I was out one morning, checking up on a cheetah named Ava.
I had come to know Ava so well, I could often find her without even tracking. I knew her well enough to go directly to the area she would most likely be in, depending on the weather, how much she had hunted, and whether or not she had caught anything.
She has always been one of my closest “friends” among the wild animals. Ava probably taught me the most about myself of all the cheetahs I’ve come to know.
When I found Ava, she was lying comfortably in the morning sun. Watching me. She had seen from afar. And having become so accustomed to her, and her ways, I had spotted her from a long ways as well.
I came close. And Ava purred a greeting. As she always did.
It was an extremely peaceful moment. I had Ava’s respect, and she had mine. And so with her, I knew I could squat down where I was, and she would not be bothered. As I did, Ava shifted to a even more laid back position. And for a few moments, we both had our own thoughts. Observing the awakening world around us.
It can be a extremely difficult task to reach a point of feeling at peace with yourself. Especially when, all around, you are constantly being overwhelmed by negativity coming from others or unpleasant happenings and circumstances.
The issue tends to be, we as individuals think we can control others and events.
We think can convince others to change their ways, that if we just keep trying, they will finally listen.
Problem is, no matter how nasty and truly wrong another person might be, we cannot simply change them.
We can’t force them to stop.
We can’t force them to change.
But that’s not our job anyway.
This does not mean we have to cease giving guidance and advice where needed, or love. But it’s not our job to just give these things because it’s demanded.
It’s our choice.
No one should force us to give these things.
So we should never force others to give these things either.
Or to simply change because we want them to.
Finding peace with yourself means you can except what you can do, and what you cannot force to change. Life is going to happen whether you except it or not. But how you live your life, and the choices you make while you live, is ultimately your choice.
You can make a mistake.
Guess what? It’s actually ok.
Because you can choose to fix it.
You can be successful too.
And you can choose to enjoy it.
This is also ok.
From day one, I observed how at peace Ava was with herself.
There was no action or circumstance that ever had an effect on her. Because she knew herself.
She knew what she could control. And excepted what she couldn’t. When she missed her prey, she excepted the outcome and tried again.
And it was her choice.
When a new cheetah entered her territory, she faced it, and then they both went their separate ways.
She excepted the circumstances that could not be changed.
And even when Ava was relocated and released onto a brand new reserve…I will never forget how she stepped out of the crate, took everything in around her…and made her choice to except it.
And keep living.
And to be at peace with it.