The Thriving

Merriam-Webster defines the word Thrive as: 1. to grow vigorously, flourish; 2. to gain in wealth or possessions 3. to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.

I cannot think of a better word to describe my life right now.  Because right now – I thrive. Through the muck and the mess and the pain and the heartache and tears and battles and ….the everything this past year has been.  I am thriving in every aspect of my life.

And sometimes that is the was life happens. Many times it is cyclical – we go through a bad time, only to be rewarded with more happiness and love than we can imagine – but only if we learned our lessons from the hard times and do not repeat the same mistakes. These times of good remind us that we truly need to hold on and have faith in the rough times, because they won;t last, even when they seem to go on forever.  We have to always have hope that somewhere the sun is shining. and it is only a matter of time before those rays of sunshine and joy come across our face.

Spiritually, which is one of the most important to me, I am doing well.  I am incredible grateful for the opportunities which God has given to me. Every day I meditate, pray and have conversations with God.  And every day my faith grows.

My personal life is going well, as there is love all around.  Nothing like dating a horrible man who uses prostitutes ad strippers to teach you what you are worth.  And after going through that whole mess, I have learned what red flags to watch out for and I know when to make my exit. And now that all that of that drama is gone, there is room for the truly wonderful.  I am having much fun exploring the possibilities

Friendships are going well and are strengthening. I beyond blessed with the best, most loyal, hardest working, deepest unconditional loving people in my life. And they are flourishing too.  The thing is about friends is that you help each other  When one is donw, the others who are up lend support and a helping hand.  That is the way it works.  Loyalty is repaid with loyalty.

And my professional life is booming.  I have been given the an amazing opportunity with Turner – the only writer on a $30 million project.  It is overwhelming in every good way possible.  While I have done similar projects, I have never done one on this scale, with this much visibility, and this much importance.  It will be challenging and I will have some adjustments, but I can do it. The team is amazing, everyone is one point and it is one of the most fun places to work yet.  They know how to treat their people.

The only thing with which I still struggle?  That last 10 pounds.  But joining a new gym should fix that, as now there are no more excuses…the dreadmill, er, I mean treadmill is calling me. But before things were crazy, I loved running.  I loved the way it made my body feel and the challenge of a good run.  The runnere’s high is that and makes me happy. Not too mention it is a great stress reliever and I could use more muscle tone everywhere.

But this wonderful place I am in now, thriving, has not been without cost.  I spent so many days and nights working my tail off and taking care of both my parents.  Went through a horrible toxic relationship and break up and more tears and heartache than I thought one person could endure.  Bat all bad tings must coe to an end.

So when you get discouraged that life will never improve, know that it is only temporary.  The bad will not last.  It will not be like this in 6 months, one year, two years, 10 years from now.  Get rid of toxic people, cut the drama out, have faith, pray, meditate and work your bum off. There is hope.

And when you get to the other side of the struggle, you too will THRIVE.

To Love and Honor

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.

We all have those books that we read that completely change our lives.  There have been two for me that blew my mind and perspective. The first one I read when I was 19 and it was a gift given to me by a dear friend.  It was The Prophet, and not only changed the way I thought, but it changed my view on life.

The second book was the Alchemist.  The theme of that book is a man wo is searching, and finds that by simply being the best he can be personally, and by staying humble and curious, he ends up attaining his goal, even when he did not think he could do it.  By following his heart and doing what he knew to be right by his conscience, he actually ended up surpassing his goals.

These two books sum up my theory of life, that you should simply be the best you can be, love with all your heart until there is nothing left and trust in God.  I decided at 19 that I would live a life where I felt everything I could, which meant, as in the Prophet, crying all my tears and laughing all my laughter. Basically, not running from life because it is painful or uncomfortable.  You love, and you take your lumps.

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

But if in your fear you would seek only
love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing floor,
Into the seasonless world where you
shall laugh, but not all of your laughter,
and weep, but not all of your tears.

I do feel that that is truly the only way to honor God and the life he wants for us.  Only by living every moment to the fullest, only by taking risks and feeling everything you can, can you truly experience life the way God intended.

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

In my last relationship, I truly loved him with all of my heart.  Did he end up being worthy of that love? No, but that is on him, not on me.  I can say that I did the best I could, loved as much and as truly as I could and honored what was in my heart.  And the same with taking care of my parents.  I loved them and took care of them until there was nothing left.  And I sleep well at night knowing I honored them. And by honoring them, I honored God.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” ― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

But living that way, feeling everything you can and loving until there is nothing left, will wear you out. You get worn out and burned out and weary,  Sometimes you need breaks to heal and recover.  I think that it is in this way you become “real,” the kind of real that makes you deeper, finer, more beautiful of a human being.  Of course, you get scars too, but those who think those scares are ugly don’t understand, and probably never will. Because they only want to good and not the bad, they are not willing to go deeper.  And that is OK, they don’t have to.  But recognize them and move on.

‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” ― Margery Williams BiancoThe Velveteen Rabbit

In my pain, I have become real. I have truly loved and lost.  I have paid dearly for my mistakes, but I have laughed deeper than most too.  And now I feel my energy and love of life returning, after pausing to heal from the last years.  My creativity and focus are also flourishing.  In short – I am thriving.

Loving someone is never a mistake, neither is choosing to love.  I move and love forward with a clear conscience and an unburdened heart.  That is what happens when you love until there is nothing left; God rebuilds you, stronger and finer than ever.  Because that love that you give out, originates from Him.

To experience the miracles of love and loss, to know the dark as well as the brightest light, that, to me, is the highest way to honor others, to honor life, to honor yourself and to honor God.