Animals as Ambassadors of Living in Oneness
by Irene Bras - van Leeuwen
When you open up a standard history text book, you will find the history of mankind. There is practically no information about the role animals played, although our history is strongly intertwined with animals.
Pre-historic cave drawings illustrate the connection between our world and the world of animals showing bison and other large animals living together with humans. Horses enabled us to broaden our horizons and to discover new territory. They also played an important role in warfare.
We are surrounded by symbols derived from the animal kingdom. Whole nations identify themselves with particular animals, like the eagle and the lion. Other animals provide us with food and they clothe us. The connection between animals and humans is so omnipresent that a lot of people seem not to notice it, taking animals for granted and forgetting that in fact there is no separation between animals and humans. We humans are animals as well.
This separation has been deepened by looking at animals from a human point of view. Categorizing the intelligence of the different species by determining their IQ makes it easier to state that we are much more evolved. A very narrow way of looking at evolution, in my opinion.
Of course there have been pioneers, people who pointed out the importance of animals to us, showing us that we are closely connected to the animal kingdom. One pioneer was Saint Francis of Assisi. A famous story about Saint Francis is the one in which he holds a sermon for a large number of birds telling the birds how blessed they are by God because of their capacity to fly, which grants them an enormous amount of freedom. Saint Francis treated the animals as children of God, equal to human beings.
Jane Goodall has also played an important role in changing our perspectives about animals. She thoroughly investigated groups of chimpanzees giving each individual animal a name and classifying their behavior as emotions instead of mere instinctual impulses. This resulted in a breach with the scientific community whose former approach was to give numbers to the animals instead of naming them, disregarding their individuality. Although there was a lot of resistance at first towards ‘humanizing’ the chimps, later on it turned out to be a very fruitful approach and a lot of researchers have since adopted this way of working with animals. Jane treated the chimpanzees as individual beings with unique personalities and complex emotional patterns.
Treating animals as sentient and intelligent beings makes it possible to deeply connect with their different aspects and to discover the qualities they possess.
Over the last few decades, more and more people are opening up to the healing powers of the animal kingdom. There are horses working with disabled people and horses that help people regain a deeper insight into themselves. Linda Kohanov has been a pioneer when it comes to the mirroring and coaching qualities of horses. There are other animals that visit hospitals and homes for the elderly to contribute to the happiness of people who are sick and old. A growing number of people consult animal communicators, because they know that their animal companion is so much more than ‘just an animal’.
I myself cannot imagine a world without animals. Animals have been a part of my life since childhood.
My first dog, Cleo, entered my life a few months after I was born. I shared my cradle with her. As I was growing up, she was very important to me, the only being with whom I could connect at that time. I felt very lost on planet Earth and didn’t understand much about being human. There was always a desire to look for a way out of this highly confusing world created by mankind.
During puberty, I discovered the enormous attraction horses have for me. I felt at home with them, although they provided me with some harsh lessons as well. They showed me the difficulty I had with standing in my own power, which more than once resulted in me being on top of a horse without being able to really connect because of my lack of self confidence.
Later on cats entered my life and I was enchanted by their independent nature, grace, and beauty.
The presence of animals in my life kept me going. Often, I woke up in the morning in despair not knowing how to get through the day. But I had to do it because my animals needed to be taken care of. They never judged me! They looked at me silently telling me that everything was ok. They comforted me and they understood me. I think that worldwide a lot of animals have prevented people from committing suicide. There are situations in which only animals are able to get through and reach out to a person in despair.
I vividly remember one of the last times when I was very depressed. One of my dogs, my little girl Charlie, helped me through my depression by permitting me to carry her around close to my heart. When I sat down, she invited me to pick her up, so she could share her warmth with me. She deeply soothed my heartache and showed me that she loved me no matter how I was feeling. It was so healing to feel her warmth entering my body, enabling me to get through my depression much more easily.
To me, animals represent the high values we estranged ourselves from like loyalty, integrity, innocence, and unconditional love. Animals are still consciously connected to Source and they know we are all one.
What I learned from being with animals is that they don’t judge. In a world full of judgment the animals show us how to be without it.
In a time in which a growing number of people are awakening, gradually remembering their origin, we are blessed to be surrounded by beings that patiently show us how to live in oneness.
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