What To Do When The World Feels Too Harsh To Handle

Sometimes the world is a tough place.

Today, when I returned home from the gym, I discovered a dead, red squirrel on the side of the road in front of our house.

I pulled into the driveway and stopped the car, feeling angry and heartbroken. That’s our red squirrel, I thought to myself as I started to cry.

Most mornings I begin the day by feeding Poupon, filling the bird feeders on the deck, and refreshing the water in the birdbath. Then, once Poupon and the birds are taken care of, I make myself a cup of tea and a little breakfast and sit in the living room to watch the feeder while I eat.

Poupon sits next to me, chattering like crazy as the birds swoop in to dine on sunflower hearts, drink water, and bathe.

In short order, a little red squirrel usually appears and begins scouring the floor under the feeder, vacuuming up the leftover sunflower seeds. As he scurries back and forth on the deck, Poupon races from window to window following his trail.

Here’s Poupon watching his buddy...


This little guy’s been visiting us for over a month and while I’m not sure it was the same squirrel at the end of the driveway, it still broke my heart. I feel such a strong connection to nature and animals and the thought of someone hitting him made me crazy. (We haven’t seen the red squirrel since).

Am I the only one who gets this upset, I thought to myself as I sat in the car crying? Maybe I’m just too sensitive. Does anyone else fantasize about moving to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, away from cars and roads and anything that might cause harm to wildlife?

That’s my go-to fantasy when it comes to animals.

I don’t know why I wonder if I’m the only one who feels this way when things like this happen, but I do. It’s as if some part of me expects to feel instantly better knowing that others have a similar reaction.

The truth is, the world is a harsh place to live sometimes, especially for us sensitive souls, and we need each other to help make the journey a little softer.

And softer is what I needed today so I’m sharing my story with you…

This Week's Video

One of my all-time favorite nature videos can be seen here. Thanks, Suzann!


Liza Elliott 19th February 2016 8:28 am

I totally feel what you feel, Cheryl, and I do live away from it all!

Life still happens as I watched my favorite little goldfinch with special needs as I was greeting him one morning, get swooped up by a hungry hawk.

I light a candle for the little spirit who passes, to help them on their journey forward. The candle ceremony helps my heart too.

Blessings to your sensitive soul that holds such Love and reverence for the lives of ALL who live on our beautiful planet.

"We are all made of stars "

jeanie 19th February 2016 12:17 pm

Hallo Cheryl

Thank you for this lovely message. I too feel heartsore when any creature is killed or died of natural causes. Hearing about the little dolphin who died because of uncaring humans broke my heart. So I thanked the little dolphin for bringing attention to the plight of animals and asked the angels to bring more light and love to the hearts and minds of humans. Kind regards, Jeanie (all the way from Cape Town, South Africa)

Linda 19th February 2016 12:18 pm

Dear Cheryl,
Thank you for the beautiful video - seeing some of God's creatures in such a beautiful world brought tears to my eyes. I totally understand your sensitivity towards the animal kingdom - I have it too. We're the lucky ones!

KarKol 20th February 2016 8:45 am

I've been having a similar reaction to nature as of late. There's a cat in the neighborhood that attacks the birds from my bird feeder. Some mornings I wake up and there are feathers all over the yard. I've had a few rabbits attacked as well. My heart sinks every time. It's quite traumatizing to me and in order to make sense of it on some level I often find myself saying, "Karen, it's nature, this is God's creation (not yours) of how nature works. Also, it's the animals' choice to participate in being attacked/killed as well as choosing to eat that day."

It helps me come into balance, peace, and acceptance with it a little better. Also helps me to detach from the emotions of it.

margaretlouise 23rd February 2016 3:27 pm

I am very much the same. There is an old dog here in this town that wanders around. He is often in the middle of the road or curled up on a lawn. I am heartbroken that I can't rescue him as I have 5 cats and no schedule fit for a dog. My close friend has called the authorities the last time we had bad weather and he was put up for awhile. I fell disgusted and sad as I survey the world we live in. I feel awful that I can't rescue all the beloved animals. It is very hard to be in this world. I pray often out loud that the angels take care of all strays and that they find love and comfort from those good souls that can see. I feel you Sister. Better to be sensitive that not to see.


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Author Information

Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including, Take Time for Your LifeLife MakeoversStand Up for Your LifeThe Unmistakable Touch of GraceThe Art of Extreme Self Care, You Can Create an Exceptional Life with Louise Hay, and her new book, Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife.

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