Earlier in the month we discussed the journey from victim to survivor. This is a period to shift from a place of passive protection from pain into a place of forward movement and healing. During this transition, one reclaims their voice and establishes their new phase of life. This is the time to practice active discovery within yourself.
Earlier, we asked what you thought of when you heard the terms Victim and Survivor. Did you feel sparked to journal your thoughts? If so, begin by lighting a candle and inviting the divine to surround you during the work. Next, retrieve your journal and take a few minutes to reflect upon what you wrote, or you may choose to begin writing down insights. At Survivors to Thrivers we promote freedom of religion and spiritual, so walk in your truth and know its ok to adjust language to better fit your spiritual path. For example, if you are humanist or agnostic, you may choose to light the candle to symbolize peace, hope and the process of allowing light to shine through the darkness.
If you are a visual person, grab some paper and art supplies. Give yourself permission to explore and be brave with any insights. Look over your words again and do some free association drawing. Do so with a gentle spirit and as few judgements as possible. If so moved, draw what it feels like for you to be a victim. On the reverse, draw what is feels like to be a in place of survivorship. Did you notice any special symbols or colors for you? Did you write down words with your picture or feel called to journal? How did you feel during the exercise? How does it differ from how you felt prior or afterwards? Sit with these sensations and honor your courage to tap into a bold way of expressing your thoughts and emotions.
If you are a person with Christian spiritual practice try an exercise known as Lecto Divina with Jeremiah 29:11. For those seeking a more spiritual or contemporary interpretation can reference the Contemporary English Version or Good News Translation Bible. If you identify with a more spiritual practice consider the wisdom of Rumi, a Sufi mystic and poet from 13th century Persia. We recommend the following:
"There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life. There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine. O traveller, if you are in search of That, don’t look outside, look inside yourself and seek That."
Lecto Divina is Latin for “Holy Reading” and is a deep dive into religious or spiritual text to discover a rich personal meaning. There are four stages the practice: reading, meditation, recitation and contemplation. Begin by finding a quiet place to read where you can be free from any interruptions. Read the passage like you typically would read a book. Next, meditate on what aspects of the passage struck a chord within you. Then read the passage again, but out loud and try to open your spirit up to receive divine wisdom. Finally, absorb and contemplate any new insights you gain from the out loud reading. Feel if anything has shifted within your mind, body or spirit. Give gratitude for these insights and journal your experience if you feel compelled.
If you need additional attention, consider taking a ritual shower. The skin replenishes itself every 27 days. This is a great opportunity to embrace the new you! As you shower take extra care washing yourself and give each body part love and gratitude for its abilities. Let the water be purifying for you. Visualize all the hurt, pain, and bad ties going down the drain. As you dry yourself off, be slow, gentle and loving. Take this opportunity to put on oil or lotion and infuse this new skin with love, light, hope and gratitude.
Acknowledge the gift of self-care that you have given yourself. Renew your commitment to find a section of each day that can be a period of rest and self-nurturing. You are worthy of healing and honoring. These moments of self-care allow your mind, body and spirit an opportunity to reset and rewrite maladaptive patterns and replace them with healthier habits. This is integral in the ability to grow in your ability to be a Survivor, and ultimately a Thriver. Feel free to email us or share your experiences on our socials. Your voice and your spirit are welcomed and treasured in the Going Forward: Survivors to Thrivers community.