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Learning to Thrive in Real Love

“Sometimes you need to hang on to someone else’s hope,
someone else’s peace and sanity while yours is under siege.
Do it.
Courage, hope, faith, sanity, peace…they all come and go.
Borrow them from someone else’s supply until your own comes back in.”
Linda Mundy

I read these wonderful words yesterday and they made me teary and feel overwhelmingly grateful for the kind and loving souls who shared their supply with me when I felt so lost, scared, insecure, and crushed in body and spirit.

Since then I’ve had a slideshow of beloved faces running through my mind that send me smiley and weepy all at the same time.

Until I moved to Australia, I’d always prided myself on being a Very Strong Person. After all, I’d made it through a religious cult and brainwashing, several stalkers, being abused by people I trusted, crippling illnesses, etc, etc, and I was Fine. Wasn’t I?

No. I wasn’t Fine. I was simply Hanging On For Dear Life.

I was trying so hard to be strong enough, good enough, brave enough, wise enough so that I wouldn’t be a burden or a disappointment or a failure or an embarrassment. I held the wonky notion that to be strong meant to be unaffected by bad things.

I was wrong.

I didn’t need more strength, I needed healing, validation, and truth that liberates and frees. Mostly I needed love. Real love.

I’ve learned that there are lots of different things that go under the name of love. People beat, rape, break spirits, dull minds, fetter dreams, force into molds, seek to control and manage, all in the name of love.

For a long time I didn’t know what real love was. I believed whoever said they loved me even when they hurt me, lied to me, touched me in bad places, exposed me to molesters and didn’t protect me. I believed them when they said that Love was their motivation for keeping me from the very people who would later help to heal and free me.

But that’s not love. That’s fear. That’s arrogance. That’s one human being believing they have the right to control another.

They don’t.

I don’t.

We don’t.

I’ve learned that Love isn’t a word that people say, it’s something they feel and something they do.

I’ve been learning to love all over again, casting aside the wonky notions I had and embracing affection, kindness, consideration, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, apology, delight, restoration. There’s a glorious peace and acceptance in real love. I don’t have to try to change anyone or fix anyone, not even myself. Yes, I get to grow and learn and share and all those good things but not to prove my worth, simply to thrive as a human being.

I’ve thought about love so much in recent months as I’ve healed from PTSD and Depression, and learned how to stop the coping methods I’d adopted to survive and embrace thriving methods instead.

It’s a hard thing to learn how to thrive when you’ve been coping for so long. Coping is good, necessary, and the very bravest thing you can do when you’re in a dark or dangerous place, but once you’re out in the light, you don’t need to cope anymore. We get to thrive.

Thrive. I love that word. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is so ALIVE, so free and open and honest and real. It speaks of freedom of thought and spirit and body, of self-awareness and wholeness, of healing and strength and hope. I love it.

Bit by bit I’m building the things into my life that help me thrive: loving people, exercise, nature, good food, lots of water and chamomile tea, great books and movies, soul-stirring music, supporting others, writing, taking pictures, making beautiful things.

How about you? Have you ever been in a Coping Stage? What things, thoughts, people, experiences helped you transition to thriving? I’d love to hear your ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚

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ๅฐๅฝฉ่ณ“ๆžœ่ณ“ๆžœ - Together with the whole thing that seems to be developing throughout this specific subject material, many of your points of view are actually very stimulating. Nonetheless, I am sorry, but I can not give credence to your entire theory, all be it radical none the less. It seems to me that your remarks are not completely justified and in actuality you are yourself not really totally convinced of the argument. In any case I did take pleasure in examining it.

Krista - – I tend to believe that negative things aren’t affecting me — and then my health breaks down for ‘no apparent reason.’ – You described it perfectly, @SevenGreySweaters:disqus Wishing you and I both MUCH success in prioritizing our own healing. I love how you put that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much for all your words, @inspiringtravellers:disqus It is so good to hear those things over and over and OVER again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Letting myself feel is the hardest part, but I’m getting better at it. I’m SO glad that you are in such a good, safe, and loving place now. That is fantastic. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - I’m so glad you like the photos, @OnePerfectBite:disqus ๐Ÿ™‚ XO It is good to be in this really good place of health.

Krista - “We all owe it to ourselves to get to a place where we can thrive” – I love that, @76b7f5617f998f38e3daf83409eb82fb:disqus So much. XO

Krista - “What happened in the past happened but not to the me I am now.” – it makes total, beautiful sense, @OrgasmicChef:disqus Thank you. I’ve been mulling this over and finding great comfort and freedom in it. XO

Krista - Thank you, dear @lizposmyk:disqus Such good, good reminders. XO

Krista - Thank you so much for your kindness and support, @9d73767d10227efff04c7307e331304c:disqus ๐Ÿ™‚ It means so much to me. XO

Krista - I love you too, dear @knittingthemoment:disqus You give me such courage. XO

Krista - I’m SO thrilled that you’re in a place of real love too, dear @TuulaR:disqus XO

Krista - You are such a treasure to me, dear @adrianaclassicalquest:disqus ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your love and kindness and unwavering support. XOXO

