What does it mean to survive? When you look up “survival” in the dictionary, you will find several definitions. There are two that stand out to me the most though. The first definition I like is: to endure or live through (an affliction, adversity, misery, etc), but that one just does not portray my internal belief about what survival truly means. The second definition I like, and is probably my favorite, says: to get along or remain healthy, happy, and unaffected in spite of some occurrence.
What is it that causes us to keep trudging through the difficult times that we face? What is it that tells us to put our head down and put one foot in front of the other? I would go as far as to say that it’s our hopes, dreams, and our will that gives us that drive, that fire that powers the essence of who we are.
Sometimes it isn’t easy to keep facing your fears and weaknesses, day in and day out. The easier route IS to give up and surrender. But what is the purpose in that? The truth is, when you surrender to the hardships or fears that you have to face in life, they do not go away, never to return. Quite the opposite actually. You are only prolonging and sometimes even exacerbating the situation. So, what to do?
Like the definition stated above, true survival is when you get along or remain healthy, happy, and even unaffected by the situation that brings you grief. This is when you know you can move on and not have to look back for anything.
I admire those that have not had the easiest life and have still proven that they are fighters, warriors, and champions. These are the ones that will grow stronger, wiser, and more determined because of it. Like Friedrich Nietzsche said, “What doesn’t destroy me, only makes me stronger.” When life seems like there is no way out and that it can’t get any better, it is Hope that you must have. If you dig deep enough, you can always find something to love, cherish, and hold onto that will help you make it to the next day. When all else seems bitter and bleak, when it seems like you are at the bottom, just remember the only way you can go is up.
There are not many things greater than the feeling of accomplishment in the face of adversity. It can change your whole perspective on life. Trials and tribulations can definitely take a lot out of you and beat you down, both physically and emotionally. The trick then, is to find that hope, that person or thing to help steer you through those perilous waters. What do You hold on to when you are down and out? What are You living for? What do You value above all else?
A person who is very close to me has been dealing with a lot in the recent years. They’ve had to endure some very tough struggles and life-threatening situations. What is good about having to fight to regain your life and keep your head above water, is that you will develop an unshakable will to succeed. You will have burning inside you, a flame that cannot easily be snuffed. You become more determined than ever, and gain a new clarity or vision on your life’s path. This is an awesome reward in itself.
Surviving tough times or a tough life is a hard fight, but it is well worth it and extremely rewarding. I suggest you take an inventory of yourself and your life, and decide right here and now what is important to you. Determine and identify what you really want to live for. Is it success, family, a loved one, children, your career, or something else that is important to you? Take inventory of those things and never let the thought or memory of them fade from your mind. For these are the “real” things in life, and what Jesus meant when he said, “the most important things in life aren’t things at all.”
– Bryan Tresenriter