When You Can’t Thrive, Survive

Exactly a week ago, I wrote about thriving. I find that ironic as that day I felt surrounded by a sea of calm. Today I feel like a rabid UFC fighter in an apocalyptical situation stripped of my armor and seething to find a peaceful place to lick my wounds.

What changed? What forces these free falls on this ride we call life? As an early teenager I remember traveling to Georgia and Florida with my best friend Katie. Amongst several other places on our road trip with her fam, we went to Disney World. I remember riding the Tower of Terror which was an appropriate name as I am terrified of heights. After rising to the top, we were taken through several floors of a haunted themed tower before entering a completely different elevator shaft. And then it dropped! Stopped, dropped, rose, dropped, rose, stopped, and dropped. You get the idea. The ride held up its end of the bargain for me. It truly was a Tower of Terror for a girl who felt sick just glancing out a window of a tall building.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that “my journey to an authentic life” is similar to the Tower of Terror. I have had to relive haunting memories and traumas as we dig deep. I will plunge into core emotions and sometimes avoid them with every fiber in my body which ultimately is my freefalling in an elevator shaft through old habits of defensiveness and shame. I have moments when the elevator stops and I can gaze out at my life relishing the present. And there are times when I rise forging forward with new patterns and ways to center into my authentic self.

Tonight I am tired of the ride. I want to get off of it. I am exhausted, bruised, and beaten. I no longer want to be a part of the Tower of Terror. I frequently tell my therapist that the agonizing work and pain endured in a quest for an authentic lifestyle wasn’t advertised in the brochure when she sold me on getting real with my life. And she always replies, “I never said it would be easy, and it will be worth it.” (For the record she never said it would be a shit storm either and yes, I know I am whining like an 8 year old.)

However, finding your center, your authentic self, your calm in the storm is not this tower. Not even close. That has been my journey, my struggle, my tug of war as I learn a new way to live. To thrive, not just survive. And at this point I can’t even tell you what that will look like because I have only seen glimpses of it, moments of it.

Regardless of how tired I am, I stay on this path until I can get off the ride and rest in rising.