Many people we’ve met who claim they want the survivalist lifestyle are in complete shock when they come to realize that this isn’t suburbia with different scenery. It requires a complete change from most peoples’ current lifestyle and mindset.
Life in the wilderness is closely aligned with nature, the direct opposite of what we have been conditioned to accept as urban/suburban life. If you live in an air conditioned home, work in an air-conditioned office, drive in an air conditioned car, with artificial lights all around…it would be hard to more disconnected from nature than you are right now.
Living in your survivalist retreat doesn’t mean you just pick up your whole suburban life and move it to a different location. If you need to hang on to having a supermarket down the block, don’t move from where you are. If your retreat is in the desert and you really want to have a lawn, don’t move from where you are. If you can’t start the day without your economy sized bag of fruity-loops, don’t move from where you are. If you can’t be bothered filling the wood stove all night and really need to flick a switch to turn up the heat, don’t move from where you are.
Were not saying that people cannot adjust, what we are saying is the adjustment is easier if you see it coming.
The things that you are likely to miss in the suburban world are easily replaceable with activities that we enjoy here. Place in your mind’s eye a picture of life that is sustainable and comfortable. If you can achieve that vision, the activities that you now enjoy in your suburban lifestyle will be transformed into new ones once you live this life for real.
We enjoy going to the green house to water the produce and see it’s progress throughout the summer. We enjoy feeding the chickens, goats, cats, dogs and ourselves. We enjoy watching the sun rise and seeing the shadows change the mountains during the day. You will find new joys, too.
A very strong tool that TPTB use against us is what our self image is. Most never know their own minds. As Oscar Wilde said, “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” This is as true now as it was in the 19th century. Our thoughts of what our lives should look like are thoughts that are not totally our own.
If you are living in the world, chances are you are defining yourself by what car you drive as compared to your neighbor’s, how much money you make, and how big your plasma screen TV is. When none of that matters, you will find a new definition of yourself based on YOUR own abilities to live a life connected to nature and benefiting yourself and it won’t matter what anyone else thinks – you’ll know you’ve done well.
We’ve seen lots of people disappointed by creating in their minds a false ideal or a fanciful dream of what the survivalist life looks like, and then watched them pack up and move back to the urban/suburban worlds all because they wanted it to be a certain way and that way was not in harmony with the reality.
I remember someone telling me that she did not know what she would do with out a Trader Joe’s near by. That is a legitimate concern for some, and we are not being sarcastic. What we are saying is that if your life needs certain things and those things are not at your survival location or not available there you’ll need to learn to live without them.
Hanging on to your urban/suburban lifestyle will inhibit your seeing the beauty around you, and the peace and freedom of being self-sufficient, relying on no one other than yourself, and finding out how much you can truly accomplish.
Dan and Sheila are the authors of Surviving Survivalism – How to Avoid Survivalism Culture Shock and hosts of the free podcast, Still Surviving with Dan and Sheila, both available at http://survivingsurvivalism.com. For information about their survival community, or for other questions, they can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .