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Tricks, Triggers, & Traps

Life is full of intentional and unintentional tricks, triggers, and traps. Some imposed by those we know and love, others by strangers, and still more are self-imposed. Most of it is determined by poor perception and our inability to identify and navigate our emotions.

Although, emotions aren't "good or bad" but God's way of helping us to understand what's going on in our hearts and in our heads, they can still be tricky, be triggered by anything, and trap us into self-defeating thoughts and behaviors if we aren't careful.

Sure, it's easy to feel happiness, joy, hope, and excitement. We seek people, places, and things that help create those experiences. However, it becomes a different story when presented with memories and thoughts that stir feelings of fear, anxiety, guilt, and loneliness. The less favorable, unpleasant emotions cause us to feel vulnerable. Vulnerability can cause thoughts of being weak, incompetent, and unworthy. We are then presented with the choice to fight ( the way we feel), flight (run from how we feel), freeze ( stay stuck in how we feel), or appease (seek out pleasing others to avoid how we feel). The tendency is to do any or all with dysfunctional means of coping.

We attempt to "fight" or run from unpleasant emotions through the misuse and even abuse of food, sex, drugs, alcohol, and more. These are excellent short-term, dysfunctional coping skills that can help distract painful triggered thoughts.

It's true, there are no pleasant and/or legal ways be which we can stop or control every trigger, trap, and trick from taking us back down memory lane. What we can do is allow ourselves to experience the blessing of having a wide and varied range of emotions. Sure, some are more pleasant than others, but we need them all to live healthy, balanced lives. They may feel unpleasant, painful, and sometimes overwhelming but when you "go through them" without avoiding or numbing them, there's strength and victory on the other side. I can't promise you that nothing will ever trick, trigger, or trap you in a sea of unpleasant emotions ever again but I can assure you that each time it does, you'll be graced with increased strength as you feel what you feeling. So, I guess the question is: Who is really being tricked, triggered, and trapped in the end?

Note: Navigating painful memories and unpleasant thoughts can be overwhelming. Please seek out the help of a mental health clinician for assistance.


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