One thing that moves us is our triggers. Some things positively move us. Other stimuli move us to a negative space. Often, we get triggered to a negative space because of past failures, hurts, and traumas.
List what triggers you to a negative space. List what moves you. These may be sources to address in counseling or with a close loved one. We can work toward neutralizing our triggers by dealing with them. Although many triggers may not be completely neutralized, we can lessen the sting. If the smell of Christmas candles triggers your eye to twitch, there is likely to be a reason, even if you cannot determine what the reason is. Sometimes, triggers result from past sexual trauma, neglect, or pressure at work. Other times, we can feel triggered by entirely random things.
I develop low frustration tolerance when I feel overwhelmed with my work schedule. Low frustration tolerance is a social psychology term seen in many people today. It doesn’t take much to frustrate us. This occurs because we have too much psychological junk to manage, so our body cries out at smaller amounts of frustration than normal. Let’s explore the function of the dysfunction. What good comes from experiencing low frustration tolerance? If we listen, we will stop saying yes to so many things. If we turn to God, He will help us decipher what is most important in life.
It is helpful for us to explore our triggers because these triggers can ultimately shape who we are. Let’s say Thomas is ordinarily a calm person, but he is triggered and yells at his kids. He can explore why he was triggered. Thomas recalls watching a sitcom where a child was bullied. When one of his kids laughed with the bully, Thomas exploded. If this pattern of explosion continues, it will impact his ability to be the Godly parent he is called to be. If he leans in and explores why he felt triggered, he can work through past hurts and build stability.
In one of the marriage pieces of training Chuck and I completed years ago, one of the speakers taught about the idea of getting “current” with your loved ones, working to dialogue about conflict in the relationship.
It’s important to get “current” with ourselves and others, working to resolve issues as they come rather than pushing them aside. Otherwise, we will feel out of control, constantly triggered to a negative space, blaming others, and comparing ourselves to people who have much more than we do. Are you current with yourself, your co-workers, etc.?
All of us face difficulties in life. In Psalm 84, God didn’t promise we would be removed from the desert. Instead, He said we would bring life with us. Christ is who we bring with us into this broken world. Let’s look at Matthew 7:24-27. We can build our house on the rock (Jesus), so when the rains fall and the winds blow, we will not collapse. Our foundation in Christ will steady us.
Sometimes, we still feel overwhelmed as Christ-followers. Scripture can encourage us. What verses encourage you when you feel unsteady? Exodus 14:14 reminds me that the Lord will fight for me. It is my job to be still. I’m not very good at being still. One of my greatest strengths as a daughter of God is probably my action, but even that can bring challenges. If I get away from the Vine, I feel tired. Why? Because I am trying to fight on my own rather than staying attached to Him. Although I would love to rest, I battle fears that drive my activity, thinking, “If I rest, what will happen if we do not have enough money to pay the bills?” or “I have to keep going, or I might be seen as a failure.” As I type out my fears, they have less power. I see that I want to trust God more than my fears. I believe I can trust God. I can trust God. Can you? I believe you can trust God. You can trust God. At times it’s difficult for me (especially when I’m in a negative space). If it’s difficult for you, trust Him anyway. Do it in fear. Do it in faith.
Consider if you need to get “current” with anyone in your life. What would it look like to trust God to help you communicate with them from a positive space?