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  • Writer's pictureErika Sardinha

The Secret to Thriving as a Survivor in a Fast-Paced World

I remember that when I was finally free from my abuser, at almost 18 years old, I was advised to sweep things under the rug and go live my life; "The past is in the past. Be free! Go to University! You can go out with your friends now! Kids, do you want kids? What do you want to study? You got to get a boyfriend now! Be happy! Nothing happened in the past!" 

I mean: Let's pause here. What?!

woman wearing a head wrap ad, big earrings and red lipstick. Thinking

I was rushed into life like I just arrived from a healthy family dynamic and expected to act as if I went through all stages of development like a "normal" child did. 

I had no tools whatsoever, feeling completely disconnected from myself and my body, never mind mentioning the PTSD and the depression I was going through. 

But society didn't care about any of that. I had to keep going. So, I kept going fast, just like everyone else around me.

For about a decade, I rushed into relationships, jobs, toxic friendships, and unhealthy financial decisions that just made everything worse. 

I felt like I had no option but to carry on, hoping I'd eventually catch up with everybody. 

You know, there is this unspoken rule in society that says you should always be on the move, and I know this is hard for everyone, especially women. 

But when it comes to survivors looking to thrive in life, this pressure is added on top of layers and layers of trauma that most of us didn't have the time to process because again, we just kept moving.

And until we stop moving for a moment, we are not thriving. I mean really thriving. I'm not talking only about materialistic stuff kind of thriving; I'm talking about feeling happy, empowered, and truly fulfilled, living life on our own terms. 

Until we keep seeing rest as unproductive and something we don't deserve unless we get to a point where we're almost unable to function, we're not thriving.

Until we don't press pause to process what happened and free ourselves from the grip of trauma, we're not thriving.

Until we are not completely honest with ourselves, let go of shame and embarrassment, and start working on those emotional tools we need to thrive, we're not thriving.

Here's how we can thrive as survivors in this fast-paced world:

We need to go self-paced. Why?

woman laying on the couch with her dog, reading a book. Relaxed.

#1 Life is not a race, and although it may seem like everybody is running, lots of people are running in the same place. Not that it matters, but I know how comparison gets the best of us. It's a fake comparison; it's not real. 

#2 The truth is; we need time. Time to heal, time to rest, extra time to process, and that's okay. Take your time. You can do only thirty minutes a day? Start there. Thirty minutes every day is better than taking no time for yourself whatsoever. Give yourself the gift of time!

#3 You are unique, so you should respect your individual needs. Should you rush through life neglecting your needs? I know that's what we learned from trauma, but this a new lesson we're learning here. And as you read this, the old lesson is fading away. 

Know that you are worthy of catering to your needs, even if that means slowing down. 

#4 Honestly, slowing down is not the end of the world. I know, I've been there, and I constantly have to pull myself out of "the wheel," but I also know from experience that the world keeps spinning, and whenever you decide to join the craze, if you do decide to join, you can hop on.  

And no, you won't miss out on anything. Promise.  

Black woman happy, excited,, wearing bold colors and golden accessories. Happy, chin up, head up.

#5 The version of yourself that will manifest once you start living life at your own pace?! [muah!] Chef's kiss! 

Seriously, I wish everybody knew that when you start healing and allow yourself to reconnect to who you really are and your values, you activate a whole other level of consciousness and being. 

You will achieve things that mean something to you, and you'll live a happier and more fulfilled life, which is exactly what I want for you.

So, are you ready to embrace a self-paced life and really thrive? 

I'm looking forward to meeting your new you!

Love and light, 



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