13 Tamuz 5779 / Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Pinchas
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Silent Triggers    

Silent Triggers

We all have deep and silent triggers inside us - doomsday red buttons that ignite a mushroom cloud of negative, often uncontrolled, emotions...


My journey to enlightened motherhood has not been as smooth and quick as I would have hoped. I don’t fully understand why I even expected it to. It’s a known spiritual law that once we embark on the path of self-improvement, the Other Side wakes up and does everything he can to stop us. He is our invisible enemy. Nonetheless, once I understood that the kind of mother I want to be was an achievable goal, I kind of expected that things would change pretty quickly.
They haven’t.
In fact, things have gotten much, much worse. My kids have gotten more out of control, I have been more reactive with them, and at times it feels as if I am on a downward spiral. The problem is that all of my understanding of what I should be doing and how I should be acting is still stuck in my head. It hasn’t yet been internalized in my heart.
Obviously, there is something that has been blocking the message from making its way to its destination. But what was it? I prayed and I begged Hashem to show me what the problem was, and I didn’t receive a direct answer…until just a few weeks ago. My dear friend and fantastic writer, Rivka Levy, and I had a deep and wonderful conversation. She and I have similar types of people that have been “poisonous” in our lives, so she could clearly see the root of the problem.
She explained to me that in this type of situation, where a person has hurt me and I haven’t forgiven them, it is not enough to say, “I have emuna, so I understand everything is for the best. Thank You, Hashem, for giving me this person in my life that nearly destroyed my future. Thank You for letting this person cripple my emotional development and my ability to handle stress in a normal way. Thank You for making me deal with the fallout of this person’s emotional and mental problems. Thank You for letting this person infect me with his poison. I really appreciate it, Hashem!” Nope. That’s not enough.
There is a missing ingredient in this solution. She explained that I must go back and rediscover what hurt feelings I had from my childhood, and find out exactly where they were coming from. Once I got to the root of the issue, I must allow myself to feel all of the resentment and anger that I still have, and then ask Hashem to help me heal.
This is what I should be saying: “Hashem, I’m in so much pain. I walk around every day with a heavy rock in my heart, and I try to ignore it as much as I can. It’s too painful to think about. Hashem, I still resent the people from my past that have hurt me. I still hate them so much. I want to see them suffer like I have suffered. Hashem, I understand that I should have emuna, that I should know every person in my life was sent directly by You in order to help me with my soul correction, but I still don’t believe it. I still don’t believe that everything in my life happened for my benefit. I still don’t believe that You were right there with me, watching over me as others hurt me repeatedly.
This piece of information has literally put the spotlight on the stumbling block that was causing me to fail over and over again when dealing with my kids. I have finally discovered the root of the problem: when I was growing up, I never felt like my voice was heard. I never felt like there was someone on my side, someone who understood how painful it was for me when others hurt me and no one seemed to care. When I was growing up, no one ever asked me, “How are you feeling? What do you think about this? What is your side of the story?” I was the daughter that was created in order to fulfill others’ expectations and desires; G-d forbid my dreams would be different.
I was a puppet.
Soon I began to see how this still painful hurt has manifested itself in the way I deal with my kids. It’s funny, because I realized that I was saying one particular thing over and over, yet never really understanding why I was saying it. When my kids don’t do what I asked, I always practically suffocate on these words: “Why aren’t you listening to ME?!!” Could it be any more obvious? When my kids would fight, I literally feel like I’m part of their fight, and it is a very difficult struggle to be the fighter and the referee at the same time. It’s practically impossible. This is why I was getting so upset! When my kids fought, it was like I was fighting with my sister all over again, but no one defended me!  Usually I wasn’t the one who started it, but I was always blamed for it. She was never disciplined in any way.
So when my kids fight, it is like pulling a silent trigger that sets me off like a bomb. I become hypersensitive to the one that got hurt, and I have a deep need for revenge. It’s horrible to feel this way against my own children. I love them so much, and it hurts me and horrifies me when I feel like I want to hurt them. It is so draining to try to get things fair between them- one cannot possibly hurt the other one and not get punished for it.
That is why, every single time, I would feel literally as if I were dying if I didn’t even the score between them. Looking at it from an outsider’s perspective, I understand that it is just what kids do- kids fight, and they fight hard. I don’t need to get emotionally dragged into it. I am supposed to be the rock that they can rely upon to calm them down and work out a truce. Instead, I’m the tag-team fighter that is constantly switching sides. It’s really horrible.
Thank G-d, with Hashem’s mercy, He opened my eyes. Finally, I understand what the trigger is. Now what do I do with that knowledge? I was asking Hashem that question, and the answer came quicker than I expected. I must learn to forgive. I must feel the pain, and then let it go.
How can I forgive them? Only through emuna. There is no other way that is as complete as having emuna. Without emuna, one is stuck focusing on the person that hurt him. He may forgive them on some level, but he will never stop thinking about their antagonist’s character flaws and wondering what compelled him to be so hurtful and inconsiderate. They will always be left with questions in their mind.  They will never understand that it was part of a larger picture that took into account past lives and soul corrections. They will never see that Hashem was a part of it. As a result, they will never develop a relationship with Hashem.
That’s the bottom line. The point of all of our tribulations is so we search for a connection to Hashem! We’re supposed to ask, “G-d! Why are You doing this to me? What am I supposed to learn from this?” Instead, many of us fall into the trap of “G-d doesn’t exist, because if He did, He wouldn’t let this happen to me.”
The reason I wrote this article is to help you realize that we all have deep and silent triggers inside us. Until we realize what they are, we are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. Life doesn’t have to be that painful; Hashem never intended it that way. Take a look at your repeated reactive behavior, and try to understand what type of scenarios keep bringing it on. Then it is necessary to go into your past and see what type of painful event(s) can be associated with your current reactive behavior.
Once you have made the connection, healing and moving forward is a much faster and easier process. This is where personal prayer and emuna are vital. When you involve Hashem in your healing, when you ask Him to help you, I know that you will be successful. May we all merit to let go of the pain that is holding us back, and enjoy our lives with genuine happiness and inner peace, Amen.

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yehudit12/3/2012 12:17:21 PM

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