Last time we talked about making room for thriving by releasing resentments that keep you cut off from the truth of who you are. It’s absolutely essential to release whatever you are holding onto that’s blocking any possible goodness that could be coming into your life, right? If you are still here, I think you are with me on this. I want to acknowledge that letting go of resentments is no small thing. We all have our reasons for holding on. The question becomes, is it worth the price? If you haven’t had a chance to listen to my podcast, “Making room to thrive”, I encourage you to take your time with that one and scan the landscape of your life to see if there are any areas where you are withholding forgiveness. Maybe it’s your past, how your parents weren’t able to provide for you in the way you needed them to. Maybe someone did you wrong or hurt you in some way. Maybe someone still owes you money and it’s not looking like you will ever get it back. The key to your own freedom is forgiveness. Really take your time on this one, because it’s huge and it is essential if you want to thrive. You may need extra support because it’s no small thing to forgive.
But thriving is possible, even in a pandemic, and you do have everything you need inside to thrive. By thriving, I mean living your life in alignment with the most authentic expression of who you came here to be, that does not mean you are always having a good day, feeling positive or good all the time. No way, we are multidimensional beings having a human experience that includes the full range of emotions. THE WHOLE SPECTRUM. I see thriving as embracing the full range of who you are rather than contracting, rejecting, hiding or resisting any part of yourself. And gosh! With the global experience we are having right now, there is no telling from what day to the next, how you might be feeling. If you feel like you are barely treading water right now, trying to balance your current circumstances, I feel for you. Big time. And I am holding you in my heart.
If your basic human needs are not being met, it’s honestly very difficult to access this place of thriving. You just have to focus on surviving.
As I mentioned before, it is near impossible to thrive if you are struggling to pay for food and shelter or not feeling safe, or sheltering with small children, or trying to manage depression, or whatever might be the challenge on the boat you are on during this global storm. Your focus has to be survival. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, basic survival needs come first before you can tend to higher level needs.
Even beyond these base level needs, there are still some basic human needs that must also be met in order to thrive. These are the needs for love and belonging. Not having these fundamental needs met tends to keep you functioning at a survival level even when everything else in your life is okay. Surviving and thriving are on opposite ends of the spectrum. When you are surviving, there is some level of fear running the show. If you don’t feel safe, you are going to have your guards up for fear of being attacked. If you don’t have enough money, there will be a fear of losing what you have. If you don’t feel loved, you will build protective walls around you to shield you from being hurt. If you don’t feel like you belong, you will protect your authentic self from being seen for fear of being rejected.
Where fear lives, thriving isn’t possible. All those protective walls are constraining. You cannot thrive in there. There is no room to let your light shine. The protective walls you build to keep yourself safe also keep the light out.
And here is the thing, regardless of your circumstances, there is no one other than you that can truly fulfill your need for love and belonging. Even if there is someone in your life who is trying to provide for you in these ways, you will not be able to receive it or even recognize it if you are not providing it for yourself.
For most of my adult life, I was looking to fulfill these basic needs outside of myself without even knowing it. Looking back now, I can see that my need to feel like I belong was one of my main drivers for my career. I worked my ass off for years to have a successful business. Winning awards and maintaining 5-star status was never enough. Why? Because I wasn’t providing that need for myself on the inside. Even though I thought I was loving and accepting myself, I was still looking outside for some kind of validation.
I didn’t know how to hold the parts of myself that needed to feel validated and loved. I didn’t know how to find belonging inside. It took me years to get this on a deeper level, and now that I have it, I am no longer afraid of everything around me falling apart. I now have something that can’t be torn down or stripped away, because it lives inside of me.
Getting these basic needs fulfilled requires more than just reading a book or doing a few practices. It is actually a life-long journey of reparenting. The truth is, our parents did the best they could from their own level of consciousness. Even if they were healthy people who loved themselves enough to have the capacity to practice conscious parenting, wounding happens and it becomes our own job to pick up where they fell short. When you stop resisting that role and just accept it, life gets a whole lot easier.
The only way I have found to fulfill these basic needs is to be willing to look inside and tend to them. It requires radical self-love, embracing all aspects of yourself, not on a rational cognitive level, but on a deep level. It’s easy to embrace the aspects of our personality that you find charming, but not so easy to embrace the parts you find unattractive. You will naturally want to keep those parts hidden. The parts of yourself you reject only grow stronger and end up running your show.
What if you can find it in yourself to make room for the parts of yourself you have rejected or have tried to change or bury and then love those parts instead? Well, that is the kind of unconditional love that is needed for thriving. Until you love and accept yourself on that level, you will continue to view your life through a limited lens that is ultimately based in fear and life will continue to reflect back to you exactly where you are not loving yourself.
And by loving yourself, I am not just talking about offering yourself affirmations, because you can write affirmations all day every day and not receive them where you need them. If you’re not offering the affirmations to the parts of you that really need it, it’s just not going to land. It will feel inauthentic. It’s like a spiritual bypass, trying to take the easy way out. Turns out that the shortcut is actually the long way around. It’s not going to get you where you think it will. You may get to the other side, but you won’t be able to feel it. Maybe you will catch glimpses of it, but it will not last.
The direct route is going right into the heart of the original wounding and giving that part all of your love and acceptance.
If you want to thrive, you have to be willing to practice radical self-love first! It always comes back to this practice. Again and again. It takes a lot of patience. It will definitely get easier, the more you practice, but you never get to a point when you are done, until you’re passing on to the next life. When you are in a place where you are meeting all parts of yourself with love in each moment, that is when you are thriving.
I am determined to be a guide for anyone who feels called to do this work. Whether it is through the messages and tools I offer right here, or through my online group experiences or working with you one on one as your personal coach. I am here for you.
It takes a conscious choice to look into the heart of it, but you can make a conscious decision to thrive and that is when you begin to own your life experience. It’s when you start to have a deeper understanding that how you experience the world is directly related to how you experience yourself. It all starts with you. So let’s do this.