Do you find yourself struggling with triggers? In this episode, Joseph James explains how he recently learned what triggers are and how to communicate with someone who struggles with them.

Through the process of learning, he was able to understand how to be sensitive about others’ triggers, as well as how he was able to acknowledge his own triggers to work through his past.

Key Takeaways:

Tweetable Quotes:

  1. “Ask what happened and WHY it happened.”
  2. “Triggers are teachers.”

Connect with Joseph James:





Hello, everyone, and welcome to another great episode of Purpose Through Pain podcast. I am your host, Joseph James. Today, I want to talk to you about the continued healing process that you may be going through. What causes some of the pain that we have experienced in life or should I really ask the question is what continues to cause the continued pain? I want to talk to you today about the word triggers. Things that have constantly been brought up from our past that we are experiencing in our present situation. As of just about eight months ago, I had no idea what a trigger was. I started to venture out and got into a relationship with a young lady. And the main word seemed to be triggers, and I had no idea what it was. If I did something to her, I triggered her from something of her past, and then she would get upset or she would act a certain way, and then I would get triggered by that. And I'm like, Oh, my Lord, I didn't even know what triggers were, I had no idea. But through the process, I started to learn and understand how I was causing these triggers in somebody else. But even more importantly, for me, as me as an individual, I still had undelt issues when it came to my past. And it was nothing that this individual was doing to me specifically. But through actions, I would act a certain way or if there was something that happened, she may do something or say something, and I didn't know how to deal with it. I tried to figure out a way to manage through it, and of course, what does every guy say? Nothing's wrong, nothing's bothering me. And ultimately, everything was screaming on the inside of me, I just didn't know what it was, I had no earthly idea what a trigger was. See, triggers are teachers, it's showing us what needs to be healed, and I didn't know that at the time, I had no idea what I was going through. I had no idea that I was inadvertently triggering someone, triggering this young lady of something that I did, it could have been playing around, it could have been something I said, it could have been the way I looked at her, it could have been a lot of different things or the way we were in a situation and I would respond to something that she did, and which was all healthy to a degree. However, healthy when I mean when I say healthy in terms of my reaction or my response to her. It may not have been something at all that was intently harmful from my standpoint or my heart. However, it's something that may have reminded her of an experience that she had in her past. And then vice versa for me. So I'm going to talk about me, for example, there's been times in my life that I felt rejected or abandoned from my father or mother, and because of the rejection it stemmed over into relationships. Once my wife passed away, I of course felt that rejection, that abandonment of her leaving, it wasn't something that she did specifically to me. So I didn't stay in that aspect or that belief for a long time.

However, when I started to venture back out into the dating world, I had no idea what a couple definitions or things, terms that we would use today in regards to ghosting or even catfishing, I had no idea what those meant, I thought people were just being downright rude and ugly. And so the first time I was ever ghosted, I really didn't know what to do, I felt so much rejection come up in me. The first time someone said, don't ever message me again, I felt rejection just simply by somebody not responding in a fast enough manner to a text message or somebody not answering a phone call because I had dealt with those issues throughout my young adulthood, even before texting came available, a phone call, somebody not calling me back. I would sit around for hours and wait on the phone for somebody to call me back, and it never happened. And so those things were being triggered in my own life at that time, I had no idea what they were, I had no idea the root cause. The root was not somebody not answering a text message or somebody not responding to me by calling me or returning my phone call. That was not the issue. The issue was the rejection that I dealt with, the root of it was the rejection that I had as a child, that was the root, the symptom was the text messages, the phone calls, things like that. And so as I moved forward in terms of dating this young lady, things would happen. I would not get a return text message from her. So instead of responding and saying, hey, I hope you're having a great day, I would respond like, or I would message her, haven't heard from you today, everything okay? And what that ultimately does is put somebody in a defence of that they feel required or expected to return somebody's text or even to text them. And this is when we first started talking, we really haven't even developed a relationship yet, and so those things went on with different things, it went to not responding or saying certain things and all of a sudden I would feel a certain way. And ultimately it came to realise we would sit down, the great thing about the two of us is we had great communication skills outside of the emotions of being currently being triggered, what I mean by that is we were able to sit down and talk about these things afterwards. And so we would sit down and we would have lengthy conversations, lengthy healthy conversations on why we felt the way we did. And ultimately each and every time we dealt with a trigger, it had to do or it disclosed an area of healing that we needed in our life. See, I didn't realize I still had rejection issues from my father or from venturing out in terms of women until after my wife died. And well over a year later I wanted to try the dating scene. And the first time I got rejected and I had no idea I still had those issues and all of those things came rising up within me. And so ultimately once I found the root of the cause or the root of the issue being the rejection stemming all the way back to my father, then I was able to number one is the first thing I had to do. The absolute first thing I had to do was forgive myself, I had to ask for forgiveness, I had to forgive myself, and then I asked God for forgiveness because the word of God says, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So that talks about the spirit of rejection and abandonment right there, and so I knew God's word. I knew his promises to me that he would never leave me nor forsake me, but I had to forgive myself for allowing me to live through that anguish and that torment and that spirit throughout my mid adulthood as well into my older adulthood. I'm in my 40s now. And so, but I had no idea where those had came from, but once I found the root cause, once I found the issue, once I found the root itself, I was able to then go in and start going in after some inward healing. Okay, triggers are nothing but teachers. It's showing us what we need to be healed from.

