When I was working my corporate oil job in Calgary, Canada, for a private environmental consulting firm, I had a great idea to raise money for MS while running a marathon in Hawaii. I naively asked the owner of my company how I would go about getting sponsored to run the race. He made a deal with me on the spot, saying that whatever I raised for MS, he would match to pay for my expenses.
The plan totally worked and I got to do the marathon in Hawaii, all expenses paid and give a good chunk of cash to the MS Society of Canada. Upon my return, he gave me a small gift to show support for my efforts. It was a framed photo with a person running up the side of a mountain, with a quote that said, “There are few people on the last miles of your journey.” or something to that effect, saying, if you go the distance, you’ll likely not be part of the pack.
This can happen when your climate change curiosity starts to peak and you are convinced that if we don’t do something now, there will be dire consequences for future generations…and your family or friends think you’re kind of crazy. You feel alone and it gets hard.
But this is where we must not give up. This is exactly the place where we must continue on, regardless of the lack of popularity or support. You got to this place by learning, believing, knowing and making new values. It’s a part of who you’ve become, so you can’t give up now.
Here are some things that might happen when you feel like quitting:
- You’re so tired you want to quit – but really you just need a break, because you’re values aren’t going to change and they need to be nurtured. Try unplugging, skipping a meeting, don’t keep up to date with the news for however long it takes to reset. Honour yourself and the time it takes to recalibrate.
- You’re so bitter/angry/sad/hopeless you want to quit – this indicates you need a recharge with your connection to nature and life force energy. Taking the time to connect: journaling, meditating, walking in the woods, putting your feet in the grass, dancing, listening to uplifting podcasts, watching positive feel good movies will help shift your perspective back to the can-do attitude with compassion for others in this great transformation.
- You feel alone and unsupported – this one requires that maybe you need to step outside your comfort zone and find some like-minded strangers and turn them into friends on the same mission. Sign up to FB groups, begin chats. Go to your local Green Drinks monthly meetup. Sign up to volunteer, even just once, for a local organization to surround yourself with the people who care about the same things as you. I promise this is hard to do the first time, but it is guaranteed to get you a new friend and it gets way easier after the first time. You can do it!
- The guilt of not being eco-perfect is causing a divide in your relationships – when this happens you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You and everyone else is doing their best, even if you think they are lazy slackers or you feel like one yourself. Life is a journey not a destination and it’s about learning to be present, and loving in the moment. Focus on that and know that you alone cannot make the world right, but together we can make the world better. Guilt will get you nowhere but negative town.
As they say, quitters never win and winners never quit. So invest in your self worth, self love and give yourself the space and time to be the best you. “Keep going for your dreams, because the world needs that special gift that only you have.” Marie Forleo