Recognizing those things that cause us to REACT

We must first acknowledge the fact that we are reacting! If we continue to operate in a state of denial, nothing will change and get us to the next level.
The Law of Cause and Effect comes into play, anytime we are triggered by a (conscious or unconscious) recognition of a previous trauma. The cause being a trigger and the effect being our reaction.

Your identity - past - future – present

The past: we use the past to define or create our identity. What we have done and how we have gone about doing it, is what we let “define” us. We very seldom consider that many things we chose to do, we chose without experience, choosing in the moment rather than with contemplation and discernment. Many times, we were just too young to know any different and we used someone else's teachings and let them become our own. The advice may have come from our parents, a pastor, a teacher, or a peer. It may have been false advice or possibly advice that you perceived to be true or misinterpreted, and you allowed it to determine your identity.

How often have we heard a person say "this is me," "this is who I am.”? I can't change who I am. These kinds of statements intentionally lock in and define who you are.

We use the future to bring us fulfillment in the moment. By playing "what if" games, we use our imagination to bring the future into the moment. We make claims, "if I had (this, that, or the other thing) I would be happy.

Both the past and the future are committee driven identities. You allow the ego to define who and what you are.

If you desire to find the things that trigger you, you must come into the present moment. It is only during this present moment that you can discern, make a decision, develop willingness, and move to a new you.

Who you are in this present moment, when you acknowledge your authentic you, will your life begin to change? When you evaluate your life, will you find someone that you love and cherish or someone you resent.

What is your emotional state “right now”, what do you feel in this moment? Knowing and acknowledging your feelings will help establish and acknowledge that you have been triggered. Do you feel joy peace and serenity, or do you feel resentment, despair, anger, and sadness?

I warn people about “toxic positivity”, outwardly expressing optimism when they are falling apart on the inside.

Ask yourself, in this present moment how am I going to deal with what I think and what I feel? There are only two ways in which you can resolve any issue.

1. Decide what it is you need to do to change and then take the action to make that decision happen
1. Totally accept what's going on and totally accept the feelings you're feeling knowing that without change they will probably continue. Continuing to suffer is a choice.

Byron Katie in her book: “Love What Is”, explains how our stories, what we think, are what allows suffering to continue.
If we move into this moment, is or does your story stay consistent? Is the trauma happening in this moment or is it only happening in your head?

Normal existence for most individuals is a committee run life. We always have the chatting committee in the mind, in the background, creating static. Some define the committee as the ego. Something in the mind that defines us. It tells us what we should or should not do.

Once again, this committee is normally made up of the voices of parents, pastors, teachers, and peers.

Unease in life becomes the normal state for most people. Ignoring obvious Truths (facts), habitual thinking (Based on the old thinking), and Denial (Don't Even kNow I'm Actually Lying).

Most individuals don't use discernment in the present moment because they're living their lives in the past or in the future. They rely upon what they have done in the past to decide what they are going to do right now, or they use the illusion of promises of a bright future to move them in a different direction. How sad is that?

How sad is it that we allow our past to create a false identity for us or allow the future to generate fears, that end up immobilizing us?

The present provides a space or place to create solutions:
Method one – activate change
Method two – activate acceptance

Worry is very difficult to ignore or to deny. Worry maybe generated by actual circumstances (rational worry) or it may be created by the illusions of the mind becoming overactive with "what if's" (irrational worry)

Step 1 – acknowledge what it is you are actually feeling in this present moment is the beginning of recognizing a trigger.
Step 2 - becoming willing to change the things we can is the next step.
Step 3 - Instituting action steps to resolve the situation, will move us from reacting to responding.

The unwillingness to accept change will be a chain that will hold us in a mental prison. What about our story is absolute truth?
Unresolved resentments are the bars that surround us and keep us in that mental prison. Those emotions, feelings, and beliefs, held in the subconscious portion of the brain are the things that are open to triggers.

Unwillingness is a function of the mind, only we can make the mental decision to become willing! Unwillingness normally is tied to the future, the story, we continue to tell ourselves. We tell ourselves that we can do the same things we’ve been doing and get different results. It never works that way. In fact some have said that, that is a definition of insanity.

Resentments are a function of the mind, it's up to us to let them go. The process to remove any resentment in our lives is called forgiveness. Resentments are typically tied to the past. Something or someone has upset us in a way that we feel is unforgivable. When you become aware that you are resenting something, see if you can identify what it was that made you feel resentful. That is a trigger.

The only thing in life that we have control over to change is ourselves, which begins with our thinking. If we are waiting for others, or something to change, before we let go of the resentment, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Live in the moment! Resentments can be looked at as poisons, it's as if you are drinking the poison day in and day out, expecting it to affect the other person. It will never happen.

Become willing, become forgiving!

Expectations and depression - avoiding expectations

How closely can depression be tied to the expectations of the individual?
When what you expect, doesn't come to fruition, how do you respond to it? Does that unfulfilled expectation become a trigger?

If you expect "pie in the sky" and you receive "a roll in the mud" chances, are you will be disappointed.

