Surviving to Thriving
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
My love for writing started well before I stopped hiding in fear of being seen and I listened to my calling. In 2015 I was sexually assaulted at 19 years of age whilst in the Army, and it destroyed me. I struggled to get by, and every single day was a struggle. From an upbeat life to rock-bottom just like that. I battled with heavy drinking, self-destructive behaviour, pushed away family, friends and a relationship too. At the time, the worst thing was that I felt like I had completely lost myself. I felt so alone. I felt all the frightening and shameful emotions every time I shared my story. It was like I was a victim of my own life and that being vulnerable would only make things worse. I feared what other people might think and if no one else was really speaking up about suffering, should I be? This is where I was so wrong.
Two years that felt like ten passed and something spectacular happened. I was late to a rugby game this one day during spring time and I found myself sat next to a life coach who would go on to become the biggest catalyst for change in my life. After that day, I began to learn about daily practices of gratitude, nature walks, the importance of journalling, meditation and much much more. I delved into the darker, more painful parts of my life and started to learn how we can be grateful for every single lesson.
This isn't to say that the dark days or the self-sabotaging thoughts wouldn't come, because they certainly did, and still can. But I was equipped for them when they would, and for those days when I don't feel equipped for them? I sit with it and allow myself to feel every part of it, but the beauty lies in that it no longer rules me.
I started to embrace vulnerability and in overcoming my fear of speaking out, a whole world of opportunity and abundance came into my life. Why? Because I was showing up bravely and authentically as I am.
Speaking out hasn't just changed my life beyond words, but I'm seeing how much it can help others enormously. When we are transparent and open about what we have experienced and how we feel, we come together and realise that we aren't alone in this. Surviving from difficult experiences make us who we are but thriving comes from turning those experiences into a gift, a gift that we can use to help others. The most beautiful part is that your gift is not to be found outside of you. No, when you quieten and return home, you can hear the gentle calling of your heart.
Although there were (and still are) habits and behaviours I had to change, I learnt that ultimately we are so enough as we are. This is what changed it all for me. No longer was I pursuing, chasing, desiring something outside of me, unhealthy habits, or a need to fit into a desired image.
So here I am four years on, living an abundant life full of love and joy. I left the Army, packed my backpack and travelled solo around some of the most spectacular places in the USA. I met the love of my life there and returned to the UK to follow my dream to study and help spread healing light in the world as my soul’s purpose.
It’s not always easy, anybody that is healing and showing up to do the inner work knows that it’s challenging, but it's so worth it. As we step more and more into alignment with our true self, we have an abundance of love and light that we can’t help but want to pass on. My commitment to live from the heart and soul continues, as a choice I make every single day to give to myself and give to others, because ultimately we deserve every bit of the love that fear, pain and suffering has had us retreat so far away from. Together we rise.