This is something I hear very often from people who are very sensitive and wear their heart on their sleeve. I happen to be one of them, too vulnerable for this world.
I would never tell anyone to ignore the pain and hurt that is inside of us, it’s something that is too big and too important to be ignored. After all, knowing what we know is not easy. Before we were vegan, we could look away and push everything back in our head, we could just pretend that it is not happening and that that’s just the way life is.
We grew up thinking that animals are here for us, at least some of them and that they love to give us their body for use. No one said anything that would make us question this, so we accepted it as a fact and moved on.
Until we opened our eyes and became aware of what we have been supporting all those years. It has taken us almost all of our lives to realize that slaughtering animals is not normal and okay.
And now that we know what we have been supporting all those years, we are broken and horrified of ourselves. How on Earth could we be so ignorant and cruel? What kind of evil maniac has been living inside of us?
And yet – here we are.
With our eyes open and our heart cracked, ready to feel everything because somehow this will help the world. Being vulnerable and able to cry. Because being cruel and tough doesn’t work and never has, so we challenge what we were taught and we crack open our heart and search for death and suffering just to witness the truth that we have been hiding from.
But it doesn’t make us happy, and yet we continue doing it, hoping that it will inspire others to do the same, hoping that people will want to know how their actions affect others and hoping that they will want to change.
But they look at us in disgust and anger and rage. They think we are too radical, that our truth is too drastic and not realistic. They make fun of us and put us down for caring, for loving, for having hope. And we pretend we are fine and strong, that their words can do us no harm, but inside we suffer and we are building a wall of anger that will protect us from them.
That’s what we think at least. But we crumble and fall in the intimacy of our home, only to get back up and walk through the door as nothing has happened.
And I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to fall and cry. It is perfectly normal to break down and lose hope. It is okay to snap at someone and feel like a failure. You are human! Do you hear me? You are human.
A human being that has been born to love, but you were told that too much love can be bad for you, so you became careful and only gave love to those they said it’s okay to give love to. You put a mask on and started walking to the beat of their drum while ignoring the perfectly beautiful beating of your own heart.
And that’s okay. It’s okay that you were lost for so long.
Being aware of the cruelty that exists on this planet is not something to be ashamed of; there is nothing wrong with wanting people to witness what you are seeing through your own eyes. But as much as I want you to be okay with being a human that breaks down sometimes, I want you to know that you can get up and that it doesn’t have to be like that always.
You don’t have to be broken and damaged to be a real fighter for animal rights. You can get up and you can be happy because I know that many times we keep ourselves broken and damaged to satisfy this dark side we all have inside. We feel like we need to suffer because we see suffering in the world, we think we need to cry because there is so much sadness among people.
You don’t have to, though.
We all break down, we all fall and cry and get hurt, but we don’t have to punish ourselves for our past mistakes by suffering, we don’t need to feel angry because we feel like we are not doing enough. We are trying, we are humans.
Write yourself a hate letter, yes, a hate letter where you get angry at yourself for not doing enough, not being enough, not becoming a vegan sooner.
I want you to let it all out and get really nasty with yourself. Cry if you need to, but write an ugly letter to yourself that you know you always wanted to because we all have this voice inside of our head that is trying to put us down and so many times it succeeds.
When you are finished with your nasty letter, let it sink in, feel it, taste it, pity yourself. Really watch how you react to it and how it makes you feel, don’t try to run away from it.
Now, write yourself an encouraging letter. Write about how proud you are of yourself, how great you are doing and how many of your fellow animals you have saved. Write about all the things you are doing well.
Write from the opposite place than before, write from your heart. Because when we feel hate and anger towards ourselves we are doing it from our brain because the brain is where we create all those negative patterns and negative self-talk. Our heart, on the other hand, is a place where we have all the love stored for ourselves and where we have all the compassion that we need for ourselves and for others.
Did you write your love letter to yourself? How did this one make you feel? Did you feel encouraged? Happy? Loved? Successful? How different did it make you feel from the first one?
Now burn the first one and keep the love letter. We don’t want to store negative thoughts near us, so the negative letter has to go and burn in flames so that you can finally release all the ugliness that you had inside of your body. And whenever you feel like you are not doing enough and that you are not allowed to be happy, when you know how much suffering there is on this planet, you can read this love letter and realize that you are doing enough.
We are all doing enough.
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p.s. – If you are craving some love and self-care today, here are my favorite ways to take care of myself.,