I found myself reacting badly to a conversation this week and I thought, "What in the world is wrong with you, Terri?" I couldn't figure out why I was feeling so sensitive and prickly. I could feel the dysregulation in my spirit and I knew these conversations were triggering some deep-seated, multi-layered emotions that had nothing to do with what was actually being said. 

But as I did some self-reflection and tried to figure out what was causing the internal turmoil, I realized what it was. It had nothing to do with the comments themselves which really weren't given in a mean-spirited way. The comments were creating a knee-jerk response within me based on my past experiences. 

I was emotionally transported back to my growing up years where I never fit in, didn't feel like I belonged, was the last picked for every single sporting event and felt rejected by many of the adults in my life. As these conversations triggered some buried memories and emotions I found myself reacting in a way that was really very child-like. 

My reason for sharing this here is that until we learn to recognize those triggers and the deeper meaning behind the knee-jerk reactions we have, we will never be able to break free from our past and some of the generational patterns we may have. 

I had to really work through those unpleasant emotions that were rising up in me so I could get to the point where I wasn't reacting. If I had continued in those negative emotions and thoughts, it would have escalated and continued to spill out onto the family member who triggered my reaction. 

Once I recognized what was causing this angst within me, it diffused those emotions. I was able to remind myself of the truth that the Lord says about me. I mentally walked through the task of taking those memories one by one and recognizing that despite how I was feeling, I was not being rejected. And I was able to allow the Lord to once again work on doing some more healing of my past and move on.

I want to encourage you that while you may struggle with being dysregulated from time to time in your own relationships, there is hope. When we can learn to do the hard work of discovering what is behind our internal emotional responses, we will make tremendous strides in our relationships with others. 

When I was able to recognize what was happening, put those emotions I was experiencing into words, it diffused the turmoil within me. As I did the hard work of dealing with what was going on internally, I was able to move forward in my external relationships.

Relationships can be difficult, but recognizing the things that trigger negative emotions, pausing and praying, taking time to recognize what is going on whether that be through reflection or journaling and then allowing the Lord to heal them will help you move towards healthy and whole ways of interacting with others. 

Making the choice not to react, despite what your gut-reaction may be can go a long way to keeping your relationships whole and healthy.

I'm working hard, with the Lord's help, at breaking some generational patterns and sins that feel like I'm trying to move a mountain at times. It is so deep within me and at times, the reactions, rise up without warning. However, with God's help, I'm able to move forward. 

He will do the same for you as well. Just ask Him to begin to reveal those areas of your life that need healing and then allow Him to work.  


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