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Art: Interesni Kazki

By having the courage to stand for one’s own experience, one begins to give real being to the soul. Everything depends on the individual’s ability to stand for their own experience(symptoms, suffering and accomplishments) in the face of the world that gives these things no credit.

James Hillman

Ask yourself: As a child, who saw you? Who heard you? Was there anyone with whom you could be totally yourself and to whom you could trust your heart responses and speak your soul responses? Someone who made you think, “Gosh, I am somebody. They’re happy that I’m here.” — Marion Wood

“The cost of sanity, in this society, is a certain level of alienation,” — Terence McKenna

As a child, my friends were dogs, cats and horses. I spent more time with them than my brothers. I saw their understanding in their eyes. I felt their suffering and I also felt their enthusiasm and playfulness. They were so alive, so intelligently alive, so brave. They knew we were a little stupid and committed themselves to protecting us. I missed them when I went off to boarding school. I was heartsick when they met an accident or died.

I never had to worry that they didn’t see me, as I did with humans. They knew me and trusted me. Sometimes I think I was raised by animals, at least partly.

When I came into fresh adulthood, I sensed a trap, just as an animal might. I plotted my escape from the world planned for me, and now, looking back I don’t regret any of my misadventures that ensued as I weaved and dodged my way forward. Considering my family karma and fate meted out to some of my siblings, I think I was well treated by my “animal spirits.” I learned some valuable lessons, and any lessons that didn’t kill me I consider lessons worth having.

Now that I am writing, I’m beginning to ask myself what I have learned and what advice I might give to younger folk. Mainly it’s to trust your dreams, trust your passions and enthusiasms, even if they are discouraged by others. Even if no one understands. We have an animal sense of truth if we don’t get too warped when we’re young. Trust that, even if it doesn’t jive with what the world preaches. Your body knows, your heart knows, your gut knows. That’s the wise animal in you.

Let that be your friend. Let that be your guide.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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