Is Your Well-Being Caving In? Look to the Thai Rescue

By Marilynn Preston

July 17, 2018 6 min read

Like millions of people around the world, I was riveted to the recent rescue of the 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach who had been trapped in the deepest, darkest, most terrifying recesses of Tham Luang cave.

I marveled at the bravery, pored over the escape route and tried many times over to pronounce the name of the Thai king, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, without losing consciousness.

In the end, a miracle! A magnificent multinational effort to do the impossible. The Wild Boars came out alive! OK, they needed a little anti-anxiety medication: being hauled underwater, for hours, in the dark, over treacherous terrain, in a plastic cocoon, breathing through a face mask, wouldn't you?

One Thai volunteer diver, Saman Gunan, died, which was tragic. But this was such an astonishing story of courage, determination and success against all odds that it shouted out "healthy lifestyle column," with lessons to be learned about attaining and sustaining our own personal well-being.

LESSON 1: NEVER GIVE UP. A positive attitude is everything, whether you're trying to lose 30 pounds or recover 12 lost boys. You have to believe it's possible — and be willing to do the work to make it happen.

According to The New York Times, 10,000 people from many countries were involved in the rescue, including 2,000 soldiers, 200 divers and representatives from 100 government agencies. (Bureaucrats, take a bow.)

They worked as a team and refused to give up. If one route was impassable, they'd find another. Every obstacle was overcome. The killer current, the teeth-chattering cold, the total darkness, the lack of oxygen, boys who couldn't swim — and the never-ending threat of more rain, more water, more flooding.

Your personal struggle with your own well-being may feel trivial by comparison, but you know what? It isn't.

You've got your own obstacles to overcome. You need your own strength, courage, resilience. You, too, need to face your challenges, moment by moment, breath by breath. No one can do it for you.

So what are the obstacles you're looking at when it comes to saving yourself from obesity, diabetes, heart disease? Find your inner strength. Don't give up. Believe in your ability to succeed. That's what the Tham Luang cave rescue teaches us. Stay focused, think positive... and find your way out of a life-threatening situation.

LESSON 2: GET HELP. The boys and their coach did everything they could to help themselves. But ultimately, they had to depend on a team of rescuers to get them out. There's no substitute for human interaction, driven by kindness and caring.

"Extraordinary things can happen simply when ordinary folks come together; when our intentions converge," CoffeeYen of Taiwan commented on one of the sites I visited. "Let's continue to remind one another of our shared humanity."

When it comes to your own well-being, who's on your support team? Name the names. You need some real friends in your life — not just Facebook followers — to talk to and play with if you want to live a happier, healthier lifestyle.

And what about your health care team? If you're living with despair and depression and see no way out of your dark cave, let the story of the Wild Boars inspire you to get help. Good people are out there, and with grace and effort, you'll find them.

LESSON 3: BELIEVE IN LIGHT AT THE END OF TUNNELS. One reason the Tham Luang cave rescue touched so many hearts is because so many hearts are longing to be touched these days, looking for signs of hope, of harmony, of intentional cooperation:

"Elsewhere, atrocities and hate devour us, but here, as one Thai official said, love came forward and won the day," commented Michael Treleavan.

From Barry Meter: "It is difficult to express what this means at a time when one's belief in the goodness, the love, the grace of humanity is so sorely under siege."

"All agree the Thailand people are quite special," wrote Lucille Carden, "and, of course, the root cause of this is their practice of compassion. For it is compassion that the world needs now. And love."

It's what your personal well-being needs, too: compassion, love and, every now and then, an abundance of outrageous good fortune.

ENERGY EXPRESS-O! SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE

"It doesn't matter how deep the caves may be, because what's deeper is the depth of benevolence and kind hearts." — Thai Mission to the United Nations

Marilynn Preston is the author of Energy Express, America's longest-running healthy lifestyle column. Her new book "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being" is available now on Amazon and elsewhere. Visit Creators Publishing at creators.com/books/all-is-well to learn more. For more on personal well-being, visit www.MarilynnPreston.com.

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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