Recently I have been reminded of the power of words to act as negative triggers as well as positive catalysts in our lives. Sometimes words influence up in a positive way, others send us in a downward spiral.
For today’s Thinking Out Loud post I want to discuss what I took away from Blogfest (don’t miss the recaps of what happened and what I ate and loved!), but first, I want to give voice to something else that has been on my mind of late: words as negative triggers. Then, I want to end on the high note of taking those negative triggers and making them positive catalysts.
Words as Negative Triggers
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
We all know that is a load of crap. Words hurt. Sometimes they are said inadvertently. Sometimes, words are said with malicious intent. Sometimes, words are just careless. But regardless, words hurt. And certain words most of all; they act as triggers for all of our insecurities and emotions to come boiling to the surface. They trigger hurt, despair, embarrassment. They make us question ourselves, our trust in ourselves and our world, and they bring us down.
All from a simple word, or a phrase.
Everyone has a trigger point. Ask anyone who has foam rolled (thank you, thank you, I’ll be hear all night. Sorry, runner humor). But seriously, we all have something that will always produce a visceral, emotional, cut-you-to-you-core reaction. We all have a word that acts as a trigger. That one word that sets us off and brings us to our knees.
I’ve heard my trigger word three times over the past month. Once through a third party (relaying someone else’s opinion), once in my own mind (questioning myself), and then once (yesterday) by someone that I trusted in a different way, someone who’s opinion actually mattered to me. But yesterday (Wednesday), I truly broke. Not just in a momentary, I’ll-get-over-it-in-a-second or whatever-I-feel-sorry-for-them-that-they-suck way. I was already vulnerable, at my most raw; the word triggered me and brought me to ground.
Cue ugly cry. Heaving sobs. Folding at the waist as if I had been gutted. Because, honestly, I had.
I hate that I let that word bring me down again. But what sucks just as much? That people have the tendency to make these comments and judgments. NEVER judge another’s story. If you are worried about them or their health, help them to understand your concern–they may or may not be aware, but they will, at the very least, appreciate that you care for them enough to let them know.
If you haven’t read Kaella’s post, go and read it now. And think before you speak. Think before you judge.
Trigger Words as Catalysts for Positive Change
When faced with these words, when faced by these triggers, we have a few options, a) ignore them (not going to happen), b) absorb them and move on (working on it), c) collapse and stay down, or d) collapse, and recoil.
I chose option D. I ugly cried. I had an anxiety attack. I had a crisis of conscience, a questioning of my mission, who I am, was and will be. I crumpled.
But then? I called on my support system. I took a deep breath. And I stood back up. I stood up and resolved that I would come back. I would come back better than ever. I would conquer this trigger once and for all.
As you might have gleaned from my Blogfest recap post, I was incredibly taken by Amy van Dyken Rouen and her “Who are you to tell me what I can or cannot do?” attitude. As I said, I find it very much in line with the way that I live my life: I try to live beyond expectations and take life on my own terms. Sometimes, the “who” in that statement? Is myself. And who am I to say what I am or am not capable of? Who is to say that I can’t carry a child and have a healthy family? There is always a chance, I just need to seize it when I see it.
Now, let’s grab on to that last phrase: seize the chance when you see it. Fast forward to Jenna Wolfe’s speech. From her, the big takeaway for me is that “There are two times in life: now, and too late.” (Also, I loved the “take the parentheses off your goals” that she said, and that ties back to Amy’s quote).Choose NOW + only YOU can determine what you can and cannot do #blogfest #motivation Click To Tweet
When I am faced with a decision, I rarely take the middle ground with regards to deciding when to act: I either impulsively jump in to what I think is the right decision, or I wait and wait and wait until I am sure, and by then the time may have passed. Taking Jenna’s quote into consideration, I see it not as a go-ahead to just jump before checking that there is some sort of apparatus that will work in your safety’s favor, but instead to act. When you know something is right, act. When you know something is wrong, act. And act now.
I am making some changes in my own life, a) because I know that I need to, and b) because I might have waited just a little too long, and, in realizing that I was getting to that point, it was time to act. In other areas of my life, I have dug myself into some holes. And I knew that I was doing that, so now I am acting.When confronted by negative triggers, use them as catalysts for positive change #mentalhealth Click To Tweet
Also? Respect the fact that you likely do not know someone else’s story. Don’t read between the lines when you have only seen a sentence. Mkay?
What is your trigger point (if you care to share)?
When was a time that you turned a trigger into a catalyst for positive change?