There are triggers and then there are roadblocks. I personally don’t know which are more damaging to me seeing that my triggers often become paralyzing moments indecision. Or worse. Naturally a trigger is something that sparks another action. Obviously in the world of addiction recovery, the word, ‘trigger,’ almost always has a negative connotation; a trigger often leads an addict down the wrong path.
A roadblock–an impenetrable thing standing in the way. In the world of coaching, self-help, and life-affirmation, a roadblock is often something negative that is then turned on it’s axis into something to be surmounted, something that can be overcome. Watch any Tony Robbins video of him helping someone with a life-altering roadblock in the way, and within minutes, whether you believe it contrived or not, the person has not only identified the roadblock, they’ve blown it to smithereens and are continuing on their journey.
What happens when your triggers are the roadblocks themselves? If you are someone like me with a well-developed sense of self-righteousness, my “I’ll show you” super-hero-powers can blow away almost all roadblocks in my way. My “I’ll show you” tied to my grandiosity tied to a sometimes over-zealous belief in a synchronistic, “The Secret” way of life can perform miracles or at least feats often seen by others as mind boggling. I’m not saying this is healthy. It’s not. It’s what can get me into trouble.
I may see a roadblock, feel that drive and power squeezing up from my solar plexis which finds its way into a stubbornly clenched jaw, and then I trip over a trigger. A familiar place. A person. A smell that triggers a memory. I can quickly crash into a heap of self-destructive behaviors, the road block long ago surmounted, opportunity sitting there in front of me waiting to be taken, but I am suddenly too focused on hurting myself to take another step.
My triggers are dangerous. My triggers are many. My triggers spark actions that involve blood, cuts, deprivation, purging, and on and on. It’s an old traditional exercise, but today I again write out my triggers so that I can honor their power and learn that the power I have to overcome roadblocks is the same power than can successfully deal with a trigger. Easier said than done, but like anything worth doing, it’s worth practicing and doing again and again.