Every once in a while you hear about animal friendships that cross species lines and that seem astonishing at first glance, but that seem to make perfect sense when you look into the matter a little more deeply. You will also sometimes hear about a mother animal in one species "adopting," nursing and caring for a baby of another species. There are several documented cases of both of these amazing phenomena. And whenever we hear about a new one, we tend to feel inspired and heartened all over again.

There are also some wonderful examples of surprisingly tender love and friendship between human beings and animals that we might normally think of as dangerous and ferocious. Christian the Lion comes to mind. If you ever want to life your spirits, do a search for Christian the Lion on youtube. You will see a brief but touching reunion between Christian the Lion and his humans after they have been apart for a while. It reminds you that lions are in some ways just really huge cats. And the love in the Christian the Lion video is beyond palpable. I think when you witness this kind of love, even if just on a youtube video, it feels you with a warm feeling and reminds you of what's truly possible, and that in the end, love is really all that matters.

There is also a wonderful friendship between a dog and a lion, Tara and Bella, who live together in an animal sanctuary. They play together (once again, in a youtube video) and it is so blatantly evident from their loving behavior that are so strongly bonded that once again, you can actually feel the love between the two of them and it reminds you of all the precious love in your own life.

Observing love and tenderness in action, whether in the animal kingdom or elsewhere, serves as an important reminder that surprising connections are all around us, if we would only open our eyes. Not only that, but the potential for even more of these surprising but wonderful connections exists in all of us, if we would only focus more on tapping into it.

The next time you witness any act of genuine, heartfelt friendship and tenderness (involving animals or humans or both), hold that image in your mind and heart for future reference. There can never be too much love in this world, as Christian the Lion and Tara and Bella remind us. When we focus with all our might on such positive imagery, these images can lift us out of a depression, and can even help us improve our own relationships with one another by reminding us of what's most important.