Thursday, September 11, 2014

Guest Post: Why I Stopped Trying to Save the World

As I've mentioned before, I simply love the idea of collaboration. There are people everywhere equipped with amazing skills which, when joined together with your own skill set, can create some amazing things. 

Christal is an absolutely amazing lady! Her bio reads as follows:
Christal Earle is an author, speaker, life coach and social entrepreneur. You can find her at and for a limited time, she is offering a free 30 Day E-course called 30 Days to Change Your Ways.

This little blurb just doesn't do her justice! We've shared life changing experiences, been side by side on extremely long flights with limited water, and we've had to figure out wifi in foreign airports where we painted with quills near a babbling, fogging pond. Needless to say, our history is quite random, full of adventure, and many moments sharing stories and encouragement. I was honoured when she approached me with the idea of sharing blogs with our various audiences and I am SO looking forward to you lovely folks being able to experience Christal's writing! She is an amazing lady and I know you'll love what she has to say! Be sure to sign up for the FREE e-course! I know I am!

I once had a friend give me a t-shirt that said, "Little Miss Save the World". I wish I still had it. I donated it to the Salvation Army so it's probably on a 12 year old boy riding a bike somewhere in the mountains of Ecuador right now. I hope it gets him as many compliments as I got from it. He will probably be taken just as seriously as me in that shirt and because it's in another language, probably just as many people will take it's message to heart. 

When I first woke up to what was going on in the world around me, I was like a tornado of altruism. I wanted to change the world, I wanted to save everything and I wanted to have the deep down, feel good warmth that came from knowing I was doing the right thing.
Fifteen years later, after starting a successful youth empowerment charity focused on humanitarianism, I still do. I am not involved with that charity on a day to day level anymore, but I still believe in the power of the message that it carries and the people that give their passion and energy to make it happen. Live Different, you are my first born and I will always love you with a mother's heart.

However, along the way, something finally woke up inside of me that I had successfully managed to put back to sleep many times over the years. After a roller coaster of loss and relationship failures and a five year monkey wrench into my plans of moving on with my life, I had nothing left to sacrifice. Literally. I had no money, no time, no resources, and no emotional strength left to keep on frantically giving 101% while laying myself on the alter for the sake of changing the world and keeping up with the world's most unrealistic person: me.

It was a painful, humbling realization to face, let alone embrace. I had thought I was being backed into a corner by other people's expectations of who I should be, what I should do, and how relentlessly altruistic my head space should be. But here's the underlying irony of it all: the only expectations that were there were the ones I had heaped upon myself, time and again. 
That's it. I had created this idea of what it meant to truly make a difference and to make my life count. But those ideas never answered one burning question that was continually poking and prodding at my heart:

Was I ever going to feel 'enough'? 

Was I ever going to feel like I was doing enough or that I was being enough? If everything was stripped away, would there even be anything left of Christal that the world wanted and that I was ok with?
At first I couldn't answer those questions; they were too big, too scary. Too real.
But courage had to start with the first step of remembering why answering those questions is important to me: because I am important.  I have to be ok with embracing that foundational truth in everything I do. I am here to fulfill a greater purpose and to bring my passion for hope and change to the world, but not at the cost of me. 
And in the end, that is the most unselfish choice I can bring to a world that welcomes what I bring: the best version of me possible.

Do you struggle with the emotional pull between wanting to feel like you are making a difference in the world and still able to live your life without guilt or regret? Me too. I think that to acknowledge the struggle is to acknowledge the depth of our passion for hope and love and is proof to each of us that we are on the right path. But just because the struggle might always be there doesn't mean we are left powerless in light of it. 
On the contrary, we hold the power to make the decision about who we are going to be. 

Here's what I found out that changed everything for me:

1. Being a voice for hope and change is not a competition. There is no shiny cup waiting at the end, nor is there any reason that there should be. We make our decisions based on honouring ourselves because we are worth making the right choices and adding dignity to the world around us. The competitor nemesis inside of us will try from time to time to tell us that we are now in the lead or better pick up our pace so that we can look good. Don't listen. Do what is within your power and conviction to do. 

2. There is nothing to prove. Do nothing out of obligation, do everything out of love. Love wins every time. Obligation is looking for a loser to beat up.

3. Do it because it is congruent with who you are, never for any other reason. 

4. Honour your word once you decide you are going to do something. Honour it because you are worth keeping the commitment to -- and if you can keep your commitments to yourself than you will have clarity to see where your time, energy and love is best directed.

5. Never, ever forget that no matter what happens, no matter where you go or how much you accomplish in this life, your worth will never, ever be attached to it. Because you added value to this world the moment you took your first breath. The rest is just icing for us to appreciate about you. 

You are enough and that enough-ness doesn't need to be proven or can't ever be taken from you. 

We need you to be best version of you that is possible, and the only way we will get that from you is if you allow yourself to accept that you are enough. From that place is where the inspiration and ideas can flow and we will all reap the benefits.

Thanks for being enough.

And if you ever see that kid wearing my shirt when you are out there in the world….tell him I miss it :)


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