A Tamed Cheetah
Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Imagine: A cheetah trained to want a dirty pink bunny with her best friend the labrador. A cheetah behind the fences of a zoo. A cheetah who forgot what it’s like to be wild. A cheetah fed with steaks thrown at her by zookeepers. A cheetah who’s a distraction for the visitors of this zoo. A nice cheetah. Not dangerous. Not wild. Not herself. Even if once in a while, she hears the echo of a life that calls her, a life she doesn’t know. Even if in these moments, she looks dangerous again, wild again. And maybe she wonders, “Isn’t it supposed to be more beautiful than that?” before going back to her steak thinking she might have dreamt it.
How does it feel?
This is the picture painted by Glennon Doyle in her book Untamed. She talks about it in Brene Brown’s podcast Unlocking Us. It’s really worth a listen.
We all are tamed cheetahs.
As children, we are not yet completely tamed and dreams come out of our mouths. Maybe that’s why children's questions and their words make us feel uncomfortable, this is so innocent, so natural. So wild. I remember, someday coming back from school in my father’s red car, my sisters and I were role-playing. I was being interviewed. I know! #KidsGame My answer to a question I can’t remember, went something like this “I won’t live like my parents, I will live my dreams,” with all the confidence of an undoubting cheetah not yet tamed. I wanted this life, huge and beautiful that I could imagine with my child’s eyes. I hadn’t unlearned yet.
The moment after, I remember very clearly the feeling of being too big, of saying too much, of wanting too much, the feeling of putting my finger on something that hurt others, on something they’d rather convince themselves they forgot. So I stopped, and I didn’t say things like that anymore. I started my taming.Today, I unlearn at last.
Sometimes, I feel guilty for wanting something other than what I’m offered, for knowing, for feeling that IT IS supposed to be as beautiful as I imagine and I see it to be more and more clearly. Sometimes, I know I put my finger on something that hurts others, like a child reminding her parents the abandonments, the questions they didn’t ask themselves because they accepted to be tamed. Because “that’s how it is, it is normal.’Nothing is “how it is,’ nothing is normal. These things are learned.
I untame myself. I become myself. Wilder. More dangerous. Freer. More beautiful. Sometimes, I scare others. Sometimes, I make them uncomfortable. I know I push away people who’d rather not see the wild living inside of them. But more and more, I know I am seen for who I am, I become who I am. I am in the wild, surrounded by other wild animals, being themselves, untaming at my side.