Your animals are amazing hosts and mirrors through which incredible wisdom, inspiration, and answers to your questions can arrive in many ways, including through the genius of symbolism. When you open your mind and set your intention to receive symbolic messages from your animals, the universe will deliver the goods.
Symbolism can take your journey together to a whole new level. It will enhance your interconnection with the animal kingdom and all there is. The only requirement on your part is that you believe the messages when they show up on your doorstep and remain open to the possibilities that will assuredly present themselves to you.
There are so many examples I could share with you about these types of messages, but I’ll narrow it down to those that I think will best give you some real food for thought as to what to specifically look for as you undertake this adventure of looking for the hidden gift, or purpose, in your animal’s actions. When you begin to raise your awareness around receiving these types of messages, you’ll also tap into yet another level of gratitude for your animal companions and the many ways and reasons they’re in your life. Here is an example of that from my own life.
Believing: MaiTai’s Story
One day I was sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself about a work project that had just tanked. Then I noticed my cat MaiTai attempting to find a way to jump up on the top of the armoire, a place he’d never tried to reach before. Intently, I watched him. All the while, I was thinking there was no way he would be successful.
With the utmost determination, though, he zeroed in on his goal. However, every time he jumped, he missed and fell. And yet without ever taking his eye off of the top of the armoire, he figured out there was a chair on its other side that could offer him better leverage. Moving to that chair, he took one more leap and then bam! He arrived at his destination! Then he just sat there—smug and proud—calmly grooming himself as if everything had gone down exactly as planned.
He never even considered the option that he wouldn’t reach his goal. He didn’t back down and feel sorry for himself after a couple of tries and whine, “Oh, well, I guess it wasn’t supposed to happen.” He believed it was possible in every fiber of his being and quickly determined a route to success. As I reflected on what I had just witnessed, I realized there was a huge message for me of the utmost importance in his actions. MaiTai was telling me to keep trying and that there was more than one way to reach my goal; I needed to remain focused and not give up.
There was no coincidence in the timing of his trying to get on top of the armoire. It was exactly the message and inspiration I needed at that moment in time to look at things differently with the work project that I’d assumed was never going to come together. I did indeed come up with another way for the project to come to a positive resolution. More than that, I still reflect on that afternoon’s sequence of events, which to this day, whenever I am faced with obstacles in my path, inspires me to take action, never give up, and always go after my dreams.
Here are some other amazing stories about how our animals are giving us messages through symbolism.
Seeing Beyond and Within: Carter’s Story
Jenny volunteered to foster Carter, a dog who had completely lost his sight. The veterinarian told her that surgery might help to restore his sight, but it was a long shot at best. Specifically, there was only a 10 percent chance the surgery would restore a very minimal amount of his vision. The animal rescue organization that had sheltered Carter decided to move forward with it anyway and was able to raise the funding for the surgery. I donated healing sessions to expedite Carter’s recovery time post-surgery and hold space for any deeper healing that he might need.
The first time Carter even met Jenny was directly after his surgery. The plan was that he would go home with her—to be housed in a small room of her abode, a place he had never been before. He would have bandages over his eyes for two weeks, and Jenny would be his caretaker during his recovery. An orphan found on the streets who didn’t trust people, Carter, without any sight, had to learn to rely on Jenny completely to get all of his needs met, while being in a completely foreign place (her home). Jenny was concerned about how he would react. Would he exhibit a fight-or-flight response to being in a small, contained room that he didn’t know and couldn’t see—or would he adapt and learn to trust her?
During my conversations with Jenny, it was clear that she was emotionally connecting with Carter on a deeper level. She would tell me with a heavy heart of his struggles after he’d first arrived at her house, and how fearful he was while learning the logistics of the room and a new routine. But then he started to learn that the easier and more courageous choice was to trust his kind and loving caretaker. Jenny observed his process with great admiration, for he was clearly letting go of long-standing fears about trust. During his energetic healing sessions with me, he released a lot of fear and began healing the emotional wounds of his past that had created his trust issues in the first place.
It was during Carter’s second week with Jenny that she received a powerful healing message from him through the symbolism of his being blind and having trust issues. Jenny had been in the middle of trying to make a very difficult, gut-wrenching decision, and through Carter’s teachings she realized she hadn’t been trusting the process and was instead acting and reacting out of fear.
However, by watching Carter give up his fear and learn to trust, like a light-bulb going on, Jenny realized she had not been seeing her personal situation accurately. She then realized how she could look at her own situation differently and trust herself and her heart to make the right decision.
The entire two weeks were incredibly healing and life-changing for both Jenny and Carter. To this day, Jenny will still close her eyes to feel what she is not seeing with her physical eyes to remind her to trust—to trust God, the universe, and mostly herself.
At the end of the two weeks, Jenny took Carter in to get the bandages removed, and the vet was shocked and surprised to find that Carter’s eyesight had been completely restored. He said it was a miracle. Indeed it was, for both Carter and Jenny were now seeing clearly. Every detail of their being together had been divinely orchestrated and the best possible outcome had been achieved for them both.
