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On Being Black & Triggered

In the previous week, I challenged you to explore your own definition of your Blackness. I take this moment to add even more to that foundation of self-perception.

To be triggered is be activated in some way, to have a specific emotional button pressed, primarily by something or someone outside of you, yet can also be pressed by an internal thought as well.

To be triggered is to awaken a memory, an experience or experiences, and/or a moment that may have yet to be fully resolved.

To be triggered is for old stuff to be brought to the present-day through a strong emotion (ie. Being yelled at can bring up old experiences of racism and can cause one to feel angry).

In remembering what Being Black means to you (see previous post), can you now think of what being triggered is like for you? What does it look like when you are triggered? What comes up for you? How does Being Black impact your experience of being triggered?

Heavy questions to think about if you ask me…I mean, even as I read them, I think to myself of how to answer them in this moment, but I don’t think these answers require a rushed response. The answers may actually come to you as you self-reflect ( you know that is a healthy habit right).

The thing about triggers is that our heavy triggers can cause us to feel overwhelm. That overwhelming feeling is because we are attempting to respond to what is happening in the moment and what happened in the past at the same time. But because of the overwhelm and if we choose to not pause, we heighten the chance of reacting instead of responding. Triggers are often birthed from negative experiences and/or trauma. Although (if you think back to the initial definition) triggers can actually be related to desired emotions too (ie. getting a promotion can trigger excitement). We can feel overwhelm with desired emotions too. Triggers are mostly associated with negative experiences, which our brain is constantly working to protect us from by preparing us for them. Triggers give us an opportunity to learn more about what needs to be resolved: what past experiences and/or what emotional experiences we have avoided or just not fully dealt with (whether intentionally or unintentionally).

To get back to the main point, take your time to really think about and identify your triggers as you take your time to explore those heavy questions. Remember, self-exploration can be done in the safe context with a licensed mental health professional. Sometimes, triggers and experiences are heavy so that we don’t force ourselves to carry those experiences alone.

Written by Kheri A. Corbin,

For those who are intentionally healing and managing deep-seated triggers,

For Those Black Athletes


The Ones Who Genuinely Love them

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