Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lessons of Survival Part 2



I gleaned so much from reading Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience I wanted to share
more of what I learned with you.

Throughout Surviving, Laurence Gonzales asserts the importance of not giving up. He writes, “Our ongoing survival requires relentless attention.” And Gonzales really started talking my language with,
“You have to believe you can influence what happens in your life.”

Does this mean I cling to the steering wheel of life, turning and careening to manipulate things to go my way whenever I’d like? Pft, anytime I try that I end up having to relearn humbling lessons, dust off pride, and cry uncle while simultaneously crying out for a do-over.

Nope, believing we can influence what happens in life is an expression of trusting God to move us through our circumstances—trusting God will move in us. It’s risking enough to step out of the boat and onto the raging waves despite the fact we know we could sink at any moment.

In Surviving Gonzales provides 6 ineffective strategies (what he calls immature defenses) people use in attempt to deal with difficult circumstances.

These are:
Projection—blaming someone else
Passive aggression—responding with anger
Dissociation—denial
Acting out—examples include fighting, drinking, gambling
Fantasy—taking a leave of reality
Hypochondria—imagining you are sick all the time

Then Gonzales details 12 proven strategies for overcoming hardships and pulling through.

These are:
Recognize the reality of the situation. Accept it. Prepare to deal with it.
Remain calm (think, analyze, plan & know what you have and what you want)
Set achievable goals
Act on your plan (movement…I’m kinda a fan of this word)
Celebrate success once you’ve taken action
Count your blessings
Pray (I took notes on this part and I can’t read my writing. This is either play or pray. I’m going with pray b/c it’s worked for me but I don’t recall if that’s what Gonzales wrote)
Giving (find meaningful purpose)
Believe you can influence events
Surrender
Do whatever is necessary to move forward. Let go of your fears.
NEVER GIVE UP

I like how Gonzales highlights twice the amount of effective ways to navigate through the aftermath of tragedy than ineffective ways.

When we’re at our most vulnerable we’re more susceptible to buy into the lie that our influence here is insignificant. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, you matter. Your life here matters. Horrific circumstances have a way of stripping this truth from us. Without a shadow of a doubt, I’m here to remind you there’s a reason you’re here.

Hope.



*Post dedicated to fellow New Englanders, Bostonians + loved ones
**photo by stock.XCHNG
***I’ll be sporadic online the next few weeks. Next post will be on April 30th
****I’m thoroughly enjoying my friend Susan DiMickele’s Working Women of the Bible. It’s been a blast to feature so many cool books my friends have written over the past few weeks. 

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting book! I need to go back to your earlier posts on it.

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    Replies
    1. Hope you had the chance to go back and read Part 1. There was just too much good info. to jam it all into one post.

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  2. Lots of good ideas in Gonzales's list of strategies for overcoming hardships. It can be hard to implement some of them in the midst of down times, though. They run counter to our natural tendencies. All the more reason to put them into play.

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    1. It can feel close to impossible. Another reason not to rely wholly on feelings.

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  3. I especially love this one:
    "Celebrate success once you’ve taken action."

    I forget to do that sometimes. :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh man, so do I. I don't stop to celebrate enough. Glad to know I'm not alone.

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  4. This is really great, Wendy. Thanks for sharing the book. You can really see the difference in the strategies. I really love the Never Give Up. Some people have a darkness that takes them...and the Pray.

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    1. I've witnessed many people in times of darkness and yes, it can really alter personalities. Like how you worded it--takes.

      That one is big for me. NGU.

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  5. Your posts are not-to-be missed, Wendy. Thanks for always encouraging me -- and so many others.

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    Replies
    1. You are such a true support, Beth. So glad you're in my life!

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  6. This was really helpful to me today- thanks.
    I have been praying to know what to do in a difficult situation- and here you are providing some excellent advice. THANKS !

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    1. Mary, your comment really moved me. I'm deeply grateful this post spoke to you. There are days I wonder...and then I get comments like this.

      THANK you!

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  7. Thanks Wendy! I am so thankful for your friendship and support, and it means so much to me that we can always pick up where we left off.

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    Replies
    1. Am loving your book, Susan! I'm so very proud of you!

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  8. This sounds really great!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  9. Wendy, thanks so much for encouraging me with that last line. Hope! It's what we cling to, isn't it? I've felt darkness this past week, but I'm so grateful for God's presence and light. Love you!

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    Replies
    1. Love you, Melanie! And I hope you're pushing through the darkness. Hope!

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  10. Hi Wendy -

    I particularly like the last item: NEVER GIVE UP!

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh yeah, that's a keeper! Blessings back at ya, Susan!

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