a little change goes a long way.

i was very different in the recent past.  one major change…compassion.

i always say how “time flies.”  and it does.  when i was twenty, i never thought i would be 30.  or 35.  or 36 (next month).  it just never crossed my mind.  i figured i’d be in my twenties forever.  i never looked into the future with truthful eyes.  i was going to be young for the duration of my life.  i went about my business as if nothing could harm me or touch me or kill me.  I lived behind a very thick smoke screen.  i ignored the sadness i recognize today in the world.  i paid no attention to the inconceivable.  if it didn’t affect me first hand, i didn’t care. and i didn’t care cause i refused to acknowledge anything that my heart couldn’t tolerate with ease.  im not proud of that, but it is the truth.  and today i speak the truth.  sadly, i know now that i was living my life with very little compassion.  for myself or for any other living being or species on earth.  i didn’t understand that at the time.

my eyes really started to open just over a year ago.  it started with getting sober.  eliminating the heavy drinking from my life.  forcing me to face reality head on.  all of it. 35 years of dirty build up had to be taken on.  challenged.  dissected.  acknowledged.  and dealt with.  it took a lot of forgiveness towards myself, and others.  it took, and will continue to take, many amends and apologies for my past behavior. and that is okay. it’s all part of the process.  and through this process i have found compassion.

compassion.  a small word with a massive impact on life.

       :sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

if someone says something unkind to me or is inconsiderate, etc. i am better at not taking it personally than i was before.  in the past, i would obsess over what they did or said for hours or days on end.  today i can accept, usually, that whatever they did or said to me most likely doesn’t have anything to do with me personally…but rather it is something born from their own issue/s.  maybe they are having a bad day.  or maybe someone said something that hurt their ego and they are taking it out on me.  whatever it might be, i try hard to not take it personally today.  instead i’ll have compassion for them and whatever they might be going through.  and then i let it go.  theoretically.  like i said, i am no saint.  but most of the time i can act with compassion today.

if someone is hurting.  i have compassion.  if i am hurting, i have compassion.  i try to be kind.  to you, and to all living species on earth.  i feel now.  and it is best to feel good about myself, then to feel bad.  and i feel good when i live in compassion.

compassionate living is something i now strive for.  i’ve taken it further than with just humans and human contact.  i want to live compassionately towards all living species on earth.  as i mentioned earlier in this post, back in my younger years i lived in a thick fog.  i refused to recognize the inconceivable that is around me.  and there is a lot of it in our world.  this includes the cruelty and lack of compassion that is thrown upon the animals on our planet.  i chose to bear witness to the truth nearly a year ago, and by doing so, i had no choice but to change my ways.  my heart wouldn’t allow me to turn away any longer.  and so i became a vegan.  i refuse to be a consumer of meat and dairy products, knowing what i know today.  this also includes non-food products that are tested on animals.  i can no longer take part in any of that.  i simply can’t do it.  it’s compassion.  and i have it today.  i suppose i always had it, i just didn’t know to what degree.  with the choice of becoming vegan and showing compassion towards all animals, i’ve gotten to know a side of myself that was once hidden.  and i like this side a lot.  it just feels…right.

no, im not perfect at the game of life, but i am certainly better at it today then i was last year and the years prior.  i still have many faults.  and insecurities.  and i make huge mistakes.  i still have a dark side i can fall into.  i can loose my compassionate side at times. i can take things personally.   if i didn’t then i wouldn’t be able to call myself human.  but i now recognize these characteristics when they present themselves.  i can move past those barriers faster.  continuing to better myself in the process.  it’s progress not perfection.

i’ve visited my darkest demons through this journey.   and continue to.  and let me tell you, my skin has thickened in the process.  my heart has grown.  my voice has been found.  and my personality has escaped its own personal jail… and continues to make itself known.  i am present.  finally.

sobriety and my truth has brought me far.

far from what i once was, but not yet what i am going to be.

what a journey.

incase you are interested, below are websites that have helped open my eyes and helped me make my choice to become a vegan:

http://www.peta.org/ 

http://www.farmsanctuary.org/

http://www.mercyforanimals.org/

i know i am but what are you?

key fact #3

i am a vegan.

what exactly does that mean?  here is a brief definition….

WIKIPEDIA:  Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal productsEthical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from their diet only. Another form, environmental veganism, rejects the use of animal products on the premise that the industrial practice is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.

so what kind of vegan is donna?

well, im not here to lecture, or be an activist, cause my knowledge of the topic is not strong enough yet.  and im not interested in being something i am not.  so what i am, today, is a budding student in the area of animal activism and animal rights as well as environmental issues and sustainability.  truth be told, i have spent most of my 35 years of life avoiding the truth behind the cruelty of animals on factory farms.  anytime an undercover video or story would be placed in front of me showing the torture of these precious animals, i would turn my head.  if someone tried to speak to me about the topic i would cover my ears.  out of sight, out of mind.  don’t tell me cause i don’t want to feel bad!

well, life came to a fork in the road for me.   I met a woman.  intriguing.  beautiful.  passionate for animals and the planet.  an activist.  she has soul.  and a divine purpose.  and i wanted to know more.

so there i stood.  at the fork.

i saw two choices.  turn right, down the comfortable road, and continue on my merry ignorant way.  walk the path where i choose to only see what i want to see.  and become voluntarily blind when uncomfortable with whats in front of me.

OR

turn left, and choose the unfamiliar road.  feel uncomfortable.  choose to learn some truths.  to feel some pain and discomfort.  and in doing so, feel which way my heart is pulled, once the visor has been removed from my eyes.

i chose the unknown road.  i turned left.

so here is this woman.  i had never met someone of her caliber.  i wanted to know why she was the way she was.  i wanted to know what fed her drive and purpose.  i wanted to know the pain she felt which fueled her passion for animals.  i wanted to know her.

and so began my journey.

I started with some research.  good old google. i was led to sites like PETA and Mercy for Animals.  very informative.  i would share specific links to videos and articles here for you to see, but it’s a personal choice to make the leap and learn about this subject manner.  i don’t believe in forcing such topics onto people.  however, i do believe in supplying the info and leaving the decision up to you to look further.  so click on the links above if you want to learn some truth about factory farms and the abuse those animals are put through in order to “feed” America.  there are so many facts i could share here…regarding the health benefits on not being a meat eater.  the environmental benefits.  the compassion that develops  by not eating meat.  etc.  but im not going to do that now.  instead i will leave it up to you to go and research some facts.  they are easily available in this computer generated world we live in.  i will for sure be discussing this topic on occasion as this blog grows, because my compassion and passion on the subject continues to grow.  it’s no longer out of sight, out of mind for this girl.

hello my name is donna, and i am a vegan.

here are just a FEW animals who have positively touched my life in one way or another.

thank you for stopping by.  tomorrow i will share key fact #4 about who donna is.

4.  i think a lot and talk a little.