Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Sunday 26 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Philip Neri
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Do you know the opposite of a “trigger”?

trigger glimmers

Natalya Bardushka | Shutterstock

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/09/24

If we're on guard for glimmers, we might gradually find fewer triggers.

A social media post caught my eye this week and was quickly shared and re-shared among my friends. It explains the opposite of a “trigger,” calling them “glimmers.”

The phenomenon of “triggers” has become well-known in the last several years, as anyone remotely tuned into our society is aware.

Triggers are “an event or circumstance that is the cause of a particular action, process, or situation,” the dictionary says. And all kinds of places and things now include “trigger warnings,” to alert us of ideas or references that might bring up traumatic memories or uncomfortable or painful images.

The media post says that glimmers, on the other hand, are “any moments in your day that bring you joy, happiness, peace, gratitude, or love, making you feel good.”

If we look for glimmers, the post proposes, we’ll see them more, because “we tend to see what we actively seek.”

I’m not sure who created the post or coined this usage of “glimmers,” but they are on to something. (Although the part about “making you feel good” should be clarified a bit.)

Go deeper

It’s certainly true that we’ll learn to see what we’re looking for, and as we’ve written a number of times in our own pages here at Aleteia, attitudes like gratitude and joy will grow if we foster them.

These musings made me consider that the trigger-glimmer dynamic is really an invitation to go deeper in our daily examen.

Pope Francis, steeped in the spirituality of his spiritual father, St. Ignatius, is a big fan of the examination of conscience. But if you follow his teachings on it, you’ll find that his recommendation is far from making a “list of your sins” each night. Instead, like Ignatius, he suggests we take the examen as a chance to go deeper in self-knowledge, to find the things that motivate us and discourage us … in a way, to find our “triggers” and “glimmers.”

Maybe this trigger-glimmer outline is a way to get started or breathe new life into our examen.

To grow in freedom

The Pope has given countless tips for a good self-examination, offering examples of the questions to ask ourselves.

At a general audience of October 5, 2022, the Pope went in-depth.

~ What happened in my heart in this day? 

“Lots of things happened …” Which? Why? 

~ What traces did they leave in my heart? 

It is a “good habit of calmly rereading what happens in our day, learning to note in our evaluations and choices what we give most importance to, what we are looking for and why, and what we eventually find. Above all, learning to recognize what satiates the heart.”

~ What satiates my heart? 

For only the Lord can give us confirmation of what we are worth. He tells us this every day from the cross: He died for us, to show us how precious we are in his eyes. There is no obstacle or failure that can prevent his tender embrace. The examination of conscience helps a great deal, because in this way we see that our heart is not a road where everything passes without us knowing about it. No.

~ To see: What passed by today? 

~ What happened? 

~ What made me react? 

~ What made me sad? 

~ What made me joyful? 

~ What was bad, and did I harm others? 

Seeing the route our feelings took, the attractions in my heart during the day. …

Prayer and self-knowledge enable us to grow in freedom. This is to grow in freedom! They are basic elements of Christian existence, precious elements for finding one’s place in life

Examination of conscienceGratitudePope Francis
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.