Survival and a Clear Mind
Survival necessitates recognition of both outer and inner realities, both material and immaterial truth. We tend to think externally about survival. For instance, we think of addressing food storage, first-aid, efficiency, self defense, physical preparations, et cetera, but we fail to realize that all of these decisions are influenced first by a clear and sharp mind. We all have an inner life. Whether we acknowledge it or not, the inner life affects every decision we make. Harboring bitterness over past scorn or wallowing in the life experience of betrayal influences a person’s clarity of mind. Likewise, the mind of an offender consumed with guilt and refusing to yield to the mercy of forgiveness is equally affected.
A clear conscience and a sharp mind produce the best decisions. When pressures mount and survival is at stake, these two (clear conscience and sharp thinking) are crucial. A good way to assess your own conscience is to evaluate the health of your closest relationships– spouse, children, co-workers, neighbors, et cetera. Where do you stand with those who are closest to you?
Reality of Forgiveness In A Person’s Survival Mindset
This article focuses on the reality of forgiveness in a person’s survival mindset and is not approached from a psychological perspective. Having a clear and sharp mind is critical not only for making good survival decisions but for making good decisions in general. This is ultimately a daily relational practice that requires self-reflection. Though many distractions cloud our thinking, bitterness and contemptuous anger affects our relationships more than anything. Left unattended, the festering wounds of guilt and resentment can lead a person into a state of irreparable damage.
Forgiveness is Essential to Survival
How can a person make good decisions when his mind is preoccupied with thoughts of bitterness and/or guilt? One may choose to avoid or ignore such thoughts, but eventually reality rears its ugly head and the tension builds. This tension is good, because it is an indicator that something is not right.
Forgiveness and survival are linked, and without forgiveness true healing is unattainable. Some will choose to live their entire life holed up in a place of brokenness and bitterness. Others are so broken that they choose the extreme and take their own lives. I know several people who have lost all hope. I can only assume that their final choice was rooted in a certain degree of overwhelming guilt, anger, or sorrow that plagued the conscience as a result of various betrayals in life.1
Important Truth- Anger, Though Justified, is a Form of Bondage
It is important and timely to share this truth, especially with those currently stuck in places of bitterness or anger over acts of betrayal. Though a person’s anger may be justified, it is still a form of bondage. This is a topic pertinent to my alternative writings on feminism yet broadly relevant to any person who struggles with forgiveness. No one deserves forgiveness. To forgive and love your enemies requires something rather extraordinary. It is not normal behavior. However, a person who seeks to be truly free is one who pursues this kind of peace in their heart and mind.
The act of forgiving others does not mean that tangible and public justice is neglected. However, forgiveness allows a person to hand over the burden of injustice to the ultimate authority– the One who can right all wrongs. Justice, no matter how long it takes, will eventually be served. My hope in sharing this brief message is that those who seek justice and forgiveness would be encouraged and those who resist forgiveness (either in giving or receiving) consider yielding to the ultimate source of mercy.
Vengeance vs. Mercy
It is easier to hold a grudge than to forgive; it’s easier to blame than to truly seek healing in relationships. It is more convenient to fault a person for what is wrong with ourselves than to face the facts about our own short-comings. Some people hold grudges and bitterness their whole life. I have found this to be a common thread in many who ascribe to feminist ideology, as the world is not fair to the feminist. Therefore, vengeance is sought for all the injustices out there (real or imagined). This attitude of vengeance is not only outwardly destructive, it is inwardly harmful. Holding onto anger and bitterness can lead to a most destructive end. This kind of thinking and behavior may bring short-term satisfaction, but it results in long-term suffering.
Many Radical Feminists End Up Alone Blaming Others
In my research I discovered that many radical feminists end up alone, isolated, and discontented, especially in their latter years. I can only assume that this particular end-state is due to a life of self-righteous, subjective claims that the world has not been fair to them and others are to blame for their predicament. Yet, placing the blame on others only delays the hardship of reality and seeking justice to right the wrongs in this world by sourcing a subjective standard of truth leads one into a state of disillusionment.
How can one even consider justice or forgiveness without a standard of reality in objective truth? Thus, it is only reasonable to start with the truth that we all fall short! No one is innocent, and we have all hurt one another. Some crimes are, of course, more deserving of harsh penalty than others, but it is important that man accepts his own broken nature first before making demands on justice or dealing with the topic of forgiveness. More importantly, withholding forgiveness only hinders man and strengthens his enemy.2
The Greatest, Most Skilled Accuser
Ponder for a moment the greatest and most skilled accuser in the world. This is a cunning, deceptive, and persistent enemy who employs just enough truth in each accusation to confuse and confound those not familiar with such tactics. Without knowledge of one’s enemy, how can one discern and detect these skillful attacks? No, I am not referring to corrupt government officials, morally compromised politicians, or power-hungry leaders. I am drawing your attention to the unseen enemy.
Daily Headlines – Sexual Assault Epidemic
Most of us are aware of the incessant headlines of sexual abuse accusations. It has been horrible watching the downfall of famous names accused of offenses ranging from mild, sexually inappropriate behavior all the way up to the most vicious and depraved sexual crimes. Hollywood seems to be leading the way these days in their “Me Too” movement. Granted, some of these accusations are absolutely justified.
Horrors have ensued in the dark corners and hidden predator networks in our country. It is good to see that justice has come to the perpetrators, particularly those involved in child-sex trafficking. Exploring the work of “Sold No More” and Craig Sawyer’s organization “Vets 4 Child Rescue” provides a decent education about these atrocities.3 Our country is broken in many ways. The world has lost touch with the beauty of natural design in a healthy sexuality.
The innocence of so many young minds has been forever lost. A natural design certainly does exist and yet we have strayed so very far from this truth that our feet have lost touch with the ground all together. The bottom line is, real abuse is a reality in our culture, and considering the advances in technology and growing acceptance of pedophilia (in certain cultures) it is going to get uglier unless good men stand in the gap.
The Harm in the “Me Too” Trend
I can’t help but point out that some will use this “Me Too” trend to harm the innocent. For example, the vindictive and vengeful heart may falsely accuse to seek their reward. I can think of several high-profile false accusations in the media these last few months alone. Those who wish to harm others could use this type of accusation as a weapon. It is significant to note that once a person is accused of this type of crime publicly it is nearly impossible to regain a reputation of innocence.
The stain is in the accusation itself, and our culture is a guilty-before-proven-innocent culture now. I could easily envision bitter feminists using these types of accusations to harm those they hate and gain the advantage of place or power. In fact, I could see any person fueled by a vengeful heart jumping on this opportunity to deceptively hurt others.
The problem is, these false accusations not only destroy the reputation of the accused but ironically make it more difficult for the victims to come forward and be believed. The whole situation is repulsive. The fact that humans are so destructive towards one another is disheartening. Yet, no matter how devastating the crime or broken the situation, pursuing forgiveness and healing is crucial. Despite our desire for harsh justice, even those who are guilty of the most heinous offenses can earnestly seek forgiveness and produce genuine confessions of true repentance.
Tomorrow, we will continue by looking at the influence and power of evil men and how we can address this, the possibility of forgiveness for any act, the key components of forgiveness, and obtaining forgiveness and healing, plus more.
- Clarity of Mind and Survival- Part 2, by The Recovering Feminist (Active on 1/25/18)
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part one of a two part entry for Round 74 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 74 ends on January 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.