Tag Archives: faith

Paradigm Shift

Lately I have been thinking a lot about one question:

What if instead of prepping for the worst, we prepared for the best?

This idea of working toward best case scenarios can flip even the most optimistic standard prepping idea on its head. Suddenly, we are creating, not reacting; embracing, not avoiding; dreaming, not fearing. Suddenly we move from the powerlessness of living at the mercy of a dangerous world to the empowerment of creating a more hospitable one. Suddenly we evolve from talks of prevention, defense, survival, to building, healing, living–from fear, to hope, maybe even to joy.

I will admit, it’s not an easy shift to make. The world can be a dangerous place. And we do need to prepare for times when the gap between our dreams and reality is wider and deeper than we can imagine a bridge to cross. For some of us, that may be most of the time. Which is why it so important to think about ways to make our lives easier, simpler, better, more manageable, safer during quieter days.

For example, instead of acting from a place of fear that says, “I could get cancer and die,” we could, knowing full well that cancer exists and is a risk, consider a variety of other responses, like:

  • What could I do to become healthier and minimize that risk?
  • What might improve my chances of recovery if I did get sick?
  • What might help make the experience of being sick less complicated and more comfortable?

Or better yet:

How can I create my healthiest, happiest, most fulfilled life?

What if, instead of focusing on disaster, we focused, in a very practical way, on that? And then consider what it will take to get us there, what hurdles we may need to overcome, what things we can do to stay on track when obstacles cross our paths.

Because there will be hurdles, obstacles, unplanned derailments, that’s what prepping is all about, but they will only one small piece of a larger puzzle not the focus of our lives or plans.

What might your best case scenario look like? How might it feel?

Blooming Cholla
Blooming Cholla

 

A Path Through Fear

I have been thinking lately about a news story I read back in January.  A Utah couple were found dead in their home along with three of their four children–a murder-suicide precipitated by fear of the apocalypse.

Although their example is extreme, it highlights a crucial dilemma so prevalent in our world right now,  particularly for those of us involved in prepping or the study of the apocalypse:

How do we, as individuals and communities, think about and prepare for our uncertain futures, knowing the suffering, loss, and devastation they may hold, and yet still find a way to live in the present, to embrace and enjoy our lives without being crippled by fear?

Because, really, this isn’t just a question about the apocalypse. Our futures have always been uncertain, except for the simple fact that every one of them will end. And yet, many of us still manage to get out of bed in the morning. To have children. To plant seeds in the garden. To make plans. To fall in love.

There is something ingrained and essential to our nature as human beings that allows us to imagine that we will still be here when those seeds push up from beneath the dark earth. When they unfurl their first leaves. When they burst into blossom. When they finally scatter their own seeds.

That something is called faith–a word that comes from the root “to trust.”

We are not talking about a sunny disposition that makes us believe that things will be better tomorrow. An optimist says, “The war will be over; your wounds will be healed, the depression will go away; all will be better soon.” The optimist may be right, but unfortunately he or she may also be wrong. For none of us can control our circumstances.
— Henri Nouwen, Turn My Mourning into Dancing

Faith is not about thoughtlessly clinging to best possible results. Doing so can be dangerous. It can blind us to unseen threats, to actions we could take to improve our odds, to what the people around us are going through.

And so we must make a choice. To walk through life with our eyes closed, experiencing neither the beauty nor the pain, or to face our fears up front, to look them in the eyes, to call them by name.

Because here’s the thing: When we choose the second path, when we look into out own worst case scenarios, we reclaim our power. And when we take the next step and begin to address them–acknowledge them, talk about them, prepare for them–we may find ways to lessen or avoid them. As we begin to confront the things that scare us, they start to lose their hold. And as one-by-one the shadow each fear has cast over our lives begins to desolve, we will see it isn’t just our future we are liberating. It’s our present.

Knowing a thing, naming it, that gives us power–not power over or against, but power within.

Or better yet, be afraid. But also trust–in your strength, in your capacity for healing and compassion, and, yes, in your preparations, once you make them. We are, as a species, uncannily resilient. Let us embrace that legacy.