Do you have what it takes to survive the storm? Here are 7 Mental & Emotional Survival Skills to guide you through the toughest situations.
Remember the Titanic?
It would have been easy to dismiss that the "unsinkable" Titanic was going under when there was no apparent proof. But once the passengers were alerted and evidence mounted, no one could any longer deny the ship was sinking.
This is the state of the world as many see it now. Our ship is sinking, the evidence can no longer be denied.
If you think the world is fine and things are getting better, then you're at the bar laughing while drinking a martini on a sinking ship.
You're not ready for survival if you're pretending everything is fine right now.
You're not ready for survival if you think humans (in any capacity) are going to fix anything.
Sinking Ship? Where's the Evidence?
The evidence is all around but many are too afraid or too distracted to look.
People spend an inordinate amount of time entertaining themselves. There's nothing wrong with having fun and with cultivating a positive attitude. (Toxic positivity is real, google it).
What's frightening is people shutting their eyes and refusing to see the world as it truly is. Or they just go along with popular opinion so as not to stick out. I believe people behave this way for two reasons.
1. Some realize there's nothing they can do to change things so they stop crying over it. They may become complacent or apathetic.
2. Another reason is some people can't handle the stress. They're emotionally and mentally fragile. As evidence, consider the rising plagues of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual perversion and violence.
I get it. There's an abundance of stuff to be stressed over. We were under stress before the pandemic. 2020 and 2021 poured gasoline over us and lit a match.
I used to think people born in 1913, like my grandmother, saw many changes during their lifetime. And they did! However, I was born in the 1970's and can say that I've seen as many changes in my lifetime, if not more, than her generation.
But...there have always been problems and greed on the earth. True! There have always been wars and pandemics. True!
History has a tendency of repeating itself.
But, and this is a big BUT, we've come so far in education, communication, technology and other advancements in the past 100 years ….why are things getting worse? Humans have not solved ONE single problem, instead we've created more. WHY?
It's crazy out there!
We can't blame everything on the pandemic because we had many problems before. But the pandemic seems to have intensified everything and exposed a darker side of human nature. Under pressure, people are revealing their motives and true selves and it ain't pretty!
You're either part of the problem or part of the solution.
Let's take for example the increasing gun violence and mass shootings. What did we think was going to happen after so many under distress loaded up on guns and ammo? Everybody and their grandmother went out and bought guns last year. What for???
Who do you think those weapons are being used against? That's right! Their family, friends and coworkers! That's exactly what we've been seeing on the news every week.
People are mentally and emotionally hanging on a thin, taut string. Society is not evolving, we're devolving!
What's the Solution?
Do you have any ideas? I hope you do. I hope you've taken the time to meditate on possible solutions. Are you actively working towards the good of humanity? One way to do this is by continually improving yourself and the lives of others. Because the harsh truth is you're either part of the problem or part of the solution.
It takes a long, hard, honest look at oneself to understand on which side of the equation you fall.
If we were in a literal storm and our ship was sinking what would you be doing?
Would you give up and throw yourself overboard since you're going to die anyway?
Would you push everyone out of the way to get a life jacket and be the first on a lifeboat?
Would you help others get to safety and then help yourself?
The truth about who you are as a person is revealed under life-threatening situations.
If you want to survive the storm and help others, you need critical life skills.
7 Mental & Emotional Survival Skills
The longer you live, the more storms you'll face.
No one in the world is escaping the terrible storms we're facing and it's likely we will face more severe storms in the future. This is not negative thinking, it's realistic thinking based on observation and multiple warnings from multiple sources. Let's not ignore the warnings and stick our head in the sand.
Preparing in advance and accepting whatever situation you're in
are keys for survival!
Just like having a to-go bag for literal emergencies is critical, so too you need a mental toolbox of skills to help you survive tough times.
Not everyone will like to hear these but I think it's important to say them anyway.
Survival Skill #1
Don't love your stuff
Ask yourself: what if I lost everything? It's not pleasant to think about. No one wants to lose what they've worked hard to achieve. Yet this happens all the time.
Do some deep soul searching. How attached are you to your house? Your stuff? Your devices? Your 401k? If you lost it all, would you feel as if you have nothing left to live for? It saddens me to know how many have committed suicide because of financial ruin. Money is a necessity but your life shouldn't depend on it. Neither should your self-worth!
We put too much emphasis on having things and getting rich. Your worth should be measured by how many people you love not by how much money you have or the fancy stuff you've accumulated.
Survival Skill #2
Build a Reliable Network of Caring People
Many feel alone and I often hear people say they prefer to be self-sufficient-islands that don't need anybody.
Life DOES NOT work that way. We NEED each other.
This survival skill is all about what you put into in. You can't have good, loyal, caring friends who have your back, if you're not willing to be the same type of friend.
I'm not talking about perfect friendships either. We will disappoint or offend each other, you can't expect perfection because nobody is perfect. So learn to forgive. Be generous and kind. Build a network of people you can depend on when times get tough or that can depend on you!
Survival Skill #3
What is the key to surviving and enduring ANYTHING? Hope!
Hope believes that good will triumph and that bad situations have a beginning and an end, although they may take time to resolve.
And this too shall pass.
One thing that can bring true hope to those on a sinking ship is to know that rescuers are on their way.
One hope that keeps me going is my strong belief that God will soon alleviate mankind's suffering and make the earth a wonderful place to live. We don't know exactly when but we can trust that he will intervene at the right time. Things will get worse before they get better but ultimately God will accomplish things impossible for humans, like true peace and security.