Every life experience arrives with the potential gift of inner transformation.
Balance: K’en’s Story
Rebecca called requesting a healing session for her cat K’en. When I asked her what was transpiring, she told me that K’en was suddenly refusing to walk on one of her legs. After having an in-depth exam and X-rays taken by K’en’s veterinarian, it was still a mystery as to why she wouldn’t put any weight on the leg. The vet determined that there wasn’t any physical reason why K’en wasn’t using her leg; she wasn’t expressing any signs of pain or tenderness at all.
I proceeded to conduct an energy healing session on K’en. Afterward I felt guided to ask Rebecca if any part of her own life felt off-balance. In reply, she gasped as if she’d been blindsided. She wasn’t expecting me to ask about her and certainly didn’t expect me to ask a question that she resonated so much with. Yes, she told me, astonished. She’d been feeling very unbalanced in the prior weeks, in the arenas of her work and her marriage, and instead of improving, the situation was only getting worse.
After I suggested that K’en might be giving her a message to get back in balance, Rebecca realized that she could no longer procrastinate dealing with and making some important adjustments in her life. Immediately, she began making better choices for herself and her family. Simultaneously, K’en suddenly began walking normally again—in complete balance.
Can you begin to see the power that comes from raising your awareness by looking for the symbolic interpretations of your animals’ actions? Here’s one more story from the school of symbolism from a dear friend.
Empowerment: Yintu’s Story
Lorelei arrived home one day and was surprised to hear her cat, Yintu, meowing loudly as if upset and stuck somewhere, but she couldn’t locate him. Finally, she noticed he was stuck high in a tree, directly above her. Yintu was clearly distressed and calling out for help. Frozen with fear, he believed he was unable to change his predicament on his own. Lorelei, picking up on his fearful energy, believed she also did not have the resources within herself to help him get down. She frantically began calling friends and neighbors, but no one was available to help.
Then it suddenly occurred to her that Yintu represented a fearful inner child aspect of herself that had always felt powerless to change her life’s circumstances on her own. Immediately, she ran back outside and began encouraging him to climb down the tree. The fearful part of her persona was also listening very closely to her words of encouragement to the cat.
Over and over again, she enthusiastically said, “You can do this, Yintu! You’ve got this! I know you have it within you to get down on your own! I believe in you! You have the power within you to do this and more.”
Yintu, feeling and feeding off of Lorelei’s strength and shift in energy and power, slowly began making his way down the tree until he successfully reached the ground.
Again, Yintu was symbolically representing a powerless inner-child aspect of Lorelei that was stuck and in need of some internal parenting to shift. Once Lorelei received the message, she was elated at the realization and the ensuing transformation was immediate for them both.
Sometimes just the awareness of the higher purpose of your animals’ actions brings an immediate shift in their behavior and/or physical issues. Think about something your animals have done in the past and what their teaching might have been for you and what they may be mirroring.
Look beyond the physical action to see if it might have anything to do with something that was going on in your life at that time, or is going on in your life now. If there is a connection, feel it. Embrace it. Let it be a gift that prompts change within you and take action accordingly for your highest good. That’s what’s needed for both you and your animal to feel better. The shift in energy allows for a win-win outcome.
The reality of your relationship with your animals is that you signed up for this ride together to help each other, through love and compassion, heal similar emotional wounds. Help your highest and best self—and theirs—emerge by utilizing the mirrors your animals reflect.
Always be sure to express your heartfelt gratitude to your companions, for they are working hard for you, helping you to wake up to a more authentic life, full of purpose and joy.
If we could read the minds of animals,
we would find only truths.
-- Anthony Douglas Williams
©2016, 2018 by Tammy Billups. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Bear & Co.,
a division of Inner Traditions Intl. https://innertraditions.com
Soul Healing with Our Animal Companions: The Hidden Keys to a Deeper Animal-Human Connection
by Tammy Billups.
The animals we attract in our lives reflect us in many ways. Our connections with them run deeply, down to the soul level. Just like us, they are also on a journey to evolve their soul through their relationships and experiences, and each has deeply spiritual messages for us and intentions for our personal growth. In this book, Tammy Billups invites you to explore and deepen this profound relationship, showing how you can co-evolve along with your animal companions, experience unconditional love, and, ultimately, enact healing for both animal and caregiver.
About the Author
Tammy Billups is a Certified Interface Therapist, Author, Speaker, and pioneer on the emotional and energetic connection between animals and people. She founded the animal ministry at the Southeast’s largest Unity Spiritual Community in 2004 and currently facilitates its monthly Praying Paws Animal Service. She also serves on the editorial board of the Conscious Life Journal, pens a column called Animals as Guides, and donates weekly sessions to animal rescue centers. Tammy has had numerous appearances on TV, radio, and podcasts –including CNN’s The Daily Share, Primetime Live ABC, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is also an ordained Inter-Faith Minister. For more information, visit www.TammyBillups.com