Last week I wrote to you all about staying true to myself through my divorce and the importance of staying true to yourself. I have to be honest, this has been the struggle of my life and it’s a struggle I no longer accept.
This past summer I picked up a book, “Untamed,” by Glennon Doyle, that changed everything. If you haven’t read it stop reading now, find the book at your favorite online bookshop, order, then come back. Glennon starts her book by talking about a cheetah named Tabitha who is at a zoo and was taught to chase a stuffed rabbit behind a car. The cheetah comes out for the crowds, does the trick, and is then rewarded with a piece of meat tossed in the dust.
Tabitha is fast and beautiful but dull as she completes the trick. When the cheetah moves back to her enclosure she paces, looks fierce, and feels raw. Glennon writes that the cheetah must hunger for the kill, for ink-black skies, and to be free. Tabitha must think she is crazy wishing for a life she’s never seen but knows she was born for. Glennon ends her chapter by saying “you’re not crazy, you are a goddamn cheetah.”
Embracing Your Inner Cheetah
That’s it, you guys. Seeing yourself as the cheetah, for what you were born for, is everything I’ve been trying to say to you. It’s everything I’ve been trying to believe for my entire life. I’m not crazy, I’m a goddamn cheetah. And so are you.
I can’t explain it, why I’ve struggled so much throughout my lifetime feeling caged. I have always had this gut feeling about how beautiful the world is, what it can be, and how pain and injustice can be eradicated. I’m not joking, this has been my beat since I was like five years old. I literally wake up every morning thirsty to build the world I see in my mind, a vision that used to become lost and exhausted in the day. I was chasing that stupid stuffed bunny.
Up until this fall, even as I built a beautiful life and business, I struggled. I felt a strong presence of wild passion inside me but allowed the noise of the world around me to muffle the roar. At work, my roar was louder because, as I’ve said before, it’s easier to fight for the injustice of others. I’ve used a fraction of my skills and talents to build the only Applied Behavior Analysis company that never turns a client away based on funding. Never. If I were Tabitha I imagine my time at my company would be like her first run in the wild. Muscles gleaming, breathless, beautiful. My company is beautiful but you know what? So am I.
Running for Yourself
Deep inside, I know the world could be a place where all of our needs are met. That was the reason for my first run–I ran for the disabled. I’ve run for many other things over the course of my life, but right now I’m running for me. If I believe that every single person deserves a beautiful life, free of oppression, hate, and suffering I have to start with myself. My entire being wants to run the Sahara, not just take a lap around my metaphorical cage.
I believe that every single human life counts. I also believe that there are humans that will never turn away from hate, hate directed towards themselves or others. It’s hard not to believe that greed, selfishness, and the like keep billions of people oppressed, unable to pursue their dreams. And that people who are oppressed (caged) themselves facilitate caging others around them. This is not the way; it’s the lie that too many of us blindly follow.
You see we are each given only one wild and precious life. Each morning the sun rises and falls, the world spins, and life goes on. There is beauty around us every day, but there is also destruction. Our choice? Follow the life that destruction has told us is real or get out of the goddamn cage and run.
You must be strong to run. Strength does not come from hiding away and accepting that this is simply how life is. It’s looking eye to eye with the stuffed rabbit and telling it, “you are not real,”
Do you want to know who is real? Me. You. My children. Your children. We are all fierce, beautiful, divine creatures ready for the hunt. We are ready to sleep under the ink-black sky of night, breathe the cool fresh air, and live. Live with me. Be free.