No B.S Friday: This is something we all do. We all have stories we automatically jump to.
Where do you jump to?
This is something worth asking yourself. When you get ‘triggered’ or upset, where do you jump to?
For me, it was the pain of not being understood.
Often things would happen, I’d have a reaction, and I’d jump to the pain of not being understood.
It was an automatic process. It wasn’t conscious at all. But that’s where my thoughts would immediately jump.
As I spent time watching myself do this over and over, I realised that these jumps had their own energy.
They were like a coiled spring, just waiting for something – anything – to come along and trigger them.
So I might notice that an employee hadn’t done what I was expecting them to do. Now, there might be a million possible reasons for that. Maybe they never saw the email because the server was down. Maybe they got pulled into a different emergency. Maybe they just got confused.
But in that entire universe of possible explanations, I’d jump straight to “that guy just doesn’t get me.”
Which then leads to “nobody gets me”. Which leads to “I’m all alone in this miserable-arse universe.”
Now, given there were a million possible reasons, why did my thoughts jump there?
It’d happen at home too. Maybe my wife would come back from the shops with a brand of coffee I’ve said I didn’t really like.
Again, could be a million reasons for that. Maybe they were out. Maybe this other brand was on special. Maybe she just forgot because she’s got a million other things on her mind and looking out for my precious palette isn’t’ top of the list.
Doesn’t matter. I’d go straight to, “She doesn’t get me. She doesn’t really understand or appreciate me. She can’t fully comprehend the wonderfully unique cut of my soul.”
(I know, it’s ridiculous… in hindsight.)
And of course, there’s a lot of blame there. If she doesn’t get me then it must be because she doesn’t care, or she isn’t even trying.
So again, the question is, if there are a million possible explanations, why do we lock onto these particular stories?
Why do our thoughts jump there so quickly that the conscious mind doesn’t even have time to clock what’s happening?
Why does it feel like these thoughts are just itching for their opportunity to come leaping out of the dark corners of your mind to dominate your conscious thoughts…
… and your moods?
These are excellent questions.
I’m still not sure. My guess is that we have this residual pain and trauma that gets locked up in our being. For me, growing up in a bilingual household, straddling two different cultures, I often felt like nobody got me. Maybe that’s it.
And that pain and that trauma wants to be acknowledged. It wants the time we were never able to give it in the moment.
It doesn’t want solutions. It just wants space. It just wants to be heard.
And until we can create space for it – until we can hold space for it – it will keep muscling in on our thoughts, at any opportunity it gets, crying out for attention.
That’s my guess.
But it’s super interesting to try and do an inventory of your jumpers. What are the stories you automatically go to when you get triggered?
And what is at the heart of those stories?
What is the pain that wants to be recognised?
Do this, and you will know yourself in a deeper way than you ever have before.