In October 2013, I first looked into the white, blinded eyes of a Sun Bear that had been abused at the hands of man. The bear was cringing in a tiny cage, suffering from a skin disease and very, very afraid. I began to feel how I would feel if I was trapped behind bars.
My own life has not been easy. I did not know how to express myself or set limits. I felt needy, and hungered to feel acceptance, love and to simply be seen and heard. I told myself that if I strived for perfection, did the work that others told me was ‘realistic’ and put the needs of other people before my own, I would be loved. So, I lived someone else’s life instead of my own, and it ended in my suffering a mental breakdown.
I did what others told me was necessary in order to realize my own dreams. But because I wasn’t following my own heart, a little piece of me died every day. I became more and more unhappy, had a hard time smiling or having fun, and became stuck in my role as a victim. In the end, I lost my sense of purpose and direction to realize my goal as a champion for the rights of wildlife and helping them regain their natural lives.
Finally, in 2018, I began to learn to love myself, including my mistakes and my ‘failures’. I looked my fears in the eye and stopped striving for absolute perfection and the idea that everything had to be ‘just right’ before I – and my cause – could be taken seriously. I have met a lot of people that advised me to focus on the animals and not let personal relationships and old baggage interfere with may passion for animal rights.
I worked so hard to realize my dreams that I ignored very real challenges in my personal life. The result was a mental breakdown. Everyone has a past. How can we save anyone else – or the wild animals, when we ourselves need rescuing? I now believe that it is not possible to help anyone or anything until we face our own hidden demons.
I created this blog to share the footsteps I have taken in the past and those I am taking even as you read these words. I believe that they are intertwined, and hope that my reflection will encourage you to look inside your own heart and fight for your own dreams. I am fighting for my rights as a human being, and those of every wild animal.
The animals are my heart’s greatest teachers.
I hope you will follow my journey here.
And I hope to see you out there someday, living your dream. 😊