Our animals spend time with us for a reason. They may come as a surprise, handed to us by a friend or lover, or even a truck driver stopped at a stoplight; or they may be hunted out, at animal shelters, pet shops or the internet—but they are always given to us because we need them.
We need them for company during dark times, or because of changes in our relationships. We need them for love that we feel we have not enough of. We need them to teach us what we have not learned sufficiently: compassion, loving kindness, selflessness, responsibility, and most important of all, how to be in relationship with another soul.
We learn from them by watching them: how they behave toward us and others, and how they navigate their world, however small or large. We learn from them the greatest of all lessons in life, that of how to love. Some say that we cannot love ourselves without first experiencing the love of others, be it a stuffed animal, a treasured toy, brother, or sister, or a puppy. In that love generated by something external to us, we feel something inside us that gives us life force energy that we ultimately learn to give to others as we grow up, and to keep some of it for ourselves. Animals give us the largest of love-gift: the love of Spirit. They are a direct conduit to Spirit, in their loving us. With every wag of tail and rub against our shins, we experience love at its highest level.
This morning my cat, Mimi, struggled through a stomachache and vomited. She took the medicine I offered her and after a brief sleep emerged purring and talkative, ready for her day. She is not in perfect health but neither am I—yet, she deals with it much better than I do. I’m sure she feels the discomfort that her malady brings her as much as I do mine, but she doesn’t let it get her down, cause her to retreat from the world for a very long time, discontinue her loving of me. I know it’s hard to feel joy and loving when you’re worried about outcomes. She shows me there is always loving to do—and joy in that loving.
My cat is my teacher. She teaches me to be honest when I tell her how long I will be away from the house. She teaches me to look her in the eyes when she has something to say. She teaches me to feed myself, on time and something nutritionally pleasing. She teaches me to play when I sit too long in front of the computer or the TV. She teaches me to sleep when my body needs rest, and most of all to make time for loving.
She teaches me that all animals are souls, as capable as we are in rising above hardships and sometimes making mistakes. We can easily overlook these relationships, they are not human after all, but they just might be our greatest teachers in how to navigate our human world.
Annette Goggio, MPH, holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in the health sciences. Her practice in energy medicine is based on the teachings of Dixie Yeterian and Donna Eden of Eden Energy Medicine. Ms. Goggio offers a suite of services including hands-on and distant healing, life counselling, and numerology. To learn more please visit: www.aquantummoment.com. Her recent book, Healing: A Conversation, provides readers with a framework for understanding life purpose and the education of the soul.