One of my buddies in the post office was not at his best the other morning and as we chatted he made a belting comment. Being a man who deals with folk daily, and is also married, he caught my stunned facial expression and knew something had happened.
A look of fear flashed across his face.
His comment had hit a boulder size emotional trigger in me and several things were happening in a split second. You’ll all know that as we gather experience in life there are things we like to work on. My reaction when I have been triggered is one of mine. As a creative, my past responses have explosive, verbal and held the deadly accuracy of an Exocet missile.
In a split second, I clamped my lips shut and breathed through my nostrils. which may have flared and scared him further. Several moments passed and I put my hand over his, smiled and wished him a lovely day, then left.
As I walked home I realised that his comment had touched on past hurt and had no relevance to the here and now. I let it all flow out through my feet and down into the earth below.
It was a few days after that and I was on the front line with a soul who needs to fire arrows and ones which are intentionally tipped with poison. This time (knowing what was coming) I let them bounce off, so I wasn’t even triggered. I closed the conversation down each time and changed the subject.
I am learning how to duck.