I am a firm believer that every single day, we are presented with beautiful opportunities to learn and grow.
I had an incredibly moving conversation yesterday with an old friend. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30, and after undergoing treatment, she is, praise God, in remission. She’s a warrior and remarkably inspiring.
But we were talking, and she said to me, “Care, I know I’m supposed to be feeling on some sort of mountain top right now, but honestly, after this hellish journey, I don’t know what thriving looks like anymore.“
And hearing this, I wanted to just give her a huge hug through the phone.
But I think this is not an uncommon feeling. At least, I know personally, I’ve been there before.
It’s a funny thing — when you overcome something seemingly insurmountable, that has dragged you through the depths — coming out the other side, it can be strangely difficult to know where to go from there.
There’s this abstract notion of “thriving.” It’s what we’re told to strive for, especially after something so life altering. We’re instructed to go fourth and thrive. Which – at least for me, personally – that can be a daunting goal.
After I adopted recovery from my anorexia, I was faced with this very predicament. Here I was, having spent the last two years literally destroying my life, nearly to the point of demise. It was all consuming — and all I knew.
To go from that existence: where my body was literally taking action to demolish itself — to now say — go forth and thrive! It was like … what the heck does that even mean?
What did it look like? I had literally no idea. I didn’t know what it was like to show my body kindness, or even acknowledge my own worth as a person.
Thriving was simply not in my vocabulary — or even something I could conceptualize.
BUT – over the 12 years of my recovery now — I have definitely learned exactly what it means to thrive. And how I’ve come to adopt this mindset into my life.
It has been a journey, but for me — to thrive is to be free.
In my recovery, God gave me the most precious gift of all: a second chance. Because at 78 pounds, I was literally at death’s door. And He rescued me, and restored me: mind, body and spirit. So for me, thriving is taking that second chance, and not letting a second of it go to waste.
It means gratitude for every single day, and for the people God has put in my life.
It means taking every opportunity that comes my way, because time is something that we’re not guaranteed. And take it from someone who squandered years of it — we cannot get it back. So having a spirit that invites adventure and spontaneity is a key component to thriving.
Thriving means having a heart that lets love in. I spent years believing that I was unworthy of love, so the biggest challenge — and the most rewarding — manifestation of a thriving life for me, is to accept love from friends and family — and in turn, share it with others.
Which leads me to this biggie: believing in my worth, and sharing my love with others. To thrive is to be free from all those negative self-messages that we believe to our core, and instead living with reckless abandon — loving God, loving others, loving the planet, loving ourselves — with all our heart. Because we’re worth it.
Thriving is chasing after dreams we once thought were impossible, but believing in ourselves enough to try.
It’s taking time to honor our bodies and take care of the instrument we’ve been entrusted with.
It’s HAVING FUN, and embracing the joy of life! Because we were made out of love, and in love, and for love. And God gave us this incredible playground to explore and experience. So go do it!
Thriving is going to look different to everyone. But to sum it up, as I told my brave friend that day — thriving means becoming who you were created to be.
Free from expectations. Free from fear or self-judgement. Delighting in the beautiful creation/work-in-progress that is you.
What does thriving mean to you?
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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Here was yesterday’s video! https://youtu.be/8pmp4ZI968A
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