sur•viv•al (sərˈvaɪ vəl)
n. 1. the act or fact of surviving.
2. a person or thing that survives or endures, esp. an ancient custom, observance, belief, etc. adj.
3. of or for use in surviving, esp. under adverse or unusual circumstances: survival techniques. [1590–1600]
Survival is a word we use to describe coming out the other side of many things. Loss, illness, disaster, adversity - the list is long when you start looking at how many people use the word "survive" in describing an experience they have had or one they are preparing to have.
And there is often a lot of fear around this word. To survive something usually means that something was bad...
But most importantly to note, the idea of survival means we have been victim to forces outside of our control.
I don't accept that definition any more. Life is about more than surviving - and it SHOULD be about more.
I believe to "survive" means we CHOOSE TO LIVE. Yes, I said - choose. No accidents, no victims, and no chance. Just choice.
The power in this is it requires us to take back FULL responsibility for our lives, our choices, and our experiences. It asks us to move past defending our old way of being and allowing events and experiences to shape, mold, and grow us in new ways.
Our choice is will we become more or less?
We just love labels in this world and with those labels we identify our beliefs and those we hope agree with us. I am choosing the label "survival" because within it even those most afraid are still desiring to live. Life is a choice. There are many who breathe and move but don't really live.
That includes those lost in virtual worlds with no real life consequences.
Life is messy, often smelly, risky, and can be scary. But it is also miraculous, beautiful, vibrant, and intoxicating - especially when faced with a "survival" kind of moment.
The vast amount of information being put out about how to live post-crisis is important. But that is a small and tiny part of this idea of what it means to survive, or really live.
This journey I've been on has been a very long series of events and experiences about my own choices in what it means to live. Many things that have happened I haven't shared even though they have been the most pivotal.
But more than that has been my own limiting choices of what to share because of how I believe others will react to what I truly believe it means to live and why we are all facing our own journeys of survival.
I was recently reminded if you aren't making people angry, you aren't doing your job. Then there's the idea being floated that certain words should be banned because they make girls "feel bad" and so they won't want to lead.
Women are taught from a very young age that to survive you'll do better if you are 'nice' and compliant. It's taken me a long, long time to learn to comply and be nice - so long in fact, I've forgotten how to be me. The opinionated, strong, and very different person I was a long time ago.
That girl couldn't get along with others, often got fired, and couldn't maintain relationships. I was obnoxious and in many ways I still am - just ask Lilith and Freedom!
But she survived even though she didn't really want to live. Trying to live in a way that makes you small or less than or boxed in isn't living. Most of us are surviving in this world hoping that someday we will find a way to truly LIVE.
We follow rules, try to go along, and hope someday something out in the world will makes us feel better or happier or more fulfilled. Or, we try and change people, systems, jobs, etc. in the hope that THEN we will feel okay. Hah!
Like the survivalists talking about prepping for the worst, I to want to live. But not on the worlds terms and certainly not within the current systems we've got in place. Where people who follow the rules lose and those who break them win - bankers, criminals, and the like.
Banning certain words won't help. Not letting the people who call you those words stop you or change you, will help. Seems simple right?
Hardly. But that is the journey! If it was easy, we'd all be there already!
My journey of survival has taken many, many shapes, forms, and experiences - all keep moving me forward. Yours has too if you can change the way you view things from being a victim to being responsible for all of it and then keep moving forward.
We are all alive, but how many of us are really living? Surviving means choosing to live and my hope is you will choose to live in a way that is big and bold and your most courageous and authentic version of you there is.
That is what life is meant to be. So choose to survive, choose life!
Welcome to my Journey!
I'm inviting you to join me on my journey as I seek to find a new way of being in an old set of systems. It's hard, but worth it!