Stories are written by the survivors. But what did they do to survive? How did they survive? And what stories do they have to offer?
Now to understand a survivor we need to break them down first. See what they are made of. Flesh and bone aside.
Survivors are those who are not scared to bare themselves to nature. To bend and mould themselves to the will of the wild. One either bows or gets trampled beneath.
The wild is cruel. It strips you of everything you have. From the clothes on your back to the strength in your arms. You have no choice but to play along with its wicked games.
At the mercy of the unknown.
This is when we start bargaining with God. Times to settle the debts between you and the Holy Saviour. We gamble and we bargain, asking them to save us from this situation. We ask for a miracle, to fly us away from here and wish it away as a nightmare and nothing more.
But there is only silence. No miracles, no voices from the sky.
And ironically, just when you think things couldn’t get any worse…they do. And they get worse some more. And somehow, they don’t stop?
They push you and trip you. They single you out and starve you. They spin you in circles till you get dizzy and bleed.
These are the trials one must face. And a survivor is not one to back down from them. They do not wait for people to come and save them. They are their own saviours and nothing will stop them. They will push back no matter how many times they are thrown down.
Like the waves that crash against the shore, again and again, a broken rib or a mangled foot while covered in their own blood, is not going to stop them from moving forward. The trees, their crutch and the moss, cushion to break their fall.
But the wild doesn’t always protect them.
They will fall. They must fall. For the suffering, makes them a survivor.
And when they fall and the pain flares through their entire body, and screams are clawing at their lips to be let free, then what? That is when the lion resting in their chest roars, and the scream dons the attire of a battle cry as it leaves their throat.
This is when the survivor is reborn. If the fates want to play, they are ready.
They do not accept defeat and give up. They would pull out their own rib with their right hand, to have a chance at writing their destiny.
Survivors are those who know that their pain will come to an end.
They reach out to god again. But this time, in acceptance. In prayer. It is just your naked body, the fire in your heart and an ask for guidance.
The wild is not an enemy. It is a teacher. A looking glass to show you the bigger picture. ‘Chocolate, or vanilla?’ boils down to ‘Should I forgive, or do I hold onto that grudge?’, ‘Do I need to be nicer from now, or do I need to stand up for myself more?’.
Pain takes its leave, hunger calms down and the soul is now free. One can now focus on reaching the end.
How long? Does not matter. They will get there.
Will they get hurt again? Maybe. But they can deal with it.
Will they make it out for sure? That’s not an answer they have. But they damn well will give it their all to reach the end of this trial!
Fate wanted to play a game, so they played. It broke them down and built them up. Stronger, wiser and mightier than before.
In a survivor’s life, there is no room for sitting around and waiting for someone to save you.
You save yourself.
Survival is not a competition. You do not need to live in the woods or get stranded in a desert to get rewarded the title of “survivor”. We face hardships in our lives every day. Some face them more than others. Any pain and suffering one endures as they come out the other end makes them a survivor. We fight our own battles every day and we make it to the next day wiser than before. And for that, we are all Survivors.
The above article is inspired by the book Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis.