Surviving or Thriving?
Raise Your 'Thriving Threshold' and Make 2013 Your Year to Thrive!
The body’s overriding goal is to survive. The ego's goal is also to survive.
But the soul's purpose is:
- to experience freedom (our free will)
- to grow and expand
- to have fun
This often creates inner conflict between the ego and the soul.
When you identify more with your soul, or your Higher Self, or the creative essence within - whatever you chose to call that part of you - you will feel empowered and start to thrive. The job can be to get the ego-mind to act more as an assistant to the soul, rather than a dictator over your life.
Our ego-mind believes in either/or, me or them, win or lose, kill or be killed. This leads to the mind as a powerful general or dictator, strategizing to get what you want - being crafty, sometimes ruthless - believing life is a competition, a battle, even a war.
Or becoming a victim - laying down and giving up, feeling helpless, allowing life or other people to eat you alive or suck your energy dry.
Interesting to note that the difference between anxiety and excitement is the thought you’re thinking - the physiological response is the same. So you could say what we experience in any given moment depends on whether we’re in a victim, surviving or thriving point of view.
Are you in victim mode?
- Believing/feeling that others have power over me or my life.
- Taking what others do or say personally.
- Blaming and shaming self - overly responsibility for others and ‘I’m so bad I deserve…(negative experiences)’.
- Secretly angry or resentful and feel powerless to do anything about it.
- I give up; I’m not winning so I must be a loser; bad luck follows me.
Are you in survival mode?
- Identifying with the mind and personality and my worth comes from how others judge me.
- Attitude or experience marked by worry, fear, dread, rage
- Life is a dangerous minefield or battlefield.
- I have to be in control of the situation and am anxious until I know the outcome.
- My relationships are power struggles.
- I have to protect myself from attack and fight for what I want - the ends justify the means.
Are you thriving?
- I am more than my personality - I’m also a soul, a spirit, an energy.
- Attitude or experience marked by excitement, exhilaration… life is an adventure.
- I have power in my life (or access to it) - it comes from within.
- I exercise my free will without forcing it on others; I partner with others.
- I learn from my experiences - I’m able to gain perspective and forgive myself and others.
This is not either/or - you could be in survival mode in one area of your life and thriving in another. Remember that your ego serves an important function in helping you discern - for example, poison ivy, or poison people. The difficulty arises when this discernment takes over completely - it can become judgmental and limiting towards others and yourself. It can keep you trapped in a so-called ‘comfort zone’ - discouraging you from speaking up, trying new things or even just having fun, for fear of some kind of consequences.
Five ways to cultivate a thriving point of view.
Become willing to thrive now. All change, healing and growth starts with willingness. Do you feel ready? Does someone else have to do something first? Is it safe, do you have permission, do you feel worthy? If not, why not? Is there something you need to forgive yourself for?
Believe it’s possible to have the experiences you want. We may have trouble seeing ourselves thriving in certain areas because of what someone told us, past experiences/failures and societal programming. Just knowing that it is possible puts us on the right track.
Give yourself permission. Allow others to have their own experience and give permission to yourself to enjoy your own life. Do you fear outshining others? Do you feel guilty thriving when others are barely surviving? There’s room for all of us to shine and you won’t help anyone by avoiding or rejecting the blessings that could be available to you right now.
Rejoice in the good fortune of others. ‘If they can do it, so can I’ is a thriving point of view. A jealous or competitive attitude, such as ‘How unfair - I deserve it more’ creates bitterness and puts you into victim mode.
Develop a healthy relationship with both your ego-mind and your soul/Higher Self. When fears, doubts and judgments pop up you can talk to that part of yourself. Let it know you understand it’s just doing it’s job and ask it for help in taking baby steps out of your comfort zone - toward what thriving means to you.
As Helen Keller was fond of saying, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Despite huge personal challenges, she managed to thrive. And so can you.