Surviving and Thriving

Living through my childhood has taught me life lessons.

Surviving and Thriving

Being a survivor means something different to everyone. I grew up with a mother who had numerous addictions. Addiction to pills, alcohol, food, men, and being the center of attention. She would do anything she could to avoid being with herself, and licking her wounds. Granted she had many “reasons” to be running. I mean, at some point most of us experience things that feel greater than our capacity to be with it. I know that is true for me. I’ve been on the journey of self-awareness and healing for over four years now. My mother was my greatest teacher, I just didn’t realize this fact, until ten years post death. 

These are some of the profound lessons I have learned by being her daughter. 

The strength of character may only be defined by the person. It may be that getting out of bed was the best that he/she had to offer that day. Similarly, running a Fortune 500 company may be another person’s threshold. I define it this way; being able in spite of the circumstances to keep trying. Even if it looks like shit, you put one foot in front of the other, and keep going! 

Being victimized or Being a victim. My mother married a man who routinely physically and verbally abused her. I bore witness to these insidious acts time and time again. I was traumatized and victimized by those events. However, I chose to keep going and not be a victim of the circumstance. I’ve been in and out of counseling most of my adult life. I stumbled and floundered as I was learning this lesson. I realized that following a similar path that my mother had chosen, wasn't’ for me. At some point, she was victimized, and she stayed there. She wallowed in that pain and missed the opportunity to see her ability to move through it. 

Count your blessings, every minute! During some of the hardest times in my life, there were moments of pause and peace, which were a flash of what is possible.  People were sent to me, to help me feel the safety of their kindness, to see that hope will prevail. To breathe a sigh of relief, and to give me the energy to go back in, and try and try and try. They couldn’t “rescue” me from my environment, but they did show me that there was more waiting, more possibilities! 

Believe in yourself, even if you don’t know what that looks like. I for most of my life had a little whisper inside of me. A reminder that I can do this, that I will be ok, and that I can make things better for myself through my choices. It may seem easier said, then done. It’s not, there were moments when ending my life appeared to be the only way to survive my upbringing. I was always surrounded by people who were suffering and made those around them suffer. I knew that I was above this, somehow, someway, I never lost that little whisper. 

Trust not in others but yourself. My mother, the woman who bore me, and promised to care for me, couldn’t be trusted. I had a few romantic partnerships, and they couldn’t be trusted. Several friendships, and work relationships, nope couldn’t be trusted. So finally I had to ask myself “what is going on with me?” Can I be trustworthy? So began the cultivating of a relationship with myself. To learn and understand what it means to be trustworthy. What are my boundaries, and what am I able to offer in relationships. People can only hurt us when we allow it. Boundaries aren’t there as a wall to protect us. They are there as a guardian for both parties. Anything that butts up against the edge isn’t in the best interest of either party. 

To become a thriver! I’m now forty-two years old, and just this year all of these lessons are clicking into place. The umbrella of all of these finer experiences is that I lived the majority of my life in survivor mode. Trying to get my basic needs met, food, safety, shelter. Now I am applying my life long lessons, to living the life I desire, balanced and healthy relationships. Asking for what I need, and reflecting within myself to find out what those needs are. I can move past my survival needs, and go deeper into my desire’s. I can have idle thoughts, and daydream when I choose. Because I am safe, whole, love, and loved. 

No matter how we come into the world, who we are traveling with, every experience is here to help us grow and learn. When we choose to hang onto the experiences as a justified in not living the life we deserve. We aren’t fulfilling the purpose of that experience. Most often things that happen are only the illuminator. Being able to see it and thank it, releases both into forward motion. Just as the Universe is always going forward, so should we. When we get stuck, the suffering can be immense. You, me, we, everyone deserves to live a life of joy, peace, and thriving. To fulfill dreams, and find their destiny. It starts with a whisper…