I did a talk recently titled “Are You Surviving or Thriving” with business owners. It was a great conversation and prompted many of us to self evaluate. My work as a Social Worker kept me around clientele that were surviving each day. There were three main areas that my clientele struggled with: 1. safety 2. homelessness and 3. lack of nourishment. I talked about how many of us, though we seem to have it together on the outside, are struggling with these same themes. Many of us are starving emotionally and feeling unsafe which is causing us to remain in survival mode. When we are in survival mode creating inner peace is very difficult and we stifle our abundance.
In preparing for this speech, it brought up my own unpleasant memories of being in survival mode. Have any of you ever worked for the most amazing agency while doing the most amazing work? Have you ever felt so connected to your coworkers that going to work was not work at all? I would say I worked in an environment that thrived. For numerous years I felt valued, encouraged and supported by a thriving community.
Things begin to change and the supportive thriving community no longer supported me in a way that I needed. In essence it became unsafe, I began to feel disconnected or homeless, and yes I was starving for validation and encouragement. As you can guess I entered into survival mode. I figuratively dodged bullets, hid in my cave and when I felt backed into a corner I came out fighting.
I used every resource I new to maintain my inner peace, sometimes it was enough and sometimes it was not. I reached a point in my life when I was able to leave this environment. I have found that even though I am no longer in a hostile environment it has taken almost of year of consistent inner work to shift from survival mode to thriving mode. I was lucky because the environment I have transferred to has been gentle, loving and kind. I must say that when you are in survival mode for any length of time old habits are hard to break. It has been quite the journey to allow myself to trust and be supported again by the people around me. As a business owner, I have also noticed the more I come out of survival mode the more my business thrives.
I will let you in on a secret, a pivotal point in my healing journey as been to allow forgiveness to erode my pain. The more I forgive those who have trespassed against me the freer I feel. With forgiveness I can now see that “hurt people…hurt people”. The more I have forgiven the more I am able to receive the overflow of abundance in my life.
My healing journey continues, however today I am freer of shame, guilt, and fear. This has opened the way for me to be a greater vessel of healing for others and that is what thriving is all about.