This post follows on from my two previous posts, as this could not have happened if I hadn’t worked with my own feelings around Timmy getting aggressive when I offer him peace. Those two posts are:
Additionally we would not have gotten to this point together without the work already done together around his cribbing, and also my emotions around that. The last time I worked with Timmy from the perspective of his cribbing was when he started to show me his fear aggression. It has taken me a good few months to be in the right place to work with this.
Today I stepped into Timmy’s aggressiveness.
I had done as much as I could with myself, and knowing this would be enough, invited Timmy to be present with me at liberty.
His first reaction was to sniff my hands, then my coat, and then he grabbed my coat in his mouth. I stayed peaceful, regarding this and saying it is all okay. He let go and took a step back.
I went back to my still point. I could feel a fear come up in my body, but I knew this time that it wasn’t mine. Timmy snaked his head at me but didn’t step into me. If he wanted to sniff my hands I let him. If he wanted to bite them, I just put them on his face gently, moving them out of his way. All the while I am feeling and saying ‘It is okay. All your reactions are okay’. If he went to bite my body I stepped back and then stepped in again. I just kept watching his reactions, listening to him by acknowledging everything he needed to do without bringing any feelings up of my own. I was completely with him, I was completely vulnerable, and I trusted that I was completely safe. I showed him that I trusted him.
After a while he stepped away and released through a multitude of yawns. I stayed with him as he relaxed, being present with him until he walked away from the connection.
This was such an interesting conversation. For me it was so much about trusting in myself and my connection, and knowing in my soul that I can respond to a behaviour in the moment, without my own thoughts and feelings disconnecting me from what is happening.
I have been privileged to be able to explore this with other peoples animal families, but with those we live with their is always the emotion that we need to acknowledge and heal within ourselves.
Only when we have done that, and done that consciously can our animals let go of a behaviour that they were using to respond to a feeling we were bringing them.
In very simplified terms, the animal that walks away is saying ‘I don’t want your stuff’. The animal that bites is saying ‘I don’t want your stuff’. It is up to us to be responsible for our own feelings and the way we act in response to a feeling that arises.
I get asked sometimes ‘ How do I know when it is my feeling and when it is an animals feeling?’. The answer to that very much depends on where you are in your journey of learning yourself. If in doubt explore the feeling in yourself first and find out if it has a history. Acknowledge how you behaved when the feeling came up. Did you respond OR did you react? If you reacted automatically it is likely it is your feeling that needs to be explored and let go so you can change a reaction to a response.
First though, you have to want to learn who you are underneath the layers of learnt emotions and behaviours. Believe me it is a journey. Not always easy, but always worthwhile.