Choosing to thrive.

Posted by on Apr 16, 2015 in empowerment, healing, self-healing, strength | 0 comments

not only to survive, but to thrive.

This quote by Maya Angelou means something deep to me, and I wish I had known of it when I was younger.  I spent a long time being stuck in the “victim” mode, while I was growing up.  There was no way out, no ending near, from the daily game of surviving that I had no choice but to play.  I was learning a lot of skills that would transfer into the many facets of my existence in the adult world.  I moved away from being the victim when I became a teenager and could start fighting back, fending off, and getting away.  I firmly planted myself into the daily fight of getting through, with the least amount of scars as possible.

The problem was that I was stuck in the “survivor” mode for many years after leaving my abusive home.  I was always in a constant state of “fight or flight”, ready at a moments notice for intense conflict and danger.  I had so many strong emotions surging through me, the concept of being mellow and relaxed was a double blind.  I couldn’t see how I could ever feel that way, nor could I see how to get there.  I wanted to.  I wanted to know, more than anything, what it felt like to just….be.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be like that.  When you get away from an extremely abusive environment, especially if it covers a large span of time, you may feel like this, more often than not.  Always on edge.  Always watching.  Always aware.  I used to try and explain how I felt inside like this:  Normal people have the 1-10 scale of stress/anxiety.  Most people would probably rate themselves at a 2/3 in a typical environment.  I started at a 9.  So when something went wrong in my life, I was off the charts.  After about 30+ years of living this way, I decided I was ready to move on from being a survivor.  I wanted to learn how to be at peace, and enjoy my life.

Learning how to let your guard down, allowing yourself to be at complete ease, can be done, and it takes work. 

It also requires a solid choice by you.  Both in your heart, and your mind.  You have to make the choice that you are done surviving, and you are ready to start thriving.  Living.  Being in the present moment with all of your senses, knowing you are okay.  Completely at ease with yourself, and your surroundings.

We have this natural tendency to identify ourselves.  Look at most of the content on the Web alone – ways to tell if you are an introvert vs. an extrovert; tests to say what kind of person you are; pro vs. con in almost anything; even with being a survivor of abuse.  You identify as either being sexually, physically, and/or emotionally abused, or in some cases, all three.  I was in the latter of that boat, myself.

Question – When you choose to identify yourself as a survivor, instead of a victim, then why can’t you choose to take the next step and become a thriver?  

You see, it’s up to you to decide who you choose to be in this world.  What name you want to give yourself, what characteristics you want to identify with.  You can make the decision that you are ready to move on from being in constant battle mode, and then allow yourself to start exploring the possibilities of how.  It all starts with making that choice.

I chose to move away from being a survivor, and I started learning how to thrive.  I started by watching the people that I always wished I could be like, and how they did things.  What their interests were, how they did their day-to-day.  My path is now in search for true peace, and love.  I learn from yoga, meditation, uplifting books/movies/shows, community involvement, self-care classes, healing classes, oils, herbs, anything that is going to get me to that place of relaxation and peace.  It took me some time, it wasn’t overnight, but I got there.  I found that elusive, mysterious white unicorn of riding in my husband’s Jeep, being present in the moment, and truly enjoying the music, my husband’s company, and feeling that everything is right in my world.

Who are the people in your life, or even that you know of, that emulate what you wish you could feel like?  Start with them.  Learn their ways, and start practicing them yourself.

Be at peace, warrior.  Everyone deserves to put their sword down for a while.  Even you.

Heather Durling, The Phoenix Gathering
“One Starfish At a Time.”
Proud Member of ‪#‎WUVIP‬

Copyright 2015 The Phoenix Gathering. All Rights Reserved.


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