Our Life Experiences Shape Us To Thrive
It was a warm summer morning almost 25 years ago. I remember it was a Sunday and the time was 11h00 and I could not wait to share my weekend experience with my mom when I arrived home. I had just matriculated the year before and I returned from 1st-year orientation camp. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience..... My mom’s passing earlier that morning! She had run the race and fought the battle as best she could, but the Almighty had another plan for her life.
We have all no doubt experienced loss at some point in our lives, whether it is the passing of a friend or loved one, the loss of a job or a friendship that ended. These experiences are often extremely traumatic and it can feel as if a carpet has literally been ripped from under us! What often follows is a rollercoaster of emotions and thought’s spiralling out of control as we try to rationalize what is happening in our lives.
Similarly, we may have experienced events in our lives that have fundamentally shifted our life views and how we show up in the world. I remember being hijacked at gunpoint on two occasions, and since then I have a much greater appreciation for the gift of life and creating memorable moments. I also appreciate every interaction that comes my way, drawing from the uniqueness that each individual offers.
After we have experienced loss or an event that deeply impacted us, we may find ourselves asking insightful questions (which we previously may not have considered) such as:
- Why did this happen to me?
- What did I do to deserve this?
- How has this experience shaped me to step into my purpose?
- How can I be more compassionate and empathic toward others?
- Is climbing the corporate ladder and the trappings that accompany it the true metric or indicator of success?
- How can I use my gifts and talents to serve others?
- What legacy do I want to leave?
- How can I inspire others to take action by sharing my story?
These are some of the questions that I began to explore and reflect on in my own life as an eighteen-year-old and it has become part of my human fabric throughout the years.
According to the online dictionary www.dictionary.com, the word ‘Thrive’ is defined as “to grow or develop vigorously;” or “to flourish”. I believe that our thoughts, beliefs and experiences shape and mould us - they also offer the capacity for us to grow and develop vigorously and flourish, particularly after experiencing loss or an event that has impacted us deeply….and this is the birthplace of what it means to thrive.
As I end this blog, I leave you with the following extract from ‘Thrive’ by Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief at the Huffington Post, bestselling author and founder of Thrive Global, and it is my hope that we will continue to discern what it means to thrive in our daily lives:
“So find your place to stand – your place of wisdom and peace and strength. And from that place, remake the world in your own image, according to your own definition of success, so that all of us – women and men- can thrive and live our lives with more grace, more joy, more compassion, more gratitude, and yes, more love. Onward, upward and inward!”