Survival Strategies!

I wrote about this before last September! (Click) Since then life has taken on new meaning as I found a goal which hit my Green button with a bigger thump than I imagined was possible!  No-one was more surprised than me when I found my Goal.  As you know, dear reader to your cost, it has become somewhat all-consuming!

Having just re-read my September post I realise we all develop Survival Strategies to keep us feeling safe. Essential. But sometimes these strategies could be restricting us from living a life which is much greater, more passionate, fun and fulfilling than the one we have right now.

And I don’t mean we should all ditch the lives we got. That really could be “Throwing the baby out with the bath water!”  but enhancing what we’ve got.

After all none of us were born with anything more than the basic set of Survival Strategies to ensure we actually don’t die. We add our own layers as we grow up.  Built from what we learnt from our parents and those we come into contact with, how we were treated and past circumstances. And at various moments in our lives we’ve made key decisions which have led to who and how we are today.  And sometimes these key decisions are made in moments of crisis.

But having made that decision and adopted a pattern of behaviour  we encompass it into part of being us, even though, in many cases, it could now be obsolete!

My older brother, H, has developed a survival strategy that makes the Antarctic look warm!!  Even his youngest daughter wishes he’d relax and ‘let his hair down!”. He teases without warmth.  He has to be ‘right’.  He has to be in Control.  The result is he now runs his life in a way which excludes acts of love by those who love him. He seems unable to show any sign of vulnerability or warmth.

Alex ran (actually that almost needs to be dithered!)  into the arms of another woman rather than rekindle and enhance what we had. Why? Well I can’t answer for him or be his judge.  But I’m pretty sure I was not behaving in a way that enhanced the chances of us getting back together as I was using an out-moded survival strategy which should have been ditched a long time before.  I just didn’t know I was doing it.

One of the most important things I learnt through the life coaching I went through is that there are other ways of being!  Other ways of reacting and that being vulnerable and showing that vulnerability at the right time is, in fact, very powerful.  After all, if nothing else, it gives the other person the chance to give, to show understanding, to love and protect.

Yes, with a passion, I wish I’d known all this a long time before. I wish both Alex and I had.  But the past is the past.  What is important now is that by understanding who I truly am, understanding my values and having improved the rules I apply to those values I hope and trust I’m in a position to give myself a far better Survival Strategy. (As long as I remember to concentrate on it and not backslide – which I occasionally do!!)

So in the spirit of survival which is  this blog’s theme and title  I ask you, dear reader, what do you think about your Survival Strategy?  And is it giving you the life you truly want and desire?  Or do you keep wishing for something more?

10 thoughts on “Survival Strategies!

  1. What an interesting blog.
    (Hope you don’t mind, I found you from another wordpress site.)
    Obviously, from what you’ve wrote, you’ve put yourself out there (with your love and vulnerability) and suffered a painful divorce which wasn’t, you feel, what you wanted. It looks like you’ve made it to the other side now and, although there’s things you still question in your mind, you feel like you braved the storm and are more settled with your new found freedom.
    Of course, being a woman, I know that any one who’s been ‘dumped’ or rejected never really gets over that

    • thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments.

      Actually I do believe that I can, will and am getting over it! The power we have within ourselves is immense. The key is learning about ourselves, finding our values and living the life we were meant to live.

      I needed help to find the real me. I was lucky I found a brilliant life coach who guided me (and continues to do so) and who didn’t let me give up on myself, never mind how annoyed, angry, irritated and upset I got with myself, with him and with the process!!

      I wish you luck with finding your route and thank you again for dropping by

      • I agree with you and your coach. They seem to have given you excellant advice… can I borrow them? lol
        Yes.. I truly believe happiness is finding your authentic self and primarily loving ourselves first and foremost. That’s the key – everything flows effortlessly after that. Have a great weekend x

  2. What an interesting blog. 
    (Hope you don’t mind, I found you from another wordpress site.)
    Obviously, from what you’ve wrote, you’ve put yourself out there (with your love, vulnerability etc) and suffered a painful divorce which wasn’t, you feel, what you wanted or deserved. It looks like you’ve made it to the other side now and, although there’s things you still question in your mind, you feel like you braved the storm and are more settled with your new found freedom. 
    Of course, being a woman, I know that any one who’s been ‘dumped’ or rejected never really gets over that. And whatever we tell the world we know deep in our hearts (when we switch the light off at night) just how gutting it is. Right?
    It’s hard letting go of the person we love especially when that person chooses to be with someone else other than us. 
    So, on to survival skills. Personally, I have been hurt many times. I know exactly how it feels to be the one who sits around praying for the phone to ring or that holy grail text message to appear saying ‘I was wrong. I love you.. take me back’ and it never comes. 
    Some people have been hurt so deeply they close their heart up forever. I know of people like this, not just hurt by love, but hurt by grief and loss. And this is their coping mechanism. What chance is their of your heart being broken when you build a great big wall around it? None. Except, like you’ve wrote, when you harbour bitterness happiness docks elsewhere. 
    My survival skill is this: win or die! 
    When you start putting emotional effort in with men you’re bound to get hurt. The best thing is, let them fall in love with you. Let them do what they do best, let them chase you. When things start to fall apart in relationships women always have this stupid idea that it’s their fault, they weren’t this they weren’t that. They try to ‘fix’ things making the problem bigger and worse. 
    I’m pleased that you’ve regained your strength back after all what you’ve gone through. But how would you feel if you could win him back? Divorced or not.. have him behaving in the way he was when you first went out. How would that feel? Knowing that you had all the power back and more.. perhaps him telling whoever he was dating it was over, because he knew he’d made the biggest mistake of his life. 
    Everyone does the ‘I’m not bothered’ game. But the real core of it all is: they’re still in love and have zero idea of how to win their love back. 
    What’s true survival if you’re just surviving and not really Living?! That to me, is just existing. 
    It’s just flying.. rather than soaring. 

  3. What’s most important about survival skills is not to hold on to them religiously. As we grow and experience different phases in life, we change our survival skills based on new needs and we can also eliminate some old ones. Having the same survival skills for the rest of our lives means that we are frozen in time.

  4. If your brother has headed down that road where emotions are not to be displayed (which is what I am assuming), he’s going down the same path as my father. Not good at all. My father is going to be 90 in April and no one goes to visit with him. My brother goes over but he’s just doing it because he feels that he has a responsibility to our father.

    It took me a while to figure out that opening up is more powerful that shutting down. Life is a long process of learning.

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