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You don’t have to save the world

You can’t turn on the news without getting an earful of disaster porn. Climate change, political division, the opioid crisis, people screaming, terrible TikTok videos - it all weighs down on us like a 50-lb blanket that someone lit on fire.

If you’re like me, you often ask yourself what you can do to make the situation better. What can we do to save the world? Well, we can’t.

Of course, you want to tread lightly on this world. Of course, you want what’s best for all mankind. But here’s the truth: the world will be fine. Our beautiful planet has been flooded, frozen, and even hit by a goddamn meteor - and it’s still standing. It’s built to heal and repair itself.

Humanity, on the other hand . . . well, we could use that same wisdom as Mother Earth. It’s time we healed ourselves. What if we bring more self-love into our lives?

I was (accidentally) watching former President Trump rant and rail about his favorite topic, how the election was stolen from him, and I found myself wondering who hurt him so badly. What happened in his childhood that skewed his perception of living in a loving world? I actually felt sorry for the guy.

Maybe all the yelling and screaming and doomsaying is a wake-up call for us to return to love; love for ourselves and love for each other. You don’t have to save the world, you have to save yourself.

What does that mean?

  1. Identify the shitty situation. It could be a toxic relationship, a bad job or an empty marriage. What’s the issue and what’s the deeper issue underneath? Is it your feeling of worthiness? Is it you feel you don’t deserve better? If you need to, give yourself permission to leave that situation without guilt.

  2. Get rid of poisonous people. You know that one friend you wouldn’t trust with a dead cactus? Or the family member who always points out your faults? Here’s a secret - you do NOT have to be around them. Get rid of the friend. Don’t visit the family member. Set up some boundaries to keep the toxins out of your space. You would never intentionally breathe in poison.

  3. Change things up. This might be rearranging your home, throwing out old clothes or creating a space that’s all your own. It might mean finding a new restaurant or a vibrant community where you feel at home. Doing one thing differently every day can really add up to a new way of looking at the world.

  4. Work with a life coach or therapist. Sometimes you can’t see your own blockages and it takes another person to point out where you might be limiting your life. We get stuck in the groove of our crappy reality and think that’s where we have to stay. A coach or therapist can help you get out.

  5. Allow yourself to feel. Feelings aren’t good, bad or ugly. They’re just feelings. When you deny your anger, your sadness, or even your love, you’re cutting yourself off from the truth of who you are. Maybe spend one day writing all the emotions you feel, and the situation and a way to address it. For instance: 10 a.m. I’m feeling bored. Work is really slow today. Maybe I’ll take a walk around the building and get some fresh air.

  6. Do things you love. Maybe you’re struggling with purpose or feel like life isn’t working out the way it’s supposed to. The more you wallow in those thoughts, the deeper you become entrenched. Do (at least) one thing you love every damn day. Dance, sing, bake, watch silly YouTube videos, read, journal, hike, bike, run, swim, sculpt, paint, draw, nap, listen to music - anything that connects you to your true Self.

Once you turn loving attention to yourself, you’ll find more things work out. More opportunities come your way. More experiences show up in your life.

If everyone took the time to save themselves, we would absolutely save the world.

Peri Kinder is the owner of Life & Laughter Coaching. She's a happiness coach, yoga and meditation instructor, and award-winning freelance writer.

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