This is why Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”. Being that one of my triggers is my family, I have to learn how to monitor conversations about issues that may cause me to become upset. The truth is I still have unresolved family issues that I must navigate through. So, I must be proactive in not allowing others to disrupt my peace during the process. Sometimes that means not answering the phone or ending conversations before they go too far.
Unfortunately, our salvation doesn’t come with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser that instantly takes away our issues and pain. I wish it were that easy. Although we are saved, there may be experiences in our lives that are still deeply rooted in pain and we have to be careful. Therefore, we need to pinpoint what those things are so we can be mindful of what may trigger us in those areas.