The importance of looking to the future in troubled times.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, written by Heather Morris is an exposeé of a young man’s story of surviving the Holocaust based on true events. In the early chapters, he made a promise to himself, that he will get out of this place alive.
Often when we are faced with adverse circumstances, like a pandemic or war, our normal lives and routines are suddenly interrupted. Not unlike a traumatic, life-altering event, it is essential to note that we will go through a “mourning process” of our old life. As the well-known author and expert, Dr Kübler-Ross said, our lives will never be the same and nor do we want it to be.
In storytelling, there is always a beginning, middle and end. Specific genres have fundamental rhythms and recipes to make them work. In a thriller, tension, anxiety, suspense and the unknown are critical parts of the narrative. At this current moment, it’s hard to tell the difference between a TV series and the news, and it seems almost unreal that we are self-isolating and life as we know it has stopped for an indeterminate time.
Another vital part of a story is the middle part, the chaotic, nothing makes sense, questioning the meaning of it all, devastating section. This is also the part where profound loss settles into the soul. When efforts seem futile, and the real consequences are felt. People are dying, displaced and left to their own devices for survival. Enter - the all is lost moment. The protagonist can no longer go on, burnout fatigue, completely depleted of energy, and just then, a lifeline appears. Someone offers a kind word, a way out or a spiritual connection that leads them to personal victory.
The tattooist in the novel made a promise to himself to survive, no matter the circumstances.
What do you want to be in the future when this is all done?
How can you accomplish this now in a safe and resourceful way?
Things won’t ever be the same after this, so what changes are you looking forward to?
Perhaps a renewed appreciation for the environment, family and your inner strength. Innovations in technology to make work from home more comfortable and more accessible from previous thinking. Imagine all the life skills that we can acquire from home baking to switching to reusable items to stay away from the stores for a while.
Our spending habits will likely change also. What do we need to be happy?
Traumas change us, that part is known. However, we have some control over HOW it will change us.
As in loss, we won’t feel empowered or goal-oriented every day. Loss and trauma come in ebbs and flow. Writing down our feelings day by day will help to keep our minds from overthinking and settling into deep anxiety. When we write down and reflect on our entries, it’s also easier to see where our triggers lie to bring us into an anxious state.
Awareness and future goal setting are some of the foundations of getting through troubled times.
Keep journaling; keep growing.
Disclaimer: We have not received compensation of any kind for items mentioned in this post. The opinions are our own and for illustration purposes only.