Survivor mode: How long can you live just to survive?

Why just survive, when you were meant to thrive?

The word survival kept coming up in a conversation I had last week and because it resonated on my heart, I thought we should talk about it. What further confirmed me talking about survival was when I was listening to the Woman of God Dr. Sonja Stribling a couple days after my conversation and she spoke on survival. She touched on several topics that often lead people to just survive in life versus them thrive. She asked a question, that I hope as you read this blog will resonate in your spirit and help you realize that you were meant to thrive! The question was, “why just survive, when you were meant to thrive?”

There is a very big difference between a person that just tries to survive and someone who thrives in life. The difference should not only be about money because that is where most of our mindsets venture off to when we think of surviving versus thriving. But understand that there are some people on this earth that have all the money, but are just trying to survive. They are trying to survive depression, past hurt, anger, bitterness, greed, pride and everything else you might think of that requires one to survive. Their inability to raise above all that makes it hard to thrive. Thriving requires more than just a fat bank account, status and power in anyone’s life. As people we can not just thrive in one thing and try to survive through the rest, we thrive in every area of our lives especially if God is involved . I am not by any means discrediting the survivors, we are all survivors because in our lives we were faced with trouble and we survived. Despite all the pain and all the confusion, we survived our dark days, but to thrive means to go beyond just saying we survived our dark days. We would have to use those dark days as a weapon and a reminder that we grew and will continue to grow by any means necessary. By definition to thrive is to grow, to flourish and to make progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances. Our circumstances are not for us to be constantly enslaved with the idea of trying to survive through them all, but rather look for other ways where we can thrive. What happens when we are just trying to survive is that we are constantly faced with panic as we anticipate the next thing need to survive from. Living life that way leaves you constantly on the fence, and until you break off the need to survive you might be on that fence for a long time. Survivor mode does not give you a moment to even reflect on your life, because in your mind there is no time to reflect, but just to survive. How do you deal with pain, bitterness, hurt, anger and everything else when all you trying to do is stay alive to see another day? How do you make the choice to just survive for the rest of your life when you are meant to thrive?

For one to thrive, one has to get out of the mindset of living life just to survive. However, if you want to thrive, it will require some growth pains and a tough break up from what you always have been used to doing your entire life, surviving. When you make the choice to thrive, you set goals towards changing the circumstances. While in the process, understand that no goal is too small. You are working your way towards bigger goals that will turn things around for you as you continue to grow. Also, thriving allows for time to reflect, to look at the things that don’t serve their purpose in your life and choosing to eliminate anything that can easy get you back to survival mode. So if you want to thrive, you are eliminating pain of the past, dealing with your anger, letting go of bitterness and killing your pride. Addressing all that came in the times where all you felt you needed to do was survive will set you up to thrive. You are not taking all the unnecessary pain in your thriving life because it will easily weigh you down. It all stays behind, the pain, hurt, anger, resentment, low self esteem etc. In your thriving life, you are able to handle all the things I mentioned previously a little differently than you did when you were just surviving. This time around as you thrive and go through life that will still have it’s ups and downs, you will make the choice to learn from any situation that you face. Learning in turn brings growth and growth leads to flourishing.

7“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17 v 7-8

The verse is talking to people that want to thrive in life. You can’t do this on your own, you have to trust that God will provide. God will step into your situations and make the crooked way straight. You are royalty and royalty does not just survive, we thrive! The word clearly says that we don’t need to worry even in a drought because we will still bear fruit!

My final thoughts, surviving is temporary, but thriving is something that will out live you (legacy). The choice of what kind of life you want to live is entirely up to you. I don’t know about you, but I want to thrive despite all the growth pains that may come with trying to break free from just surviving.

Much Love Thrivors!

Xholiwe

Healing is your responsibility: Emotional wounds

God’s touch has so much power that it can instantly make you feel better when you allow him to touch you where it hurts and heal you.

