Those of you who are followers of my blog know that I’m an avid fan of Danielle LaPorte.
Some days, I get an email from her that just smacks me right between the eyes. Monday was one of those days.
On Monday, I opened up my inbox and there was this image from Danielle that said, simply, “Take Back What’s Yours.”
It resonated so hard with me, because in the 24 hours before that, I’d been processing some really deep, dark family shit that still bubbles up every once in a while.
Specifically, it concerns the fact that I absolutely cannot stand to be called a liar.
Well, my whole life has in some sense been defined by the fact that I tell the truth, even when the consequences are extreme. I am nothing if not “what you see is what you get.” (For this reason, I completely suck at poker.)
You would think that, as someone who cannot tell a lie, I wouldn’t be all that bothered by someone suggesting that my motives might be other than what they appear to be.
You’d be wrong.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me more mental than someone (um, my husband) suggesting that I might not mean what I say, or I might not intend what I say I intend.
For me, being called a liar is a classic trigger.
And triggers, well, they send us off in rages, they destroy relationships, they ruin careers– all while seeming entirely uncontrollable.
But there’s a secret I learned about triggers from working through them with my clients:
one of the most interesting things about triggers is that often they do not belong to us.
What do I mean by that? I mean that our triggers are LEARNED. We pick them up, often from our families of origin, and most often as children. (tweet this.)
We weren’t born with them– no matter how inherent they seem, no matter how much they control us now, no matter how uncontrollable our responses when triggered might appear.
And it turns out that I’m a perfect example. Why am I afraid of being called a liar to the point that it makes me positively mental? Because as a young girl, I was around people who lied ALL THE TIME.
And those people– well, suffice it to say that they had plenty of reasons to be afraid of the consequences, from the small to the life-altering, of their lying.
That kind of paranoia rubs off easily on young kids– especially the sensitive ones.
And as a sensitive child, I learned over and over again to be afraid of people who accuse you of not telling the truth– even when you’re 100% honest.
Now, I’m not claiming that this realization has been an easy one. Recognizing that you’ve been operating with a trigger that isn’t yours for, say, the last twenty-five years or so isn’t exactly pretty.
But it’s a recognition that’s critically important to functioning well in MY life, instead of taking on the reactionary characteristics of the troubled adults who surrounded me as a child. Once again: their lives, not mine.
So, you may be wondering: once you know you’ve got a learned trigger, what do you do about it?
Triggers, limiting beliefs, fears that we’ve picked up from others, these are neural pathways that take work to change. (Danielle LaPorte has written about this too.)
Consciousness of the trigger is the first step.
CHOOSING to behave otherwise is the next one.
And taking back what’s yours? Well, that’s the part that makes all the difference, because it’s about reclaiming the person you were born to be.
And so today, here’s what I’m taking back.
I’m taking back the person who sits in her truth without fear.
I’m taking back the person I was so many years ago before the truth was called into question by people who were lying themselves.
I am taking back the trust that others will know that I am honorable and good, and releasing fear of the suspicion of others.
I am taking back the peaceful, confident, open person that I was born to be.
I’m taking back what’s mine.
And though the ground beneath my feet feels somewhat unsteady– because, you know, 25 years of triggering is a lot of familiarity to let go of– I am too interested in the person I am becoming to stop walking forward.
You may feel the same.
Today, I invite you to share on the blog how you might have adopted limiting beliefs or patterns of thought that do not belong to you, and to take back what’s yours.
Make it your mission this week to reclaim the person you were born to be.
Have a great week.
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