Sometimes themes come up in my work with clients. I've been talking more than usual over the past month, with many individuals and couples, about surviving vs thriving. Our childhoods, our traumas, our addictions, our stressful culture, inner critics, and so much more can thrust us into survival mode. We do what we need to do to survive life's stressors. But sometimes we stay stuck. We've battened down the hatches and we can't unbatten them (is unbatten a word? Oh well, I'm going for it!). We’re lonely and tired and flat. Those things that have kept us alive get in the way of letting us thrive.
Surviving vs thriving is a concept I'm very passionate about. In my work over the years, I have come across some common words people use to discuss the two modes of being. Here they are. What do you relate to?
Stagnant, stuck, anxious, detached, rigid, desperate, white-knuckling it, using cheap substitutes for comfort like shopping or eating or drinking or random hook ups, etc., exhausted, unmotivated, blah, monotonous, going through the motions, paranoid, judgmental, reactive
Expansive, empowered, motivated, inspired, creative, confident, alive, vibrant, playful, nurturing, grounded and rooted, present, value based, goal driven, curious, calm, hopeful, responsive, adaptive, generous, excited.
Life happens either way. You will have days that are better than others and days that are worse than others. But if you aren't generally thriving, don't settle for merely surviving. You're worth getting unstuck and thriving! And if you're having a hard time taking steps, sometimes it can help to show up to the therapy couch so you can show up to your life. Just sayin'...