I have a strong connection with big cats. Lions, tigers, and cougars are among my favorites. They have a great power and strength behind them. Lions, in my opinion, live one of the toughest lifestyles imaginable. The lionesses are constantly on the hunt for food. Working as a team, so in tune with each other. If they weren’t they would never eat. Taking down prey large enough to feed the pride is hard enough as it is. The males, well, they spend their whole lives fighting to keep their family. And if they fail, their offspring will be slaughtered and the new king will step in and claim his ladies. They are bloodied, bruised, beaten, and broken. Yet they continue on. They keep fighting. They fail, and they fail, and they fail again. Their success rate in hunting is only 30%. Less than 20% for lions hunting alone. If they miss the kill, they don’t fuss and moan about it. Even if they did get injured they just keeping moving on, to face the next battle. Though they fail often, they still carry themselves with a sense of pride. That’s actually why a group is called a pride. They are regal and confident. They are the king of the beasts! Of course they would carry themselves with such self-confidence. Weakness is not a trait of survivors. That’s what lions do, survive. They care for their families, protect them, teach them. They do not dwell on life’s hardships or worry their children won’t live a cozy life. They know their cubs will face hardships but that is why they teach them everything they know. They prepare them to be strong on their own. Lions are a symbol of emotional control. They do not have time for self-pity. They do what they have to. They take responsibility and act! And though life is taxing, they still make time to play or enjoy the warm sun showering their coats. They fight day in and day out but never lose their compassion towards their pride.
To look into the eyes of such a king is a gift no one can surpass. It’s as if they can see right through you. Those eyes carry so much strength and compassion. Ferocity and confidence. Wisdom and control.
This latest drawing gave me the opportunity to study the vigilant glare of the king. It was remarkable yet unsettling at the same time. I felt I could relate. Like I was looking at my reflection. My life is nowhere near as tough as a lions, but they still remind me to keep going. Persevere. No matter how bloodied and beaten you are, you just keep going. It’s how you survive. I have so much respect for them. They live through what may seem as unbearable hardships, yet walk away like Kings! This inspired my title for the piece, “Perseverance”.
When you face hardships in life, what encourages you to persevere? Share your story below!
Until next time,
“Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures…”