"How do you use Survivor Personality skills to be vigilant without worrying, and be alert to potential danger without fear?"
Strategies Used by Highly Resilient People
"My answer to dealing with fear may be too rational for the fearful. It is to calculate the likelihood that I will be harmed. If I am in a Washington D.C. post office job, I start to worry. If I am in Oregon, any vehicle in the lane next to me on the freeway is a far greater threat than terrorists. Also so I take pride in not being manipulated. If someone is trying to scare me, I don't scare."
In response to your inquiry, even though the threat of terrorism is very real, much of it is beyond my control. I remain aware and observant, but have chosen not to focus on all of the surrounding negativity that will only serve to drain my physical and spiritual being. Instead, I take every reasonable precaution against and make any and all expedient preparations for a possible "event". I then put it to rest, concentrating my energies on happier more productive pursuits, gathering strength from my family, my friends, my faith and my work.
During these difficult times I believe it is also important to take extra good care of myself. Proper nutrition, restorative rest and regular physical activity go a long way toward a feeling of overall well being. Now, more than ever, I spoil myself a little, whether that means enjoying a good book, taking in a movie, sipping a glass of wine, or simply allowing myself to experience the beauty of the universe and my place in it.
Your question is interesting. I began answering it the other day, and then didn't send my response. Probably because it's too complex for a short answer. However, although the recent world events are troubling in terms of the future of this marvelous planet and for civil society, it really hasn't kept me awake at night. It certainly hasn't been keeping any of my friends awake at night either. I've thought about why that is. Without doing any kind of survey or research, I've concluded that I (and my close friends) have a sound sense of who we are, are basically happy/satisfied with our lives up to now, and have a strong spiritual (not religious) sense. We feel comfortable with our own brand of immortality...which is probably not the mainstream. I guess that gets my feeling about the natural world and my place in it. Probably difficult to explain to most folks. Does this make sense to you in your research of survivors?
I'll have to read your book [The Survivor Personality] again to brush up on my Survivor skills, but in answer to your question, I simply go with the odds. According to Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 219 people die each day in auto accidents; one has died in the last month from anthrax. Anthrax is treatable. I try to put this information into it's proper perspective. While I think every rational person will be cautious of letters that look like they're written by a half-witted fourth-grader and have a powdery substance contained within, the likelihood of me ever receiving one is quite remote. I don't know any half-witted fourth graders, anyway!
While I have never drank--except twice in my life which was two big fat bad experiences that got me no where (smile)-- I think the "one-day-at-a-time" AA philosophy can/does apply here-at least for me. When you look at any crisis- one had to: 'let go, and let God' or whatever higher power you believe in.
Reality is that fear, fret, and anxiety get you (me) nowhere but further turmoil. Before my transplant a year ago, I decided/even resigned myself to the fact that what was to be for me would be--no matter what I felt/thought. It was truly out of my hands and in His hands. While I didn't actually pray I had a trust that Someone greater then I was in charge of my future just as He is in control of the wind/rain and seasons, etc... ultimately life and death.
Further, what is really important becomes amazingly small--i.e., family and friends- (in my case no family, save one retarded sister.) I realized the small miracles and wonders were surprisingly more important. The smell/look of a flower or the breath of fresh air was sweeter then ever before- especially that first time I was allowed to venture (sneak!) outside the hospital when my white blood cells were high enough (grin!).
Yeah, I am listening to the news and stuff, but what will be will be... whether I worry or not (so why worry?). NOW, I have had a uncertainty in my life that my one year MRI (taken a few weeks ago) shows a new lesion in my brain. I have chosen not to worry. Right or wrong-this remains to be seen with a second review but, this day, I REFUSE to be worried. A bit upset and sad -yes for it will mean the most aggressive therapy to date has failed, but I will not get suicidal again! I vowed that before the transplant and I vow it again, ...at least one day at a time- and this gets me by.. and Gods grace.
Edie Eger taught me that--she lived though great fear and hopelessness and keep her dear, sweet personality and love for life--she is my model.
Here in Australia, I simply do not take on the fear that your government is trying to project onto the world by simply never watching television or listening to the negative news. If I give my mind to their game they have won the war as they will be using my energy to promote fear. None of what is happening over there is part of my conscious reality simply because I don’t give it any power. Nor do I disscuss the ins and outs of the drama America is creating.
It all gets down to a "matter of consciousness" as to how one deals with any situation. I hold a vibration of love and light and peace for all humankind. Hopefully other will raise their own vibration to higher thought forms in order to heal our planet.
The vibrations always follow the law of "entrainment" You are closer to the fear vibration over there, my advice is accept what the U.S. has created to learn the lessons in its own shadow side, and to stop killing innocent people if they don’t want to be part of their own karma.
A tough call, but time for America to go deeper into its own psyche and stop their projections. They have been the perpetrator many times (its not long since Hiroshima, and still in the living memory of many on the planet.) We are one humanity and what we do to others we do to our selves.
Just STOP IT America, time to evolve your consciousness and stop playing silly war games. I guess sooner or later the penny will drop but I wish the slow learners would wake up to the fact they are ultimately only hurting themselves. Hope you can see all that all. Yes and I do feel for all my American brothers and sisters who are suffering loss of loved ones. But time to really own why this has happened and stop blaming others with scapegoats that are not even the culprits.
Love peace and fredom to all from Angela May, Down Under