Love must surely be the most powerful of all things. For no matter the distance, or the trials, it remains, strong and enduring…
Love and support one another.
Don’t hold others back.
Don’t put them down.
If you have the opportunity to either lift up someone in need, or put them down, it is ultimately your choice. It should not matter who or what they are. All life is worthy of upliftment. Including yours.
No one should “demand” you love and support them. Nor should you demand they love and support you.
Love and support should come from the heart, it should be natural, in order to be genuine. And because of this, it will benefit both individuals in equality.
When you lift someone else up, don’t expect them to “owe” you for it. If this is the only reason you show “love” towards another person, then really it is not doing good for them at all. It is only for your own self gain.
That is not love. That is not support.
Interestingly enough, doing true acts of love and kindness for another will always benefit both you and them.
Here in this picture was a moment I was blessed to experience, two cheetah cubs supporting each other. Neither seemed to question the action of simply “being there” for the other. They both benefited from this interaction, purring loudly together. I hope this image of selfless support in wild animals will bring thoughts of what love really means for us, and how we can support others in need. No matter who or what they are.
Hope is glorious. Sometimes the greatest struggles we face are actually blessings in themselves, for hope generally shines brightest when we are in our darkest moments. Even if the future looks bleak, find hope in that you are still in the present, and the future has not yet arrived.
And we only reach tomorrow by finishing today.
This beautiful cub lost his mother, thus his future looked very bleak. But he kept going any way, day after day, and found a way to not only survive, but thrive, against the odds. He did not focus only on the bleakness of his future, but just getting through each day, simply by trying.
Today he is a young adult, together with his siblings, hunting on their own despite losing their mother at a young age. And they are living. Still living every day without question that they WILL make it to tomorrow.
Don’t give up hope. Just keep going!
All of us are built to overcome the odds and to thrive.
Be strong. Always be strong. Because you are growing… This is quite a mighty little cheetah cub, for though he is small now, (you can see him in comparison with his mother), one day he will grow to be larger than her.
However this is not going to happen overnight, because he still has to actually GROW. Wherever you are in your life, remember to stay strong, because you are growing. Whatever trials and hardships you face, whatever darkness that you cannot see through, you are growing. You ARE getting stronger. But growing also takes time.
Grow through the weaknesses.
Grow through the fear.
Grow beyond the shortcomings.
And grow above all that might hold you back.
There are so many challenges in life, but every individual has the ability and the power to stay strong, to overcome, and to never give up. We are all growing. But the direction we choose to grow is our choice. And so like this little cub, may we all choose to grow UP, with the desire to always become stronger and better, to not focus on what is negative and what holds us down, but rather how we can grow above such things. There is no cheetah cub I know that grows DOWN. Because there is not one of them that I know, that has ever stopped trying. Neither should any of us.
Gratitude. She had just made a kill. She had worked so hard. And she was so grateful, in that moment, to simply enjoy the accomplishment she had made. This beautiful cheetah did not focus on anything negative about the food she was eating. She showed relief and gratification in her behavior. No matter what other struggles lay ahead of her, she had one thing she was grateful for in that moment… I was reminded of the importance of gratitude the other day. And this image of the cheetah came to mind, as I had watched her struggle for so long to make a kill, and when she finally did, she was simply joyful. We can use this moment in our own lives: try this little experiment now, and every morning when you wake up: instead of allowing one thought of negativity or stress to grab hold of your mind, think instead of one thing you are grateful for. It can be anything, from the ability to hear the birds singing outside, or the warmth of sun coming up, or perhaps it’s simply being happy to have a cup of coffee. (I LOVE coffee, it’s literally drinkable happiness😂) Hold onto that one thought and feeling. You’ll find you cannot feel very negative when gratitude has taken its place as the focus.
Life begins again… All life is precious. And with every new day, there comes with it new life. Do not think so much on what “wasn’t” in yesterday, but try to practice focusing more on “what is” in today. In this moment. Guard your life, your thoughts, your feelings, against unnecessary negativity, just as this mother cheetah guards her cubs from danger. Because it matters. Animals guard themselves against danger, they don’t look for negativity in their lives. I believe that every individual’s mind, body, and soul is as precious and able as a young cub. Perfectly made. Entirely beautiful. And capable of withstanding any trial or fear. We ALL are built to be successful. So allow yourself to feel joy and love, because this good, and all living things deserve to feel such goodness. Allow yourself to except and learn from your shortcomings and mistakes. This mother cheetah did, and her cubs have done the same. Because this is an important step in growth and your success. I think no other animal except humans focus so strongly upon the mistakes and gloom of their lives and the lives of others. Yet at any point, we can choose to focus on the positivity of new life that is surrounding and presenting itself to us, every single day. Life is so important, YOUR life is so important. So live every new day as such.