There is something about a mother’s love for her children that makes observing it for me so profound. I usually sit in the back pews at church just a two rows down from the pews filled with families. There is a mom who has three beautiful kids that I can’t help but observe her interaction with her little boy. Her little boy is so trusting of his mother that he usually runs to her when he is hurt because he trusts his mother will sooth him like she always does when he is hurt. There is one profound observation for me, one time the little boy was hurt physically and he ran to his mother, his mother kissed his little hand where he was hurt and the little boy ran off to play in a few minutes because it was all better.Oh how I wish healing from emotional hurt was that easy, kiss it and it goes way. Unfortunately, as we grow older and we start to lose the innocence of a child it gets harder to trust that we will be healed instantly by a simple act of someone else kissing our hurt away. As we grow older we have to be responsible for our own healing, not physically only, but emotionally and it may take a little more than a kiss on the hand to make us feel better.

Going back to my observation of the little boy and his mother, there is one thing or two the little boy teaches us. He teaches us that healing is not something we have to do alone. He also teaches us to trust in someone that truly loves us and wants to see us well again. In the same way, we do not have to try to heal alone, we have access to God who we can trust can help us heal from our emotional hurt. God wants to see us well again, but we need to realize that healing is our responsibility. We can not expect healing to come to us if we do not act upon seeking it. What use is it for us to want to be healed when we continue to nurse emotional wounds on our own? Rather than us nursing old wounds, how about we become honest with ourselves and come to terms with the fact that we need healing. I think honesty is our first step towards being responsible for our healing. How does one heal if they think there is nothing to heal from? We need to be honest that there are some emotional wounds that we need healing from. The second step would be accepting these emotional wounds caused you pain and you not constantly covering them up. Emotional wounds can not be covered up for so long before they start to show through your attitude towards yourself and others. It takes one trigger that can set off a perfectly covered up emotional wound to burst up in flames. How does this happen? Someone acts like another person that hurt you in the past and since you have not done a good job healing, you reaction to their acts still comes from a place of pain. You don’t believe? have an honest moment with yourself and think of the time you reacted to someones actions because they reminded you of someone else that hurt in the exact same way. Yes, you need healing and it is entirely up to you.

Why is it your responsibility? It is not like it was your fault any way, other people hurt you and they should come fix it and help you heal. Wrong, truth is that people hurt you one way or another whether it was their intention or not, but if you wait on them to come and make everything alright, you might wait for the rest of your life. If you are saying it is not fair, I see where you are coming from because you feel like you are left alone to pick up the broken pieces and heal all by yourself while the ones that hurt you move on with their lives. Your job is not to keep tabs on their lives, you job is to begin working on your healing.

Understand that the emotional wounds that have brought you to a place where you desperately seek healing will be the emotional scars that remind you of how strong you can be despite all the hurt. Healing takes work, and you need your natural effort to match the super natural efforts of God to help you heal. Since you are taking responsibility for your healing, here is what you are doing in the nature;

  • You are being honest with yourself about the hurt you have experienced
  • You are accepting the existence of the emotional wounds that were caused from the hurt in your life
  • You are praying; your prayers are aimed towards forgiving yourself, forgiving others, denouncing guilt, letting go of all the hurt that came with the wounds, seeking peace and comfort from God, asking for healing and restoration.
  • You are reading the word; the word that point to healing and let’s you know that God is a healer and all the promises that are in the bible serve as a reminder
  • Cultivating your environment; your surroundings should cultivate peace, the people in your life as you go through the process of healing should bring peace and encourage you to move forward. Be around people that pray for you and trust that God will see you through the healing process
  • Spend time loving on you: Do things that you actually love to do and be unapologetic about your choice to heal. It is so important to spend time with yourself and love on you as much as possible. Be your own crush everyday
  • Protect you peace as you go through the process of healing.

