I would like to talk about a state of being that falls in between moving forward and having setbacks. That state of being is called “Survival Mode” – and it is good.
There is no doubt that the world applies all sorts of pressure on us; but my hunch is that we apply even more pressure upon ourselves. So when we find ourselves struggling at any point in time – and we ask ourselves whether or not we are making progress – we get disappointed when the answer is “no.” I maintain that the answer is never “no” – we always make progress, even though it doesn’t seem like it. We make progress when we survive.
While it may be abundantly clear that you are making progress on days when you overtly achieve things – accomplish a task that was difficult, have a pleasant day, or achieve a goal – there will be days when this is simply impossible. These are the days when you are ill or have too many problems thrown at you at once. On these days, your goal is simply to survive them and move on. You can make progress tomorrow. Don’t feel bad about this – don’t beat yourself up about it – survive and move on.
We all have days like this. I have had my share. It’s difficult to feel happy and make plans for the weekend when you have a machine bombarding your chest with radiation – you just hope you can make it home without getting sick and that you will be able to walk up the stairs without falling and hurting yourself.
When you have dark days, that darkness can invade your mood. This is not the time to think about the future because all too often your sense of optimism will be overshadowed by current events. Try to shut down all the thought processes that can induce stress – all the “what if’s” and the “why me’s. Toss them right out the window. And for goodness sake, don’t worry about feeling bad – you are entitled to that feeling. No one can be happy all the time.
So, Survival Mode is a good thing. It enables you to move ahead to the day when you do feel better and the future seems brighter. It is a good coping mechanism to use. Embrace it. It will only make you stronger.
Stay strong my friends, and have a wonderful day!