The Mirroring Effect

The special relationship we have with our pets goes way beyond what most of us believe.  They offer us so much and in so many ways.  They give us unconditional love and the ability to love them back in the same way.  They provide healing energy that benefits our health and they mirror us so that we can learn more about our deeper, inner selves.  Often, they do it in ways that we don’t recognize.

In my book, Whole-Pet Healing, I delve deeper into the heart-to-heart link we share with our cherished animal companions, and how we can influence their healing—and they, ours—in remarkable ways. One such example was with Karen and her French Bulldog.

Karen lived out of state, so she contacted me via phone.  She told me that her three-year-old dog was seriously ill and wanted to know if I could help.  Karen explained that her dog had severe neurological symptoms that kept him from functioning normally.  He had some strange type of seizure activity that made him incapable of walking.  She had worked with her veterinarian, the specialist at the state veterinary college, and even an alternative veterinarian in her city.  She sent me her dog’s records along with a video of him displaying his symptoms.  In spite of all the efforts of all of the veterinarians, her dog continued to get worse.

The Mirroring Effect

One evening after I finished seeing patients, I talked to Karen again on the phone.  She was distraught and considering euthanizing her dog.  I could do nothing, except listen and be there for her.  After I hung up the phone, I sat in silence in my office.  Suddenly, I got an intuitional hit.  It was, “This is not about the dog.  It is about Karen and it has to do with a loss of integrity.”

The intuition was so intense that I could not ignore it.  I called Karen back right away and told her exactly what happened.  Since I knew nothing about Karen or her life, I could in no way offer advice, just relay what I’d gotten intuitionally.  She thanked me for calling.

Several months later I received a card from Karen.  She explained that she had been in a very destructive relationship for years and she knew that the message I received was about her relationship and how it was affecting her.  She told me that she broke off the relationship and moved away from her partner.  She also told me that without further treatment, her little dog was almost completely back to normal.

Most of us live very busy lives.  We spend most of our time lost in thought about what we did in the past and what we need to do in the future in order to be happy and secure.  When we do this, we spend very little time in the present moment. Only in the present moment do we have the opportunity to gain insight about our inner selves.  Often, life will present itself in ways that force us to focus completely on the moment and in so doing, gives us the opportunity to gain insight.  Our relationship with our pets will do this as well.

It is a common occurrence at my practice to visit with pet caretakers who are asking themselves, “Why won’t my pet get better?” or “Why is this happening to my pet?”  The answer is because it is happening for you as well.

Imagine that your pet has been diagnosed with a serious illness that is likely going to end its life. The typical reaction would be to go into fearful mode and focus on resolving the problem. Our ego-mind has been conditioned to find ways to resolve problems in order to make ourselves feel better. When our pets are seriously ill and our ego-mind cannot resolve the situation, we are forced to make a choice. One option is to stay focused on fearful thoughts and emotions like frustration, worry, and anger. This usually leads in time to feeling victimized by life, and powerless.

The other option is to move away from a fearful and toward a neutral state of mind, and allow life to express itself without our reacting. When we do this, the ego-mind, unable to resolve the situation or respond to our fear, quiets itself and moves into the background, giving us full access to our intuition.

Use Your Intuition For Guidance 

When the busy ego-mind moves out of the picture, our intuitive mind reveals itself and insight appears.  We find ourselves in a loving state of consciousness and realize that we are larger than fear. In doing thus, we find the strength and guidance to move forward to serve our pets and ourselves. Difficult choices become simple as we realize that we are being guided through our lives, and allow this guidance.  No matter what the outcome, we stay in full awareness of the moment, seated in loving consciousness and being in the flow of life.  It is at that moment that we realize the greater truth of who we really are and in so doing, realize that all of life is a blessing, even when it appears in the painful guise of a sick pet.

I am reminded of a lady who came to my office explaining that her old dog’s behavior had become annoying to the family.  This sweet old dog had started to have symptoms of dementia and would walk up to them and stare at them and pant.  In time, the husband and the children all complained about how annoying her behavior was and if it did not improve, they were considering letting her go.

Whether it is a pet with an annoying behavior, worrying about it being in pain, or some other problem that causes the pet caretaker stress, in time, the focus will change from helping the pet to helping themselves.  The ego-mind will shift its focus to resolving the problem with the pet in order to resolve the problem for the caretaker.  The shift in consciousness moves from one of giving to one of receiving.  This shift is not in and of itself a bad thing. Sometimes this helps one gain perspective on the current quality of the pet’s life. It’s important to remember that being in mental opposition to what’s happening, the pet’s symptoms or disease, the caretaker gives the problem more power. This, in turn, perpetuates the fearful state of consciousness. This has the potential to turn what should be a carefully considered, heartfelt decision into a reactive mistake.  It is at this time that the caretaker needs to realize a choice has to be made to either stay in a fearful state of mind or move into loving consciousness and find the lesson in this experience.

The love that we have for our pet never leaves.  At times it might be hidden by fearful thoughts, like clouds covering the sun.  If we reconnect with the loving bond between ourselves and our pets, we move into the seat of consciousness that allows us to know the larger truth about ourselves, that we are loving beings with compassion and caring that far supersedes fearful events.

Five Comforting Tips When You Fear For Your Pet

  1. 1 When an event happens that provokes a negative reaction, let the negative feeling be a flag to signal to you that you need to back away and not react.
  2. Separate yourself from the thoughts and emotions that are triggering the reaction by being aware that you are neither the thoughts nor emotions. You are the ground of being that experiences them.
  3. Remain calm and give yourself time to adjust.  Focus on your breathing, if it helps. Allow the negative energy to pass.
  4. Once you are no longer reacting, ask yourself whether you want to move forward from a loving seat of consciousness or a fearful seat of consciousness.
  5. Allow the life event to happen, knowing that opposing it will only give it power.  Be open to the experience and participate fully, and consciously, without expectations.

When we are forced to face an event with our pet that our mind cannot resolve, we are forced to make a decision.  If we choose the pathway of loving consciousness and allow the event to present itself, then in a fully aware and loving state, participate in the unfolding, we often reveal something about ourselves that will help us throughout our lives.

In my book, Whole-Pet Healing, I delve deeper into the heart-to-heart link we share with our cherished animal companions, and how we can influence their healing—and they, ours—in remarkable ways.

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