Rushville Republican

Entertainment

July 15, 2014

Book Review: 'Supersurvivors'

You’re not sure if you’ll ever recover.

The loss of job or a business. The loss of a lifelong dream. The loss of your health or the life of someone you love. Without a doubt, you’ll never be the same. It’s the worst thing that could ever happen to you.

Or is it? Studies show that, depending on several factors, hardship may be beneficial and may even strengthen you. Find out how in the new book “Supersurvivors” by David B. Feldman, PhD & Lee Daniel Kravetz.

Some thirteen million people, world-wide, are diagnosed each year with cancer. Around ten million suffer brain injuries. Fifty million survive traffic accidents. The U.N. says that one-third of the worlds’ women will be abused at some point in their lives. About twenty-five percent of these people will suffer from PTSD.

Yes, bad things happen to good people and trauma occurs somewhere daily. “Suffering is real,” the authors point out, but so is resiliency. Some folks, however, don’t just bounce back; they “bounce forward…”

The authors call them “supersurvivors” – people who “refocus their energies” after a traumatic, life-altering event to achieve “some degree of positive change” from it. Their worst-case scenario turns around to become their best.

Not surprisingly, supersurvivors share several common traits.

Undoubtedly, they’re urged to think positively, but they don’t rely on it and may reject it completely in order to think realistically with “grounded hope.” They’re often told not to give up, but they understand that quitting is sometimes the only way to move forward. They acknowledge risk but utilize “comparative optimism” to carefully choose what happens next in life. Their belief in controlling their own destiny motivates them when they fail.

Supersurvivors often hold a different “assumptive worldview” than most of us, and are able to “accommodate” a new normal within an old life. They look deep into beliefs of a higher power, and make peace with what they find. They have a strong support system, whether perceived or real. And supersurvivors know that forgiveness is essential for moving on – especially if it means forgiving themselves.

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