You are having a conversation with someone and everything is going well and are loving every minute of it. Then all of a sudden a statement is made and you find yourself reacting as though you are a five-year-old. You lose all rationale and you start defending yourself by saying or doing things as though you are under attack.
You go home and are wondering what happened that made you behave in a such a way. You know absolutely that’s not who you are and yet you did what you did. You behaved like a child.
Depending on who you were having this conversation with, you realize that your reaction did not make sense as you are contemplating it later on. You realize that this happens more often in conversations than you want, yet you don’t know why it keeps happening. Your emotional reaction went from zero to sixty in a split second.
What just happened to you is what we call an emotional trigger.
Something spoken or done caused a series of reactions and actions. These triggers are activated by events that are similar to events that happened before.
For example, someone raised their voice at you and your brain interpreted it as though something is wrong with you. Now every time someone raises their voices at you, you find yourself defending yourself and proving that nothing is wrong with you, even when no one is saying that to you. Behavior modification isn’t fixing this problem because it’s an emotional problem.
When we experience harmful events in our lives, our brains register’s them as a danger and interprets them in such a way that protects us from experiencing them again.
Romans 12: 2 “And be not conformed to this [worlds way of thinking and acting]; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.“
It’s wise to examine our lives and identify what happened to us that was very harmful and is still causing triggers in us.
We challenge these interpretations with the truth of God and that is what creates the environment for transformation.