To Live and not Just Exist

Choosing life, happiness, peace and joy. Oh and weight loss too




I inspired someone to incredulity today. And perhaps something close to hysterical laughter.

My puppy Blossom is ill. I noticed that she wasn’t her normal self on Friday and she gradually got worse until yesterday when she stopped eating completely.

I bundled her off to the vet and she has some kind of intestinal / gut infection. Lots of medicine, an injection to bring her high temperature down and home we came with stern instructions to ‘keep a good eye on her’.

In all of that palava , in the getting her to the vet and it being confirmed to me just how sick she was, in the stress of the day – I’m afraid my tears got the better of me.

I am by nature an emotional person. I am by nature a nurturer and a carer. I am by nature, an animal person. Put those 3 things together plus a sick dog and you have a recipe for tears.

The incredulous part?

I was telling a friend of mine about all the ‘dramaticals’ as I like to call it when someone from outside of the conversation decided they were entitled to an opinion.

Apparently, dogs are just dogs. There is no point in getting emotional with them. They are just another animal.

Apparently, I have a screw or two loose because I love my menagerie and do everything in my power to make their lives better.

Apparently, I am a somewhat sad soul and my attachment to my animals explains why I am single.

Apparently, dogs (and animals in general) don’t have a soul.

My response?

They may be just dogs to you, but that does not make you right.

I may very well have a screw loose but caring of another living being is my choice and my privilege.

I am definitely not a sad soul, I’m perhaps quite the opposite actually. And I am single because not all of us need to be one of two.

Humans have souls and we are responsible for the worst atrocities I can think of. I am glad animals don’t have souls. They have something better. Purer. Cleaner. There is no word for it I don’t think. But it is in their eyes.

I do not understand people who are intolerant of what others believe or how they live.

I do not understand people who view animals as something to be used and discarded, like last weeks rubbish.

I do not understand people.

I understand animals.

They are what they are, and they have no need to be more or less than that. They live. And they let live within the boundaries of their species.

We really should learn to do the same.



I have to learn to start being kinder to myself.

Sometimes, when you live alone, and you are prone to periods of severe introspection, it is easy to get locked into an endless litany that swirls around your subconscious like a black wind. Sometimes it becomes too easy to forget the good in me. The unique. The free.

So I will strive to remember:

Be kind to your self, it is the only self you have.

Be true to your self, far too many others will not be true to you.

Be gentle with your self, because if you cannot be, then how can you expect others to be?

Be alive in your self, not living a dead life, filled with inaction and inactivity.

Be hope filled  in your self, because know that no matter what, it will always get better.

Be free in your self, because all souls were born to be free.

Be strong in your self, for no one can break you unless you give them permission.

Be honest with your self, not critical and unfair.

Be real with your self, see the good too and not only the bad.

Be alive, be free, be joyous, be true.

Be kind to your self. This is the only self you have.


So I was reduced to a blubbering mess of tears the other day. The reason is not as important as the observation and the lesson.

Paying witness to the mess of blubber, a stranger to me made a promise that would have made things easier for me.

I was still a mess, but the kindness of this lady made me feel better.

Her promise was never to be kept. So, I got to wondering – is a promise, even to a stranger, a moral imperative?

Are we, as a species, losing our moral compass?

Or is she absolved from any morality because I was a stranger?

Or – as I suspect… Was she merely saying what she needed too to get her through an awkward moment?

But then why make the promise?

I think too many of us find it far too easy to logic away our morality. The world would be a better place if we only made promises we intended to keep – and if we indeed kept them.

And what about implicit promises and morality?

As a human, and supposedly a higher life form, do we not owe it to the world around us, the animals and native peoples who chose simplicity, to be better? Better at protecting them? Better at keeping them around? Better at being compassionate?

Yesterday, I was for the first time in a long time, ashamed to be South African. Don’t get me wrong – I love my country and am a fiercely proud South African.

But yesterday an idiot transporting giraffes in an open topped container alone a major highway, killed one of the giraffes when the giraffe hit its head on a bridge. I have no words.

True – there are idiots everywhere. But this was one of our idiots.

Yesterday, an untouched and remote tribe of people emerged from the Amazon because drug dealers / loggers / governments / whoever had destroyed their way of life. Their home. Their place in the world.

Yesterday a Palestinian baby was buried at the same time as an Israeli soldier.

Have we never had a moral compass? Or is it so bent out of shape by the world we live in that nothing is sacred anymore. All sacrificed to the god of war, money, a quick buck, being right, not being wrong.

I promise to be better.

I promise.


I am one of those indomitable (and truth be told, annoying) souls that are convinced that if you just love someone enough, they will ….. (fill in your most desperate wish here)….

Love you?

Accept you?

Treat you better?

Respect you?

Truth is, I believe anyway, is that to be a nurturer is to be damaged too. I have never come across one such as myself who nurtures only the sound of mind and heart, only those with a healthy ego. No, part of our condition is that we pick the injured, broken and damaged. Those souls that need saving. In our eyes anyway.

We offer our all to these less than worthwhile souls, breaking our entire being on the shores of their damage. We attach ourselves wholeheartedly to the unworthy and in doing so, perversely, base almost all of our worth on them. Their opinion. Their kind, or harsh words. Their indifferent actions.

And we break. If we are lucky, we do not shatter.

Stay in a moment like that for long enough, constantly trying to heal and help and clothe and feed the monster we create, and part of your soul goes black.

The best, and worst of a nurturer, is that we give. We give all. And the nature of the human condition is that we take. We take it all if offered.

Some souls do not want to be fixed. Some souls, as damaged as we perceive them to be, are not broken. Some souls enjoy the shattering of others. And some souls simply don’t care.

I have been blessed. I nurtured the hell out of a narcissistic sociopath. He was not broken. He simply was. And who he was didn’t care. Couldn’t care. His right, if I am to be fair. We all have the right to be who we are.

I broke my being against his nothing for an age.

But I came out the other side with an understanding of the human condition. And for that I am blessed.

I do not allow anyone to take advantage anymore. I still nurture, for that side of me is almost completely me. I mostly nurture my zoo. And my family. And the few special souls I have allowed into my orbit.

Never again will I break my soul against another. Perhaps that is part of why I remain single. Or perhaps the damage runs deeper than even I can see.

No matter.

I have learnt my lesson. Each of us, has a supreme right to be exactly who we are. Do not think you can change anyone. You cannot. Do not break your soul against another.

Rather find your place and your peace.

And be exactly who you are.

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