This week I would like to talk about what it means to be strong hearted.
Those of us that are very sensitive to animals and to nature often get referred to as soft hearted or tender hearted. Usually by well-meaning people but sometimes it can also be perceived as a veiled insult, sort of implying that it is overly sweet or childlike to care about animals and nature.
In fact, I believe that it is the very opposite of that. It takes great courage to be aware of the suffering that many animals endure and the way nature in general is treated by people and to still allow yourself to have an open heart and to lead a normal life carrying the burden of that knowledge.
An open heart is a strong heart, this means that you are able and willing to carry the burden of understanding and feeling an animal's pain and to help in any way that you can.
There are so many wonderful people who do stand up for animals every day and do everything in their power to save as many as possible. This can be done literally by rescuing lost or abandoned animal companions, or by educating other people about animals being equal to humans, or by advocating for the safety of animals in the wild and the preservation and restoration of their habitats.
Sometimes it is as simple as refusing to buy cosmetics (& other products) that have been tested on animals, there are so many cruelty free options available that there really doesn't seem to be an excuse for continuing to ignore that issue or not paying attention to the labels on products.
I could go on and on, but the main point for this week's blog really is coming back to the idea that by caring for and loving animals (and making every effort to help them) you indeed have a very strong heart. This does not mean that your heart is hard, but rather that you are willing to be open to animals and their experiences and your love for them makes you strong.
So next time you get called soft hearted, perhaps you can gently educate the person you are talking to and explain to them why that means that your heart is very strong. And you are strong hearted enough to bravely advocate and care for animals and to show others that it is ok to open their hearts too.