Purpose and thriving

This past week I pondered an epiphany that totally altered how I viewed myself and events from my childhood.  During my trip in June, I had the opportunity to visit with my first counselor that worked with me for 7 years and taught me so much about living.  He moved on to another state but kept in touch over the years.  We discussed a future project I have that delves into the religious aspect of my recovery and living with PTSD.  We discussed the importance of purpose as part of thriving.  I already came to the conclusion that thriving can happen with PTSD or without it.  A person in a wheelchair can thrive and so can a person with other challenges.  Thriving is not contingent on what challenges we face.

I like to start with the dictionary meaning.

Thrive according to the online dictionary: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/thriving

verb (used without object), thrived or throve, thrived or thriven [thrivuh n] (Show IPA), thriving.

1. to prosper; be fortunate or successful.2. to grow or develop vigorously; flourish:  The children thrived in the country.

I think this is important part to grow and develop vigorously.  A weed can develop vigorously but we still uproot it.  I believe our purpose gives a direction to grow.  It takes all of our little triumphs and focuses them into a feeling of success.  I believe that purpose was the glue that held me together as a child.  In my young mind, my brother and sister were threatened if I didn’t do everything that the pedophile demanded.  It was my deep and abiding love for my siblings that gave me a sense of purpose.  It gave me a will and a desire to do more than simply survive for my own sake.  My deep feeling of purpose stumped my tormentor.  I was compliant but always in the background of his hurting me was my purpose in protecting someone else.  Over the years my purpose has changed.  I struggled in one job when they tried to alter and take away my purpose for being there.  They mistakenly believed that my purpose was money and ‘moving up the ladder.’  My purpose was a deep desire to help others with their computer problems.  Because we were at cross purposes I didn’t do well.  They eventually laid me off when they had the opportunity.  I believe that when you find a purpose that leads towards what satisfies you this is the greatest defense against a raging past.  The new purpose puts past happenings in the background in my mind instead of center stage.  Like an out of control secondary actor, my past will trigger and demand attention but soon I refocus on my purpose and my past is sent backstage to grumble and complain.  Having places to go, people to see , and a purpose is a powerful defense against the raging triggers and troublesome past.

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