I gleaned so much from reading Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience I wanted to sharemore 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.
Projection—blaming someone else
Passive aggression—responding with anger
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.
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
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.
**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.