While loading the dishes this morning I was noticing the beauty of the tall oak trees in my backyard and listening to the radio. An awesome song by Casting Crowns “Thrive” came on at the same time I contemplated the depth and strength of the root system that these huge oaks must have below the earth right outside our back door!
I resonated fully with the lyrics of the song:
“It’s time for us to do more than survive. We were made to Thrive.”
I had been contemplating this business of “Thriving vs Surviving” for weeks as I had begun to embrace living in the spaciousness of a transition I had been positioning myself in my work and schedule over the past three years. “It is here,” I whispered to myself. I have been noticing something different for quite a while in my body, mind and spirit. It was in that simple everyday moment I realized that I had transitioned from Surviving to Thriving.
“How does one know what Thriving feels like?” I pondered.
The song defined it for me:
“Joy unspeakable. Faith unsinkable. Love unstoppable. Anything is possible.”
I could say a resounding “Yes!” in my soul.
Joy that comes from deep inside our spirit regardless of circumstances, Faith that strengthens us on the journey and never derails, Love that empowers from within and shines outward to our world, and an openness to embrace Possibility.”
Again, I looked out the window at the strong towering trees that continue to live through shedding leaves and acorns in the Fall, ice storms and freezing weather in the Winter, bringing forth new life in the Spring, and growing fruit and staying grounded in the hurricane winds in the Summer. These trees do not just Survive, they Thrive.
This is the tree’s rhythm and necessary way of life. All the while the roots gather nourishment from the water below and it continues to stay a strong and valuable living plant that continues to produce and offer back to living beings oxygen to breath in life every day. Wow! Thriving, Living and Offering Life back to the world.
For me, grounding in the Truth of who I am is incredibly important for Thriving. What is my root system like? Where do I get water and nourishment? The songwriter, Mark Hall, talks of a tree planted by the water, referring to the scripture that means so much to me as my Truth: Jeremiah 17: 7-8
The lyrics say, “Here in this worn and weary land where many a dream has died, like a tree planted by the water we never will run dry.” Again, that is Thriving.
When we just survive, as I felt I was doing for years of being burned out from too much on my plate, we do not experience joy, our faith diminishes, we do not feel the power of love nor can we love “action verb” effectively, and we lose our mojo to believe anything is possible. We have to dig deep and make the necessary changes by tapping into the sources of our strength, our roots.
I dug deep and became aware of the root source I have which is my belief that with God (my Truth) I had all that I needed. This Living Water nourished and strengthened my body, mind and spirit. I was able to tune into how to begin to let go of things that were draining me of Life. I began to embrace a Thriving life of more Balance, more Freedom, more genuine Joy, a stronger Faith, and able to give and receive Love more fully. I am now able to slow down enough to actually see and feel the Possibilities. I am able to Thrive, and now know what that feels like again!
Reflection: Are you Surviving or Thriving?
Take some time over the next week or month to reflect and journal: What does Thriving look and feel like for you? What does Surviving look and feel like for you? On a scale of one (Surviving) to 10 (Thriving) what level are you? What are the resources you depend on for strength? Are you aware of them and taking time to connect with these resources? How do you tap into them? Is there anything holding you back? What is draining Life from you? What would be one small step you could take toward Thriving and away from Surviving? Find an inspirational quote and/or song that will boost your soul into embracing Thriving. Focus on the fruit of your reflections. Take small steps. Be patient and stay encouraged. You will be able to say, “It is here.”