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  • reidsherria

You owe it to yourself to thrive and not just survive

The first time I saw this quote, I can't say that I truly understood what it meant, at least not on a deep level. It didn't seem all that complex. I likened it to being raised in a lower socioeconomic community versus being raised in suburbia. Two people from two different backgrounds usually have different perspectives.

It wasn't until I had a kundalini awakening that I looked at this quote differently. I began to dissect it. I began to reflect on the people in my life and classify how they were raised. It became clear that those raised on survival had very different characteristics. Being a person who was raised on survival, I was able to pinpoint the character traits more easily.

My childhood was the foundation on which my entire life was built. I developed survival traits very early. I learned not to depend on my parents to care for or look after me. Because I couldn’t trust and rely on my own parents, I became suspicious and mistrustful of all people. I also felt responsible for my parents' problems. The level of responsibility I had as a child definitely pushed me into adulthood a lot sooner. Survival became my full time job because I experienced inconsistency, sexual inappropriateness, chaos, fear, abandonment, denial and real violence DAILY! I started to become more and more detached from my emotions because it was all too painful to feel and I knew no other coping strategies. As I got older, I noticed that disassociating from my feelings also caused me to miss moments of love, light, laughter and connection.

The patterns that shaped my foundation created my outlook on life. In hindsight, I didn't know what I didn't know. I didn't know that my need to isolate was a direct result of my upbringing. I had convinced myself I was an introvert and being around others was draining. In reality, isolation was a protection mechanism. I didn't see that denial, repression, hyper-vigilance, etc were all methods of control that I developed to suppress my anxiety, stress and/or depression. My family members told me DAILY, "Don't trust nobody!" I didn't see how those mere words shaped my perspective as I grew up. I didn't trust; I didn't feel; I became a people pleaser; I hid my true self; I developed a victim mentality; I became addicted to chaos; I judged myself harshly. Who knew that I had been living in survival mode for so long? I was oblivious.

I can't speak for everyone who has been raised on survival, but I'm certain at least a handful of others have noticed some of the same characteristics. I think it goes without saying that people that were raised to focus on survival aren't the only ones that may carry toxic or negative traits within themselves and their relationships. People that were raised with love can have their negative traits as well.

Survival mode is not sustainable. Survival mode made me into a determined, driven, successful woman who always lands on her feet, but survival mode was also a double edged sword. I'm thankful for introspection and the ability to really see myself which created the opportunity for change. Regardless of the mode you were raised in, all of the inherited negative traits and characteristics can be unlearned. The only way this can take place is to become aware of your behavior and the impact it has on others. It all starts with a healthy relationship with self and a desire to heal your inner child.

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