Krista - Me too, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t it a wonderful thing to figure these things out? XO

Krista - Thank you, @wanderingsheila:disqus ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad “thrive” is special to you too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - I’m so glad it was meaningful to you, @d58b26e263bfdbd99d844b965c5cbbfb:disqus These things have been simmering in my heart for a while now, giving me courage to identify and change coping methods to thriving. It is so hard sometimes, humbling, but always worth it. XO

Krista - Thank you so much, @francescamuir:disqus Hugs are so precious. ๐Ÿ™‚ XO

Krista - Hugs, nature, starting over – I love all those wonderful, soul-nourishing things, @9ccdd92ba0f85fdb96c0b104bfa57f1e:disqus XO I’m so glad we met each other in this big ol’ world to cheer each other on. ๐Ÿ™‚ XO

Krista - “I live more simply…I enjoy more fully” – I love that so much, @thefisherlady:disqus XO That describes my life now too and I treasure it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amy @ Seven Grey Sweaters - Krista, thank you for writing this! “I Was Fine, Wasn’t I?” has really stuck with me since I read it. I’m also a “coper” and I tend to believe that negative things aren’t affecting me — and then my health breaks down for ‘no apparent reason.’ It’s a hard lesson to learn and I still have a hard time prioritizing my own healing. Thank you for such a clear message that I need to stop coping and start thriving!

Andrea and John - I’ve been in the coping stages before. I haven’t been through anything nearly as traumatic as you have, Krista, but I do know that feeling of pushing everything down so that you can stay the Strong Person others need you to be. It’s been years since I had to feel or deal with any of that but I never forget. Always take time for yourself and remember to live in the moment. Let yourself feel what you need to feel. I know you already do those things! Wishing you all the best as you continue your healing journey. ~Andrea.

OnePerfectBite - I’m so glad that you are able to put the issues of the past behind you. You are making a wonderful new life for yourself. Your photos today are truly lovely. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary.

Jeanne @ CookSister - Such an inspiring post, Krista. I think a lot of people go through life coping or surviving rather than thriving. It reminds me of something else I read somewhere that “good health is more than just the absence of disease”. We all owe it to ourselves to get to a place where we can thrive, but so few take steps to do so. Good for you!!

Maureen | OrgasmicChef - Yes, I’ve been in the coping stage and you’re right, once you’re out of it, it’s tough to know what to do. You are so accustomed to coping that nothing else feels right. The good news is that I’ve come through and been through for 35 years and I don’t look back. I live in the now. What happened in the past happened but not to the me I am now. Not sure that makes any sense at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Liz Posmyk - You know Krista, there are so many people out there just surviving…. the thing to remember is that you are not alone and life is indeed beautiful.

Marie - Well said. Way to be brave, transparent and courageous. Loves to you Darlin’.

mlleparadis - you are the embodiment of hope. so glad for you that you’re in a better place. you have such positive strength…underneath the coping. can’t wait to see where it takes you next!


TuulaR - So happy for you Krista… learning to let go and experience real love is not an easy thing. Took me years but the reward lasts a lifetime!

Adriana @ Classical Quest - You are so very dear, Krista. Love to you from the bottom of my heart! I am smiling widely to think of you — not merely coping — but THRIVING! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know you’ve got some readers in the coping phase right now. It is SO important that you write posts like this — to show them that they CAN reach a point of thriving too! My advice to anyone who is in the transition to thriving? KEEP FOLLOWING KRISTA’S BLOG!!!
Peace & Joy,

Joanne (eats well with others) - This is such a beautiful post. I am so glad you are doing what’s right for YOU.

Cathy - Beautiful brave post Krista. You’ve come a long way, and I love your word ‘thrive’.

bellini - This is a very thought provoking post Krista. Am I merely surviving and coping, or am I thriving?I think you are doing all the right thing to thrive…embracing love in your life and recognizing the beauty all around in simple things. You are an inspiration Krista to all of us.

Francesca Muir - Brava for such a wonderfully honest and brave account. Keep breathing and one day at a time. Hugs to you Fx

lisa | renovating italy - I feel I’m yet to arrive at the thriving stage it’s close and I’m feeling it’s warmth but not quite yet. Moving here to Italy has helped, getting out of the house and into nature helps, switching off the computer helps, just giving my man and our children a hug helps, reading your posts always does more than help….it lights me up xxx grazie bella x

thefisherlady - it is late and I should be off to bed… I just needed to read your new post first…
Thriving… out in the light… thriving. This post was so heartfelt… so lovely and complete. the flowers lovely and complete … your heart so full.
I am in a peaceful stage of my life. Things move more slowly… I live more simply… I enjoy more fully
It also took me years to learn that this life I live is God’s gift ‘to me’ to live. He fills each day with so many opportunities to bless others, but not rule them, encourage others, but not manipulate them.
Thriving~ being on our farm and working the land and building a home for a daughter and grandkiddies, being a goat lady and country woman, having creative joyous times either alone or amongst others, solitude or companionship, time to walk under the night sky or morning sunrise and lift my praises to the One who so graciously gave me breath and this most amazing life…

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