A lot of relationships today, we go in and we call them red flags, and for the most part, I don't know that they're not red flags, but a lot of times they're triggers, and we get triggered by somebody that does something to us, and instead of us dealing with the inward self, we address through the outward self. We lash back at them, we yell at them, we get upset at them, we get hurt, our feelings hurt, offended, defensive, and I did a lot of that, I would get offended very easily, I would get defensive very easily, and I would lash back out and then that would trigger something in her and then it would go back and forth, back and forth, and it's not something that I was happy about at all. And so, what I've learned through this situation is the aspect of not only forgiving myself, asking God for forgiveness, forgiving the other person, but recognizing a couple things.

Number one is what's triggering the other person? What am I doing that's triggering the other person? Because remember, it may not have anything to do with me specifically. I'm not the root cause or I may not have been the root cause at that moment. However, I was a symptom, and so, what do we do? We ultimately treat symptoms, right? So we can get down to the root cause of things. And so, in the midst of all of this, being triggered myself, I had to start going down to the root, I had to start discovering within myself what the root was so I can no longer be triggered by it. And so, when we get into a new relationship, whether it's with a future spouse or boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever the case may be, or even when it comes to business transactions, relationships, period, okay? Somebody does something to us that triggers us, I really encourage you guys to take a step back, and before you start lashing out at the person, before you start blaming them and saying, you know what? This relationship just won't work between us, the first step in this is to ask yourself the question is what was it that just happened? And why did it happen? And I'm not talking about why did it happen in regards to somebody doing something to you. I'm making reference to the root, why did this come up in my life? We know the symptom of why it happened, but why is this festering? Why am I feeling the way that I'm feeling? And it's way deeper. If you sit there and say, well, they did this to me, that's just scratching the surface. And that's not healthy whatsoever because you're not taking care of the root. When you ask yourself why, why am I feeling this way? Oh, you know what? Yeah, this person may have been a contributor to it. But ultimately, the reason why I feel the way I do is because this goes all the way back to my father rejecting me and making me feel rejected as a young child, that's the root. That's the root that was within me. So I can sit there and address the symptoms itself and say this person isn't for me or this person is not good or I don't ever want to go through that, I know my standards, I know what I want, that's great, knowing what you want. However, knowing what your triggers are and how for you to walk through them is more important than anything else when it comes to healing yourself. Because you can go from relationship to relationship to relationship, and there's a lot of people out there that do, I see it on social media all the time. They're with the love of their life and six weeks later they've broken up and three weeks later they've met the love of their life again. Some of it's that short, some of it's a little bit longer. And ultimately, you see this vicious cycle, this person going from relationship to relationship to relationship to relationship. And it's not that they don't want one, it's that they ultimately don't know what their triggers are and how to go about healing. So I encourage you guys today. Know what your triggers are, when you get upset at somebody about something, regardless of who it is, even your children. What just happened? Number one, what just happened? Number two, why did it happen? What is the root cause of why it just happened? When you start to understand that triggers are experiencing the past, you are experiencing the past in the present. And triggers are teachers showing you what needs to be healed, you will be able to walk through healing. As I encourage you to continue to listen to our podcast.

I love you guys so much, I want to be able to help you in any way that I can. Please reach out to me on Instagram @meetjosephjames. Connect with me, send me questions, I'd love to hear from you guys, I'd love to be able to get some feedback from you on how we can help you, what can we share? Who can we have on our show to be able to help you find your purpose through pain? And today was one of those things. Understand your triggers, understand that you're experiencing your past in the present, understand that the person you're with at that moment may not be the person that's causing the issues. Even though they may be bringing the triggers to surface, because that's exactly what I went through, and thank God there's been so much healing and forgiveness that's taken place, I couldn't have asked for a better person to be in my life during that time frame, I could not have asked, I would not have been where I am at today if it would not have been for her. She's an amazing woman, I love her to death, but I would not understand my triggers if it wasn't for her and for me being in that situation at that time. Understanding that when I did something or I acted a certain way when something happened to me. That I understood that that was a trigger and that was my past being resurfaced. Becoming back up, and that triggers again are nothing but teachers showing us what we need to be healed from. I love you guys and please share, subscribe, write us a review. Love y'all. Thank you.

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