How My Beliefs Helped Me To Survive

The last few months have been tough. Objectively I’d say they have been some of the most challenging months I have ever experienced. I am not ready to share the details of what has happened or what is still happening, but today I want to share how I’ve managed to survive and cope while my world came crashing down. Hopefully, you will find some inspiration from my experiences which will help you when the rain starts coming down.

For those of you who are new here, this blog focuses on what I have termed Codist Philosophy. This is a holistic moral and philosophical system that seeks to examine the world around us to find the optimum path to achieving our purpose in life by providing for the welfare of our families and communities. A major focus of this system is on how we as individuals should act to promote this aim. To this end, we have reminded ourselves that each day could lead to death or disaster. We have often talked about concepts such as the Codist Virtues of honour, courage, honesty, patience, temperance, justice, magnanimity and friendliness. Yet often, I have thought that I have failed to capture in words their power and importance.

It is natural to believe that the summer will never end and be surprised by the first winter storm. However, having faced and in many ways being still in the heart of the storm, perhaps I can express more clearly the true power of these concepts, and why having faced the crisis, I am even more convinced of the truth of my precepts.

Essentially about six months ago, I was faced with an unexpected family crisis and forced to choose between continuing in a situation that was detrimental to the welfare of my family or taking a risk to see if we could improve the situation. Consulting my values and beliefs (which I have expressed at some length here), I chose to try for what I’d hoped to be a better solution for my family. Unfortunately, as we well know, life does not always go as we hope it will. In the end, all we really can control is ourselves (Vos can tantum control te).

In this case, my wife chose to take a different path. A path, unfortunately, that has caused a lot of pain to our children, myself and I suspect herself. I could not and all the philosophy in the world can not prevent these horrible things from happening. But what it can do is help us to survive them when they do. In this case, I can credit the values and principles that I live by (and which I have expressed here) with providing me with the moral certitude, which has meant that as I have replayed the events again and again in my head, I have found no reasons to be ashamed.

In fact, quite the opposite has happened, instead of responding to the terrible events with anger, frustration, or vindictiveness. I have been able to maintain what the stoics call eudaimonia or a calm and rational detachment. Whenever I have been faced with a choice between acting in the interests of my family or just striking out to feel better, to my immense pride, I have chosen the path that promoted my family’s long-term welfare. I can’t and won’t pretend that the last few months have been easy (or that I haven’t had the occasional cry), but I can honestly say that making the morally ‘right’ choices have been easy.

The power this moral certainty has given me has been immense. While other people I have known have cracked in similar circumstances, giving way to anger, hate, depression or worse. I have been mostly able to carry on calmly and steadily working to achieve the best outcome for my family. There is a way to go, that is for sure, but thanks to the firm foundation which I have built, I can weather the storm and move forward. Confident that whatever the outcome, I have acted honourably and rightly.


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