Here is what God does for you Super naturally;

  • He gives you undeniable peace while you go through the process
  • He listens to your prayers and gives you strength as you seek healing
  • He helps change your environment by allowing people in your life that will genuinely pray, encourage and lift you up as you go through the process
  • He speaks to you through his word reminding you that he loves you and that he can heal you from your wounds
  • Just like the mother that kissed her son’s little hand so the little boy can feel better, God’s touch has so much power that it can instantly make you feel better when you allow him to touch you where it hurts and heal you.

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Psalms 147:3 KJV

It is time to put in the work, if you want this healing you will need to be responsible for it all the way. God is a healer and he will not allow you to do this alone. His word already confirms that he heals the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He will bind your emotional wounds once you give him the permission to do so. It takes a touch from God to make all things better!

It is time to get healed!

Much love, Xholiwe

Let your faith be greater than your fear

Giant leaps are not for wimps.
-Xholiwe

I am notoriously known for displaying inspirational quotes and bible verses and quite honestly find the pleasure in hanging up each and every one of them in almost every room in my apartment. These inspirational quotes and bible verses serve as a reminder for me especially when I am not so in tune with myself and just feel discouraged. I can’t pick a favorite quote or bible verse that is hang up in my house, but I would like to point out the canvas that hangs right above my bookshelf . I have many times glanced at this canvas that reads “let your faith be greater than your fear” and for the many times I have looked at this canvas, I have needed those words to help me look pass my fears and activate my faith. You probably don’t have this canvas that reminds you time after time that you have to let your fear be greater than your faith, but I hope this blog serves as a reminder for you. For those that are like me and have this displayed or hanging somewhere in your space, good for you, but let as dive more into the quote and learn ways we can apply it to our lives.

Fear often times has a way of limiting our abilities and strength to conquer all the obstacles we face as we journey through life. As humans we face some many different fears that it is very easy to notice each other fears without verbal confirmation. Have you ever noticed the fear the shy girl displays when she is asked to present her project to the whole class? Yeah, that fear of public speaking is easy to recognize, but what of the fear that you personally have and allowed it be greater than your faith. So maybe you fear is public speaking and because you have allowed this fear to limit your abilities to speak to larger crowds, it ends up taking away from your the desire to engage with larger crowds. I would like for us to understand that fear takes away, while faith adds to our lives. However, it is easy to hold on to our fears versus letting go because fear has a way of keeping us in our comfort zones while faith requires us trust God and step out of our comfort zones.

Understand that fear starts small and progressively gets bigger. In the same way, faith starts small and progressively can get bigger. In this case, the choice remains entirely up to you. You have the choice to either make your fears bigger or make your faith bigger and I would say pick the second choice. When you start to increase your faith, it is becomes easy to overcome your fear. Here is a practical example; I was feeling adventurous last year in Zambia and decided I wanted to zip-line from Zambia to Zimbabwe, but I feared! The thought of being over water at such a great height and only hold up by a couple of ropes was frightening. I remember shaking and thinking of backing out last minute, but I was already strapped in and only a few steps away from what I thought was my death. When the man that operated the zip-line let go of me for a second there I felt my heart drop, but once I saw the view, I was amazed and glad i did it! This whole experience that lasted only a minute was so profound for me that I am glad I did it! If I allowed my fear take over me, I would have missed out on such a beautiful view!

Faith requires more from us than fear does, but the difference is that faith is rewarding. I have met some people that have such great faith and they testify of how they stepped out in faith and that their lives were never the same again. They talk about the blessings that came from overcoming their fears and allowing their faith to be greater. These are people who took huge leaps and had faith only in God to step into their situation. I want us to realize that sometimes what stands between our fears and faith is us. We have to make the leap, whatever your leap is, you have to make. Giant leaps are not for wimps. Giant leaps require that unshakable faith that can withstand all your fears.

For we walk by faith, not by sight

2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV

All this was to say to you, let your faith be greater than your fear. You can overcome whatever fear that has stood between you and the life you much desire. Let faith arise in you and increase progressively so that it gets so big that there is no room for fear any longer. And whatever you ask you in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith (Matthew 21:22 ESV)