Observing affection between animals is truly a pure and moving experience. This particular moment was between a mother cheetah and one of her cubs. It was such a sweet moment, but I find that it was also a moment that was powerful and inspiring… Here are two individual, living creatures, and neither of them are controlling the other, both of them have made the conscious decision to show this affection towards each other. And in this, it is a picture of pure affection and caring, because both individuals are choosing to share this with one another. What we can learn from this interaction is this: Each and every one of us is an individual. We each have our own thoughts, our own emotions, our own challenges, and our own experiences. We are all capable of making conscious decisions in our personal lives. To choose to give without expecting anything in return, but giving purely because it is our choice to give. We have no right to control others in their lives and choices. And others have no right to control us in ours. We always have a choice…we can allow others to control us, and manipulate us. Or we can choose to not let them do this. And control ourselves instead. We ACTUALLY get to decide this. We also get to decide how we choose to treat other living beings. We know what’s right and wrong. Choosing to love another should not be done with the expectation that the other MUST give this back in return. Because then we really are only loving for our own self gain. But loving another, with no expectations of them, and then they in return choose to love us in the same way, with no expectations of us, that perhaps must be one the purest form of selfless love. When two individuals choose for themselves to give love and kindness to each other. For no self gain except the happiness that comes from loving another and seeing their joy. That is why this moment of affection between these two wild animals is so remarkable, and I found it to be very meaningful for my own life, and hope it will inspire others as well. Animals truly are a remarkable blessing.
A young cub, watching his mother. He observes every move she makes, knowing one day, he too will become a great hunter. And meanwhile, this cub’s mother is completely aware that she is being watched. But she does not show off anything. Or even feel self conscious. She remains exactly who she is.
Cheetahs, and I notice most animals in the wild, do not complain or judge themselves or how they are made. They actually seem to take pride in it, and do not change themselves for anyone. There are two lessons to observe here:
Watching young animals learn is an amazing experience. Watching them grow, and using what they’ve learned, is even more amazing. But what is the most fascinating of all, is even when these young animals become adults, they just keep learning…I think this is an important lesson for all of to take into consideration. No matter how old we get, or how experienced we become, we should continue trying to learn. Trying new things. There is no learning to much.
Always strive to watch and observe as the young ones do. I think we should listen more to the young of the world, for they have a wisdom that many of us forget as we age. The young so often have an astounding and honest insight.
And the second lesson is this:
Be proud of who you are. You are strong. You are gifted. You are an individual. And that is good. You know what is right and wrong. You know how to do the right thing. Trust in yourself a little more, and learn from your mistakes. Do not worry so much about who is watching, because you know who you are already. No one else can tell you. This should make us all feel inspired, because if who we are is being watched, then what a wonderful opportunity to give another the chance to learn from us. And then in the same way, let us all be like a cheetah cub, and learn something new every day.
These little ones are going on an adventure, they are off to enjoy the world, and feel no pressure from anything that might judge them, because they know themselves. And they focus on their own lives. Having fun, did you know it’s important? We see so many young animals having fun, despite a wild world they have to survive in. They still take time to enjoy life.
As long as we are alive, we should be LIVING. We are not intended to live our lives in rigidity. No one should ever be afraid or to proper to try, to participate, to take a risk. No one should ever be so concerned about what others will think or say, because, what others think or say is their choice and their issue, not ours. We have enough to make enough choices about for ourselves as it is, so worrying about what another person is doing or saying or thinking really does not even make sense. Why waste time trying to figure out if someone is judging you? Why try to force someone else to think differently? Let them make their choices and learn from them. And we can do the same for ourselves. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. How many times do you think these little cheetah cubs tried to climb, or to hunt? How many times do you think they made a mistake and failed? But did they stop trying? No, they kept trying, and they continued learning from their mistakes, until they finally succeeded. They did not dwell on what they did wrong, but accepted it, and learned from it. And then they had fun. They always took time to have fun. So go forth, like these cubs, and go on an adventure. Just try. You might fall a couple times. But you can get back up. Try again. And just have fun, enjoy the journey, and keep going. Because the end of the journey is worth it.
This was a picture I often scrolled over when going through my photos. It just wasn’t one I thought much of. But then I took a moment to really study it, and contemplated the memory I have when I took it… And I realized it holds quite a powerful message: This cheetah is a picture of success. But this is not the normal, heroic image we have in our minds when we consider what it means to be successful. Looking into her eyes one sees the struggles and terrors she had faced to arrive in this moment. This cheetah is haggard and exhausted. She has pushed herself to the limit…
This is often what true success looks like. Success takes dedication and effort, it takes much pain and turmoil, and it can take many failures. It can seem so hopeless and bleak at times. Let’s be honest, bad things happen. Yet what this picture shows me, and what this cheetah wordlessly tells me, is that through these difficulties we ALL face, we CAN get through it. This cheetah, like most wild animals, had to fight every single day to achieve her goal…which was simply to live. She often went hungry. She would face the cold nights, the freezing rains, the blazing sun, and the terror of larger predators that wanted to kill her. But here, depicted in this image, I believe is what victory should be when we have put in the true dedication to reach our goals…we don’t always come out looking like heros with beams of light shining on us…
We carry scars and weariness, but with these, comes a silent declaration of undoubtable power. This cheetah does not speak or boast of her success, because seeing her is enough to hear the story she tells. And so it should, and will be, for all of us who never give up.
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.