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I often feel guilty for not getting involved in politics or not fighting to save the rainforest.
However, whenever I think about trying a wave of exhaustion rolls over me; it feels too big, too overwhelming.
And then, when I developed adrenal fatigue, I had a legitimate excuse; it really was too big and overwhelming. My body’s system was shutting down because I was fighting too hard to change my external environment.
I am now happy to report that I am in recovery from adrenal fatigue, and the main reason is because I learned that for real change to occur in my life and my environment, I had to address my environment from the inside out.
My environment (and yours too) is only a reflection of my internal landscape.
For example, railing against the head of a soy company (one of the main contributors to deforestation) for cutting down the trees in the rainforest isn’t going to make any difference until I recognize the part of myself that is destructive to myself, and change my own relationship with that part of me—such as when I eat gluten despite my allergy to it.
Gluten is toxic to my body; when I eat it, I am physically damaging my body in the same way that the CEO of the soy company is damaging the environment.
Until I address my desire to eat it despite the fact that I know it is toxic for me, I will make no progress in preventing the destruction of the rainforest. Furthermore, it won’t work to simply strong-arm or shame myself into not eating it; I have to empathize, love, and accept the part of myself that wants to eat gluten. In fact, if I try to strong-arm myself into not eating it, I get stressed and my adrenal fatigue acts up and causes a whole host of other problems.
In order to make progress I have to recognize that change is hard; to recognize that even if there are equally good gluten alternatives, the convenience of doing what I’ve always done is going to be a hard habit to break. I need to love and forgive myself for hurting myself when I do eat gluten, and I need to accept the slow and healthy rate of change that my emotional state of being is willing to take.
And only after I have enacted and made peace with this process can I begin to address the rainforest.
To do so, I need to remember that the CEO of the soy company is also me.
When I’m talking to the CEO of a soy company who is cutting down the rainforest, I need to remember that change is hard, that even if there are equally good alternatives to destroying the rainforest, the convenience of doing what they have always done is going to be a hard habit to break. I need to love and forgive him (or her) for hurting our environment, and I need to accept the slow rate of change they are willing to make.
Until I am able to love and address the people cutting down the rainforest as a part of myself and empathize with them, I will not make any progress in saving the rainforest.
So the next time you are railing against the treatment of livestock, or President Trump, ask yourself: how am I treating myself like Trump is treating the country right now and how do I address that part of myself in a way that I will listen?
The change starts from within.