Do you have a favorite number? Or are you like so many of us, who deem certain numbers "unlucky"? It's interesting the attachment we place on certain numbers. Sometimes it's a positive connotation, sometimes not. I'll be turning 45 this year. The number 45 has been ingrained in my mind for 20 years. Not because I've looked forward to turning 45....but because 20 years ago next month, my Daddy put a 45 caliber gun in his mouth and ended his life.
So I attached a meaning to this number...it seems rather silly, right? It's just a number. But it's incredible what our minds do. Rather than letting this number escape my mind, it's entrenched in there. So for example, whenever I watch Law & Order and they talk about someone being murdered with a 45...for a second my mind goes there.
The key is "for a second". Most of us have-what are ironically called-"triggers". And if we've survived any sort of trauma, and especially an entire childhood filled with trauma, we're likely to have a multitude of triggers. A trigger could be a scent, it could be a taste, it could be a name, it could be a person, it could be a number. The list of what might trigger any of us at any moment, seems endless. And if you've had a life rife with moments like mine, it could be all of the above. Now imagine if I dwelled on every trigger I had. I would be stuck every day living in the past. Instead when a trigger, like the number 45, pops up I give the memory a moment of thought, and then I let it go.
Some days are easier than others. And if you feel like you need more than a moment to be sad about certain triggers do that, take a moment...especially if the negative memory attached to said trigger happened recently.
Ignoring triggers completely is certainly not healthy either. Recognizing what your triggers are is actually one great step towards healing. It's incredible the power that is taken away from something when we write it down, or say it out loud, it suddenly becomes less scary, each time we acknowledge it.
Allow yourself some grace if you're still having glints of pain or sadness from triggers formed long ago. Draw strength from the fact that you overcame that moment that caused these seemingly constant reminders, and every time they pop up, draw strength from the fact that you've now overcome the triggers too!