Updated: Aug 4, 2022
It was the morning of the last class of my new learning series about healing the emotional wounds of animals and their people. Upon rising, I opened the blinds in my bedroom and immediately noticed a large hawk sitting on a big rock in my flower garden. Yes of course this incredible bird likes my garden, I thought, it’s full of birds, squirrels, chipmunks… and Glo bunny.
Glo bunny first introduced herself when I was weeding the back garden in April. I began the weeding process late this year and they were tall and out-of-control! I welcomed the pint-sized assistance.
It took me a minute to see the cute little baby bunny the first time we laid eyes on each other. I was amazed that she didn’t run from me. I weeded an hour or so each day, and she would always be there, helping me in her own ‘munching’ kind of way.
Many times, she was within a foot or two away, completely relaxed and not scared at all. I was in awe of her courage and fearlessness, especially since she appeared to be an orphan and no older than a month or so. I frequently voiced my admiration of her bravery to her.
One evening while we were weeding, she inspired me to spontaneously sing Gloria Gaynor’s song, “I will survive”. I viewed her as a fearless, calm survivor, considering there were plenty of predators in the area that would be thrilled to discover an orphaned baby bunny. From that day forward, I called her Gloria “Glo” Bunny. It didn’t matter whether I was singing or talking, she stayed close by; almost as if my voice provided comfort.
After the garden deep weeding project was completed, I continued to see her daily in the yard. Whenever I’d call her name (even from inside the house looking out a window), she’d excitedly hop towards the sound of my voice. I’d never experienced being a surrogate mom to a bunny rabbit before, and I was fascinated by her ability to instinctively know that she was safe in my company.
The huge hawk was sitting comfortably on a rock close to my she-shed when I spotted him through the blinds. Then I noticed Glo bunny was hiding under the shed. My reaction was instinctual. “Not on my watch” I exclaimed as I rushed to the backdoor in full-blown mama protector mode. Upon opening the door, the hawk flew to the top of the fence, which was actually closer to me. As I walked outside, my plan was to divert his attention and kindly ask him to move along.
But as I got within ten feet from this beautiful bird, and he did not fly away, I abruptly stopped in my tracks, took a deep breath, and realized it was an amazing moment that held a higher purpose.
Time stood still as I sensed the hawk’s energy overflowing with confidence and fearlessness. I felt his gaze look straight into my soul. There was so much power and grounded strength emanating from every fiber of his being, and I could feel his energy directed towards me. After a minute or two, he spread his wings and flew away. It felt as if I’d been in the presence of grace. I was unable to move as I watched him fly into the woods.
Then I turned my attention to Glo Bunny, who was still calmly sitting there in her usual Gloria Gaynor “I will survive” stance looking just as confident and grounded as the hawk. Interesting how their energy was both fine, yet my initial reaction to seeing the hawk had resulted in my energy getting all out of balance.
It was of no coincidence that I was going to teach a class that very evening about the emotional wound of betrayal and how to heal it. When there is an unhealed betrayal wound, one is more likely to have an outward focus and the need to compartmentalize people, situations and experiences into “good” or “bad”. In the heat of my initial reaction, I’d projected “bad” onto the hawk, and “good” onto Glo Bunny. Reactions to pit one being against the other (in all aspects of life) are rooted in times when we felt emotional pain and were victimized. Because of that, we can be over-reactive when similar situations present themselves, feeling certain that we have enhanced, accurate good/bad radar.
I believe the hawks energy was intentionally calming me down as if to say: “All is okay grasshopper. There is a better way.” Nature instinctively follows the natural rhythms and flow of life. Animal mothers do not overprotect or over-coddle their young. They teach them how to take care of themselves through modeling behaviors of coping and surviving through their innate intuition. When there is real danger for their young, they show them survival instincts and only if absolutely necessary will they fiercely protect them.
Humans with unhealed emotional wounds, which means basically everyone, can learn much from our animal teachers about overreacting and overprotecting when it does not serve anyone, especially us; unless we can observe our reaction as something that has come to the surface for us to heal.
Needless to say, I shared the story with the class that evening, knowing the timing of the experience was another reason why the hawk just happened to be in my garden on that day. Several of the participants shared after the class that the story about Glo Bunny and the hawk had given them a new perspective on times they had reacted and projected their pain onto another being.
Seeking the gifts and higher perspective within each experience has the ability to soothe and console us in the midst of difficult times. When you take a step back and observe an experience or interaction from a detached viewpoint, it diffuses the fear-based thoughts and sheds light on the part within you that was triggered. Then you are more apt to react from a grounded and more aware place versus through the lens of unhealed emotional wounds.
And remember, every being that comes into your life is there for a reason. They are all teachers….even hawks and bunnies.
(Below is a photo of Glo Bunny when she was 3-4 months old. Often she would hop up to the sliding glass door to greet myself or Rumi kitty.)