Survival mode

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Survival mode

When your main goal is to survive and cope, challenges can burden and overwhelm you every single moment. The longer you struggle, the bigger the impact it has on your personality. You act like a military soldier; focused, hardened, and with no empathy towards other human beings. You are the only one who counts in this world. Your own goals are the only priority. Nothing else matters. You don’t really let any emotions in, but you can display them on a professional level when the situation requires it.

Occasionally, when you accumulate too many unresolved emotions, you need to deal with them. In these moments you just open the tap; the tap of your tears, and let them go while complaining to yourself and feeling miserable. Why don’t you deserve a better life and when do you start to live in the way you wish to live? And then, you close the tap again.

Surviving mode causes losing the integrity of your personality

…You ask these questions of yourself. How long should you exist this way, suffocating your emotions, your instincts, your desire to love and to share? But you decide to continue to be the servant of your will and your supposed higher purpose. You do this for the short-term in order to feel better. You postpone living and put everything into the hope of having something better some day.

Do your achievements deeply satisfy you? Do you derive satisfaction from possessing new things, or reaching a goal that you set for yourself? Not really. These are just tasks; challenges that you want to give yourself. No long-term emotional attachments, just the brief mental satisfaction to say, “ Yes, I’ve done it. I have it.”

How is it possible to break out of this mindset? Well, reaching every major goal that we wanted sounds like an obvious and natural way of ending this panicked survival mode, but will it really work or will you just create other goals to supplant those you’ve accomplished and continue with the struggle? 

Such an awful way to exist. Existence, nothing more.

In this state, your whole being serves your mind. Somehow, for whatever reason, you are fixed on surviving. Every single act, every single word that leaves your mouth is tailored towards a certain goal you want. Nothing is genuine. Your actions are not based on emotions. Everything is pre-planned and pre-calculated; a precisely packaged presentation. Your whole identity is fake; organized around tasks with the belief that it is the only way to move forward. You are a victim of the survival mode in which you have trapped yourself.

In this mindset, the relationships you maintain are only there to solve tasks that you are not able to do alone. Your whole existence, every cell in your body, is focused on surviving. You are very aware of these people’s function for you. In the very first moment you recognize why they are with you and how long it will take them to learn this task and get what you want. If they are on a higher level of self-awareness and they perform well, you are happy. Your goals are on track. If they are not, well, goodbye.

Why do these “function-people” stay with a person like you? Because they have been manipulated? It may sound strange, but manipulation isn’t involved in these cases. It happens with both parties’ subconscious agreement, because they are craving a kind of spiritual, emotional enlightenment; a higher level of consciousness that they can obtain by throwing themselves into a state of self-sacrifice, by willing themselves to give love unconditionally. It works as a kind of karma-relief. This pantomime of love is enacted without deeper questioning about the merits of the recipient. Whether they are worthy or reciprocate the feelings displayed is irrelevant. The recipient is simply on their own learning track, and they are helped by you to improve.

The longer it persists, the more harmful it can be. After many years, this survival mode can become an emotional suicide.

With lots of training and practice you successfully learn how to kill and nip every kind of emotional experience in the bud. With fewer and fewer true emotional reactions, you start to do such terrible things that you’d never been able to even imagine before, because you want to achieve your task and survive. What is needed to finally open your eyes and to break this continuous suicidal circle of the slavery to your mind’s fixation? An accident? A deep depression? Imprisonment? The hope of true love? Or all of them? Or none of them…

A traumatic or near-death experience may wake you up and help you break out, but is it worth waiting for a catastrophy?

In a survival mode you do not keep contact with your feelings


Let’s choose a happy ending.

Let’s say that there is a train that you are traveling on comfortably.  A regular train, that is going in the direction that you want to go. You are a good traveller, and don’t break the rules on this train. Such boring rules. And there is such a long way to go. It is not even guaranteed that you will arrive at your destination. You can’t do anything about it. You just have to wait and obey.

When you try to look out the window, try to imagine life outside of the train, the cabin shakes intensely, trying to remind you that you can’t look out; you can’t have imagination. You can’t have your own thoughts. Obey. It freaks you out and you’d rather jump from it, but you don’t do it. You are afraid that you will lose everything that you have been fighting for, everything you have wanted, the well-known safety and security if you leave it. Do you feel comfortable? There is no reason to complain, right? Your goals are on track. Security is provided. You don’t have to invest energy to express yourself and your emotions in a better way than a child does.

Look outside the train, past the tracks, even if only with your mind’s eye. You have to try to see what is outside. The cabin is shaking more and more at times and you are worrying in every moment that it may derail and tear itself apart. If it doesn’t reach its destination, you are fucked up. Your mind is dissolving during this journey. The train wants to digest you, take away your spirit, your curiosity, your passion, your desire for improvement, and spit you out at the final destination. Would you die slowly on this train? Would you continue this filthy, fixation-controlled life just to survive? What if you jump off? Would you die immediately? Whatever happens, even death is better than travelling on these doomed tracks. You are hesitating with the thought of giving up or surviving. What do you want?

Once it shakes you so badly that you decide to jump off. You’d rather die than travel on this terrible fearful train anymore. You jump off the train whose different lines you used for so many years, and…

…You still exist. No hope, no security net, but you do exist. Broken. Devastated. But still alive somehow. Your whole soul, your whole heart, is trembling. You let go of your fixations. What’s next?

You see the sky. It is beautiful. So many things to discover. Everything is full of life around you. The train has gone. Where are you going now? You feel naked and vulnerable. But this world doesn’t hurt you. The trees… and the flowers around you are full of life. Your heart resonates with their spirits and you see life everywhere. Connecting with this life is simple and easy without going in any particular direction. Take a deep breath. You are free. You are happy to taste the first bites of freedom in your life. Nothing is provided. You need to find yourself in the real world, strike out from your previous mindset. Nothing can hurt you anymore. You let go of the fixation of the survival mode. You’ll survive anyhow.

But now it is time to learn how to live as well.


Livia Evergreen


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