It makes sense to make plans without planning the expectations, the outcomes.
Planning is crucial to a healthy, joy filled life.
A person who fails to plan is planning to fail!
However, to expect everything to turn out exactly as we planned is totally unreasonable. Life does and will throw curveballs at us. Many times, we are going swing and miss. Sometimes striking out.
What we must realize is that if we stay with the process, identify our triggers, we will have another chance to hit it out of the park.

Making decisions, knowing what you want.
Turning the "don't want’s" into what you want.

The "don't want’s" will never lead you to the WHY, the passion or the incentive to know what you really desire.

Without determining the "why you do something" - the how-to's become less important overtime and dissipate. They take us back to our old beliefs and our old ways.

After you have identified a possible trigger. Journal about it. Use Byron Katie’s “The Work” on it.
Determine what you want, define it, determining your WHY will create passion, determination, and patience.

Write down your WHY in a journal, post it on your bathroom mirror. This is what helps when times get tough and it's why the tough keep going.

Change your thinking – You will change your life!

The question arises: "how can we ever know what is in the subconscious, it's unconscious - it resides below the consciousness"

A way to look at the subconscious is to look at the results that are happening in your life. What are the results of your actions? Take a true honest evaluation of your life, with no excuse making, no rationalizations, without giving reasons and explanations for why our life has turned out the way it has.

Is your life full of havoc, chaos, misery and despair?
Do you live in continuous harmony, serenity, peace, and joy?
Possibly somewhere in between with a little bit of both. Hopefully more joy than despair.

How your life has turned out is a result of your thinking, both conscious and subconscious are revealed in the way we live our normal daily lives.

A practice you may want to start to employ.
"Start to observe the thinker."

Come into this present moment. Now stay with each moment as it exists for the next minute or two. Address any situation or problem that is existing in your life right now.
Ask the question: "what can I do (what action can I take) or what do I need to accept that would eliminate this situation or problem that exists in my life today?"

Monitor your mental state and thoughts.
Monitor your emotional state of mind.
Watch the thinker, how does it think, in what direction does it take you?
Is it a condemning negative thinker or a positive uplifting thinker?
Make watching the thinker a habit.

An emotional feeling is created from a thought, from our thinking. These thoughts could possibly come from the unconscious mind without you ever recognizing it as a thought.

Watch your thinking as a third-party observer. Don't become involved in the thinking, trying to justify the feeling.

Observe the feeling (when done often enough) it can lead us back to the trigger of the thought that created it.

Once you have identified the thought or feeling, step back into the present moment, the right now.
Ask yourself the question: "what action can I take to change that thought or get rid of and eliminate the trigger?"
"How can I find acceptance for that thought to exist without it affecting my emotional state in the future?"

If we continue to stuff it in the subconscious it will still be there to haunt us. If we operate in a state of denial, it will still be there to haunt us.

Acceptance is a choice, acceptance takes the sting out of the trigger, acceptance defuses the emotional turmoil, acceptance typically follows forgiveness.

If a resentment still exists in your mind, your acceptance has not been complete.

BSIF – Proverbs 23:7
For as he thinks in his heart so is he!
That corresponds to the metaphysical law - the Law of Attraction

What you focus on is what you get! Focus on negative things and you will receive negative things. Focus on positive things and you will receive positive things.
Attempting to avoid focusing on negative things, is actually focusing on them.

As within – so without!
Nothing physical is ever created without a thought preceding it.

If you want your outside world to change - change your inside world!

Trigger- anything, as an act or event that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions. Triggers – those things that create a reaction within us.

Some feelings or thoughts to be aware of.
Eating disorders – emotional distress – anger – rage – worry – fear – disgusted – sad – anxious - afraid – confused - exhausted

Be aware of the emotions you experience.
Journal or track your emotional and or behavioral reactions. See if they will lead you back to a trigger.

Habits, feelings, emotions, and beliefs are all stored in the subconscious mind. Many times, they reside in a hidden place and never reveal themselves until triggered. It is said that those feelings, emotions, and beliefs many times, are buried so deep that we never recognize that they are part of us, until the reaction happens.

Many times, when that reaction happens, we don't even realize that a trigger was initiated. We get angry, raise our voices without recognizing that it has occurred. This can go on throughout our lives until we start aggressively seeking awareness of those triggers.

Be aware that triggers can be brought on by any of the physical senses:
1. Sight - registering a traumatic event, similar to something that happened earlier in our lives.
2. Sound - A song, sound or noise that reminds us of a previous event.
3. Touch - experiencing touch in an uncomfortable or inappropriate way, a repeat of something we experienced earlier in our lives.
4. Taste - A vile or offensive taste, that brings to mind an unpleasant experience.
5. Smell - A body odor or aftershave that brings back a previous trauma.
6. And sometimes by intuition, expecting or anticipating an outcome.

Develop an awareness of your Results- those things that show up as a consequence, an outcome.

If we start to observe our reactions as results, then in hindsight many times we can reflect on what it was that brought about that result. What was the trigger?

Together (with recognition and awareness) i Can


Join us to discuss these topics!

For more information read our other articles or contact us today!

Michael McCright
Free Health Coaching – provided by the "Together i Can Group"
Together i Can Inc.
June 22, 2022

Call 619-316-6900

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