What to Do When Your Family Triggers You…

So, yesterday, I was at a family reunion. Even though, this is a part of my family that I had only connected to just a few years ago, family can have a way of (mostly unintentionally) bringing up our stuff and yesterday, I had this experience with someone I hadn’t met before.

For me, for quite some time, this thought that was working against me, and really, what I’ve been wanting to create in my life, had been lying in the background. While I was partly conscious of it and I knew I would need to address it to accelerate to the next level, hearing it stated so matter-of-factly (if that’s a word!) out loud by another person, made me want to go run and hide. Now to be clear, the person sharing their experience had no malintent and for me, my running and hiding was about owning my feelings and taking care of myself, not what they had said. Yes, what they had said was bound to be said, not because it’s true, but because it was something I was believing and already had in my field to protect myself.

This last piece is so important because many times, we can be conditioned to think that person is saying something just to push our buttons. One key to this, though, is realizing, if it doesn’t live within you, they wouldn’t be saying it, and even if they were, it wouldn’t be pushing your buttons.

Yesterday, when this happened, while it was hard to have in the background during the day to fully enjoy myself, and while the current me is used to stepping away, facing it and then coming back, I felt that time was limited and I wanted to make the most of it with my family, so I waited to address it (with myself).

Looking back, I’m not sure this was the “right” choice, as I didn’t feel fully present the rest of the day, though I can’t say I would have felt stepping away was right either.

In any case, when your family (or anyone for that matter) triggers you, it’s important to look at what lives within you that created how they’re showing up and then heal that.

For me, this morning, I spent some time with myself and felt the pain of this person’s words, which were just really my words and beliefs disguised as hers.

And, while it may take some time, this practice always returns me to the present, which is one of the gifts of triggers and family.

To recognizing the gifts,

P.S. – If there’s a family relationship you’re struggling with, whether it’s a partner/spouse, child, parent or sibling, many of my clients have experienced huge relationship breakthroughs from our work together, everything from finally talking after ten years to no longer being disrespected and verbally abused in their relationship, all through inner work (and no conversation with the other party), so if this is something you’re desiring to see change and wanting support around, please don’t hesitate to reach out.