This article has been generously contributed for your reading pleasure by David Safewater of Directive 21.
Feeling alone or that you’re the only one who “gets it” is not uncommon for us Preppers. I’m not referring to the stereotypical Doomsday Prep…well, you know what I’m talking about. On the journey toward greater Self-Reliance (The Journey), we often find ourselves saving up for another important purchase, working on that project until we get it right, trying to perfect that recipe so we can move on to the next one, burning more midnight oil through studying, etc. Those periods of learning can be downright difficult at times. Independence has never been won without the ransom being paid…in FULL.
I’ve found that the greatest tool in fighting feelings of loneliness during The Journey is having a network you can call on. If you’re like me, it’s also possible to feel lost in a group of folks. I like what Ex-Navy SEAL David B. Rutherford has said about living the “Team Life”,
You and I are not likely to be training to become SEALs or go through the “hammering sessions” in which those professionals have to become accustomed to thriving. They live a brutal life in their professions and the toll on their personal lives is great. Out of necessity, the bonds forged with their Teammates will propel them along their paths in order to accomplish their missions and never leave one of their own behind.
So, where do you find a swim buddy? Well, if you’re married, I suggest that you remember the commitment you’ve made to your spouse and start there. If you’re having a hard time getting along or if your skies are filled with billowing clouds right now, then remember that greatness was never achieved without exposure to the refiner’s fire, repeated exposure. In all of Creation, the bond between two elements is where Life begins. Joy and sorrow will find their way into every relationship. But, both of those emotions are consequences of actions and not actions in themselves. Work on the actions calculated to bring joy: Service, Compassionate Listening, being Diligent & living with Integrity. The appropriate mindset can be found in this widely attributed quote:
You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.
Look for that opportunity to do one good deed for that person each day…and do it because it makes you feel good and lifts them up, without expecting anything more than the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing right.
My second suggestion for finding a swim buddy would include my advice to avoid the mindset of looking for one. Huh? Yeah, I know it sounds sort of Buddhist or something Confucius say but trust me on this. If you hit the road or virtual roads trying to fit people into your swim buddy jig or template, you’re gonna be like the eternal bachelor who after every first date scares the gal away by telling her that she “fits exactly what I’m looking for in a _______”. Seriously though, as any seasoned hunter will tell you (that isn’t using feeders-sorry I’m not a fan of feeders unless serious population control has to happen; shooting around feeders isn’t hunting, it’s target practice), just put yourself where the prey is or where it will be. Forcing a shot can leave a mess & make for a FAIL. Avoid preventable FAILs by being smart in your strategies & tactics.
Some great spots to find & interact with other like-minded folks include the following:
- American Prepper’s Network (APN)
- Equip2Endure Forum
- Survivalist Boards
- The Survival Podcast Forum and/or Member’s Support Bridage (MSB)
I’ve participated in these forums in the past and highly recommend them all. There are some great folks out there who are humble & willing to help newcomers. To get the most out of interaction on forums, be sure to look for opportunities to help others & be a contributor of info. Cite your sources where possible & enjoy interacting with others. Again, contribute where you can (especially original content) by posting photos of your projects, helpful tips & short-cuts, & valuable feedback. Contributing magically prevents you from becoming an evil lurker or worse yet, a troll.
Interacting with folks in the right places will align you with greater chances of forging at least a couple of worthwhile connections. Participating in moderation will also keep you out of feeling the “funk” of being overwhelmed. There are folks that simply overwhelmed me with info when I first got started on The Journey…those folks had been on their Journeys longer than I had been alive!
One last suggestion, once you’re in the company of folks you dig & trust, remember to keep yourself available for helping a newbie just starting his/her Journey.