I realize not everyone believes in God but the way I see it, we don't have much a of choice anymore. Humans have failed and will continue to fail for the simple reason that the world is controlled by powerful evil forces.
Besides, if people believe there are aliens out there that we need to contact (hey we spend billions of dollars doing so) believing in God isn't so farfetched (and it's free🙂).
Survival Skill #4
Wise Principles to Live by
What do you believe in? Why do you believe in it? Have the things you believed in stood the test of time? Of logic?
There's a reason pilots trust the laws of nature. If the laws of nature were inconsistent and unreliable, planes would randomly fall out of the sky. Nobody would become a pilot or be a passenger if that were true!
We need 'laws of nature' or 'universally right principles' that are consistent and reliable, otherwise they are useless. Then we need to FOLLOW and RELY on them to survive.
Pilots are trained to trust and rely on their instruments because one of the most fatal circumstances for them is what's called spatial disorientation (a form of vertigo).
Humans have a natural sense of orientation on the ground but this can easily be disrupted when in flight. Pilots can become disoriented and lose their sense of reality. They CANNOT rely on themselves when in this condition. They must rely on prior training and their instruments to orient them, otherwise the outcome is fatal.
This is what's happening to mankind.
We are not flying literal planes but are navigating ourselves and our families through life's storms. More than ever people are confused and disoriented by the beliefs and chaotic thinking that permeates society. (Ahem, we're relying too much on our own thinking).
Many are no longer anchored to a higher moral code other than themselves. Can you see how disastrous it is if everyone gets to make up their own standards?
Imagine if this were allowed to happen in construction. Can you imagine the inspector saying, go ahead build it however you think is right? Or if a police officer stops you and says, it's ok drive however feels right to you. Or if the control tower tells the pilot, no problem fly however and wherever your heart desires!?! 😲 (See above picture)
I can hear all of the BUTS in your mind. But hear me out, if everyone can make up their own moral code, then why is it wrong to hate a skin color? Why is it wrong to beat a child? Or why is it wrong to kill someone when they make you angry or disagree with you? It's my choice ! It's my right!
Well isn't this what's proving fatal to families and societies all over the world? Isn't this why the ship is sinking?
Major institutions have failed us. Governments, the commercial system and false religion are mostly to blame because they lie, cajole and misrepresent what is true.
What moral code guides your life and where is it from?
Survival Skill #5
A Purpose in life
No one starts a journey, by car, plane or boat, without knowing their why or their destination. Sometimes people drift aimlessly through life or they work hard their entire life only to realize near the end they've worked for the wrong goal.
It reminds me of the book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware. She worked as a palliative nurse and people shared their deepest regrets with her. Research has backed up her findings.
If your purpose in life is to make money, pursue pleasure or live the good life with expensive stuff, you're setting yourself up for major disappointment and heartache.
There are much deeper and more worthwhile goals in life. (Hint: it involves unselfishness, love and meaningful relationships.) Seek these out and forget the rest.
Survival Skill #6
Love of neighbor
If I've heard this once, I've heard it a thousand times since the pandemic started. Why can everyone quote it and yet there's such a shortage of it? Why are so many prejudiced, hateful and stingy (fighting over toilet paper or road rage).
We've forgotten what it means to love thy neighbor and who said it! (Let's give credit where it's due: Thank you Jesus!) By the way, he also taught us the Golden Rule. 🙂
Loving your neighbor is a fundamental aspect of following Jesus. But even if you aren't religious, this universal principle speaks to your heart anyway!!! Why? Because it feels like the right thing to do. It is one of the highest moral laws that exist. It's timeless, true and can be used in every country, by every person, all the time.
Loving your neighbor means acting unselfishly in behalf of others, strangers or not. (Both what we say and do).
If everyone followed just this ONE principle, think about how the world would be such a great place to live! There'd be no more crime, no more hatred, no more war!!!! Really, thank you Jesus!
Survival Skill #7
We don't need science to tell us how beneficial prayer is, but incidentally they do anyway! Yes, it's true! It has been scientifically proven that prayer helps us emotionally and mentally, whether you're a believer or not.
I find this fascinating! If you believe that God is listening to your prayers, this is a no-brainer. But what about those who "pray" that aren't religious or believe in God? Why does it soothe us and help us cope anyway?
I'm no expert, but I think when we pray we are humbly acknowledging that we don't' have all the answers and we need help. This acknowledgment alone can bring us great relief. We are taking the burden off our shoulder and putting it out there for someone bigger than us to handle. I love that! (Think of the opposite: someone who arrogantly walks around claiming to have all the solutions, yuk, and then when they fail, ugh!)
Will You Survive the Storm?
I know you can! There may be other solutions out there that I haven't covered. But I've probably chewed your ear off long enough 😋. Thanks for reading this far!
Here's a quick recap.
Our survival depends on:
having an accurate sense of reality
gathering the facts and not ignoring them
thinking clearly and logically
preparing in advance the best we can
The 7 survival skills you must have in your life-kit are:
Don't love your stuff
Build a Reliable Network of Caring People
Wise Principles to Live By
A Purpose in life
Love of neighbor
I hope you find this article helpful, feel free to share it with others who may be struggling to keep their head above the water! We have a responsibility to love and care for one another, regardless of skin color, language or where they were born.
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