Monday, February 14, 2011

Triggers

I guess I should name this post "Triggers and how we respond to them".  We all have psychological triggers.  Some triggers promote healthy behavior and some promote not so healthy behavior.  The scripture below comes to mind when thinking about this:

Phillipians 4:8
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

My parents were divorced when I was very young, therefore I spent a significant amount of time in both their homes growing up.  The problem was that my mom was extremely neat and my dad was disgustingly dirty in the way he kept his surroundings.  I live with my mom, but my dad's place was so dirty that I would almost always come home to my mom sick.  They lived in 2 separate states.  As a very young child I learned survival techniques to cope with the visits to my dad.  It still makes me sick to even think about the conditions I endured there.  My mom's house was my "safe place".  In addition to the filth, there was also abuse there.  I was physically abused there.  My mom's house was my safe place.  Fast forward to now.  I'm living with my husband and daughter and although they are not "dirty" in the way they keep their surroundings, it seems that when crumbs are on our wood floor, or when there is black lint on our white carpet, or when the sink has food in it, or when the counters and dining room table are dirty or just things not being tidy; it sets off this trigger in me that says things are so dirty and I have to do something about it.  The problem with that is things are normally not that bad.  It's just that a little dirt to me, triggers something that makes me feel out of control like at my dad's house.  The reason I'm addressing this now is because this issue is robbing me from my present moments.  I think about whether or not things are "clean", way too much.  It's not healthy.  So I'm going to meditate on the scripture I mentioned above and with my next impulse to clean, I'm going to examine myself to make sure I'm responding to a genuine desire and not fear of losing control.  When it's fear I'm experiencing I will just give my fear over to God and not respond to that trigger.  That particular trigger is rooted in a place in my life that no longer exists, I cannot continue to respond as if it does.  I just have to tell myself, I am not in my father's house anymore and I don't need this coping mechanism anymore.  I need to re-evaluate my relationship with our home and how we keep it.  The relationship I have with our living environment is largely based on my mom and dad.  2 very opposite extremes.  It's not possible for me to live out either one of those extremes in my life.  So I have to take a step back and develop my own unique relationship with my living surroundings, some thing where I can be comfortable and thrive.  It can't be a comfort that it based on control. 

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