Breaking The Grievance Circuit


SixSeconds EQ is named for the fact that the initial emotional response to an external trigger only lasts about six seconds.

I have noticed that certain triggers activate a self-perpetuating “grievance circuit” in my mind. This keeps a narrative justifying my resentment circulating in my mind; because I don’t know the appropriate action needed to resolve that trigger — and my psyche considers it too important to ignore!

This is vital information; but also a huge waste of resources. I must confess I don’t yet have a practice for reliably addressing this kind of problem, but here are some questions that might help:

  1. What counter-narrative might the offender construct where I am the one at fault?
  2. What circumstances could tempt me to feel and react the same way the offender did?
  3. What is the earliest wounding I remember that spawned this (version of) the narrative?
  4. What is the “Good Thing” this narrative is trying to protect?
  5. What is the “Bad Thing” this narrative seeks to avoid?
  6. What competency must I gain to feel secure enough to handle that Bad Thing?
  7. Why do I not have the grace to “simply” forgive them and trust God to address the underlying issues in His own time?
  8. What miracle would it take to resolve the root issue once and for all?
  9. What authority would I need to invoke that miracle?
  10. Which sacrifice must I make to obtain that authority?
  11. How would I confront the offender if I was totally secure and peaceful in myself, and only concerned about their well-being and growth?
  12. Why do I lack the grace to respond with peace and joy when faced with this offense?
  13. Which previous offenses have I overcome, that could provide clues for resolving this situation?
  14. What lies am I tempted to believe?
  15. Which part of myself am I protecting?
  16. What would it look like to allow Christ to crucify that part of me — and raise it as something else!
  17. What past sin or wounding do I feel is impossible for Christ to redeem?
  18. How would my narrative change if that hurt was redeemed?

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