Animals have always been my salvation in a world where I felt mistrust towards people and circumstances. Spending time with them brings me such joy and peace, and I think I’ve always known they are far wiser than they’re given credit for. I just didn’t understand how wise.
They bring so many gifts and teach us so much in their short and incredibly sweet lives, and this post is to honour their spirits, and their journeys.
Souls as wide as the skies and as deep as the oceans. Souls so big and loving that to contain them within their relatively tiny bodies must be a strange and laughable experience for them. Anyone who has gazed into the eyes of an animal for longer than a moment has hopefully seen the truth of this.
As humans have their unique and Divine purposes, so do animals, each depending on their individual contracts and the lessons they can best teach. In some cases, the lesson is one of a collective nature, that provides the beings that interact with them an opportunity to grow and find the gifts in themselves.
I’ve written about this before, in June of last year, during a time when the energiesbegan to shift more intensely into the Feminine and I was overcome by grief and rage Kali herself would have been proud of. Here’s an excerpt from that article entitled, ‘There is no Such Thing as a Dumb Animal.
‘As we incarnate into each lifetime, we make a decision as to which form we will take, and we know the lessons we are here to learn and teach.
Do not be so presumptuous as to believe that just because we can fashion a gun out of some metal and fill it with bullets that the animals we hunt and kill are not complicit in their death, and the manner of it. They come here to teach us huge lessons about ourselves, our role, and the nature of One-ness.
What we do to each other, we do to ourselves. As we continue to rape our Mother and kill off the children of the Earth, we destroy pieces of our collective soul which cannot be reclaimed. We have done sufficient damage to the planet, and it is time, past time, to begin to set things right.
Treat every living thing with reverence, knowing that their decision to be available to you in whatever form they arrive is of their own volition.’
I feel frustration and sadness at the way in which humans have taken so much from the Earth and its creatures, denying them the right to exist in their way alongside our ideas of how it should be. All for the pursuit of the rational or intellectual advancement of mankind.
I want to scream and rail at the sky and the gods, crying rivers of tears for the way we’ve spoiled our home for us and the beings with whom we share it. But to what end?
Better to celebrate the things we’ve learned and appreciated, no matter how small and insignificant we feel or appear.
Better to sing our praises to the birds, bees and other creatures that provide us with joy, love and so, so many lessons.
Better to leave the planet knowing that we saw and acknowledged the sacrifices they’ve made for us which contribute to our communal advancement.
So what can we learn from animals?
We can learn about Love, with a capital L, the Divine kind. They give it freely, unconditionally and fiercely, not worrying whether it will be returned to them in the same form, or even at all.
We can learn about BEing, with a capital BE, the kind where you don’t have to do anything in order to be enough, or right, or perfect. The kind that involves accepting yourself and others just as they are; simply showing up is enough.
We can learn that there is always a choice, even if that choice means death. Trust that whatever happens in an animal’s life is through their choice, in order to teach us a valuable lesson. They reflect to us our pain, cruelty and hatred in equal quantities as our gentleness, joy and love.
We can learn about sacrifice, in the grander scheme of things, knowing that entire species have become extinct in order to show us just how unsustainable some of our ways are. Their energy, memory and souls live on and have made enormous contributions to the awakening and growth of humanity, through their courageous acts of sacrifice.
We can learn about play, and its importance in daily life. Watch any animal for a few minutes and there’s always a game, sometimes even in the middle of something more ‘serious’ like hunting or bathing. The best work is done with an attitude of joy and lightness, and involves teaching the younger members of the group important lessons. And sometimes you have to play to the extreme, giving it your all before falling into an exhausted heap of total satisfaction.
We can learn about unspoken communication, and how a look has enormous power to express huge amounts of beauty and love. We can connect on an energetic level with the animals in our lives and learn to read their moods, needs and feelings. And we can do this with each other – stop using our voices to express endless thoughts, and instead look deeply into each others’ souls and act accordingly.
We can learn to love ourselves, as the animals in our lives stay with us through the darkest moments and the most challenging of times, offering us their undying support and comfort. They don’t pass judgement on our ‘ugly crying’ or ferocious anger. They stay by us to provide a safe haven in stormy seas, an anchor in the darkness. They don’t leave when it becomes too real, or too exhausting, or too __insert appropriate modifier here___.
We can learn to let go of the small stuff (it’s as easy as batting off a hand that’s stayed too long on your belly) and move quickly back into a state of calm. They teach us to move on from perceived slights, not holding on to the heaviness of grudges which only hurt us.
We can learn to Trust, with a capital T, the kind where you know without a doubt that you will not go wanting. If the bowl runs dry, there are other ways – mice to catch or rabbits to chase. Love just is, in abundance, and there is no question of deserving.
Sing your songs of gratitude to the creatures we share the Earth with.
They have agreed to every piece of this journey, knowing what the outcome might be. They have lived and loved along side us since time began, and with their help we’ve developed medicines, explored space, ploughed the land, eaten, and moved into a state of heightened awakening. Without them we would be lesser creatures, and diminished in Light.
This is my darling cat (and Master Spirit), Andy, who was the one constant thing in my life for fifteen challenging years. He taught me to love with an open heart, and to live in the energy of trust and hope. Even in death, he continued to teach me, by accepting his passing with such dignity, grace and enthusiasm, knowing that the separation we feel is really not the truth of existence. I miss his soft ears and gentle purrs, and his extreme fondness for cheese.