Read an Excerpt
This excerpt includes the first four pages from Chapter 5, “Their Emotional Wounds” from Tammy’s book, Soul Healing with Our Animal Companions
One of the most—if not the most—fascinating discoveries that I had when I first began working with animals was identifying that they hold the same core emotional wounds as people do, in addition to having the same cloaks of protection. So what does that mean, you might ask?
Defining the Cloak of Protection
Depending on your animal’s past experiences and the physical and emotional wounds birthed from these experiences, your animal may have an unhealed emotional wound that created a feeling of either abandonment, betrayal, terror (feeling unsafe), invasiveness, or of being detached from their core authentic self.
These core wounds can develop from birth trauma, lack of nurturing from one’s birth mother, not getting one’s needs met, physical trauma, or abuse. Even something that happened that might otherwise be perceived as a minor event can deeply affect how your animal develops and how he or she experiences life. The emotional wounds are held safely under a cloak of protection until the animal feels safe enough to release the perceived pain and negative feelings associated with the initial experience. Because emotions are held in the energy field, I see these cloaks as energetic patterns.
At the time the original wound was created, the emotional pain was intentionally pushed down and covered up to safeguard against feeling the emotions birthed from the experience and, in a way, to pretend that it never happened. However, every emotion, positive andnegative, is filled with life energy, so it will always be reaching for the light so it can be free.
Covering up wounds is a defense mechanism that could be viewed as ingenious because the animal has yet to develop the internal means to understand and deal with the emotions of the negative experience, so its natural instincts are to disassociate and bury them in the subconscious. However, if the animal is unable to release the cloak as it matures, the emotions from the negative experience will undoubtedly show up as unfounded or exaggerated fears, aggression, detachment, dependence, negative, and/or neurotic behaviors, or even physical issues.
The cloak was beautiful at its inception, given its protective function, but over time it begins to get dingy and gray because it’s also concealing their most authentic self and preventing them from experiencing a more peaceful and loving life.
From a bioenergetics standpoint, the cloaks of protection unfortunately create energy pathways that your animal’s psyche travels time and time again, repeating the same painful pattern, which then triggers the same chemical responses of fear and anxiety. These responses then become habitual and a feeling of normalcy and comfort can even ensue when the same situation continues to present itself. All of this is choreographed and designed to protect the animal from feeling the pain of the original wound.
Think about the rescue animal that has been rehomed and returned time and again to the shelter, or an animal that is triggered into aggressive behavior in repetitive, similar situations. When the animal is able to heal and release the negative feelings stemming from the original wound, it then feels safe enough to allow its authentic self to shine through.
Your Core Wounds Are Mirrored
Predictable characteristics and potential behaviors are connected with each specific unhealed emotional wound in your animal, making it easier to identify the core wound that they’re protecting.
Here’s the big insight about your relationship with your animal: You will call into your life and be attracted to an animal that has the same emotional core wound(s) as you do. It’s impossible for this not to happen. You will be drawn to each other like magnets. And although the way in which hidden wounds show up for both of you might differ, there will be undeniable similarities. If you didn’t get your needs met when you were young, you’ll end up with an animal that didn’t either. If you’ve experienced invasiveness, someone doing something to you against your will, your animal will mirror that as well.
The good news is that animals are not as attached to their emotional scars as people are. I’ve found that they can clear the effects of the original wound much more quickly than people. They are more trusting of the energetic healing process as a natural one and are not as attached to holding onto their cloaks of protection because they live more from the right side of their brain than people do.
Details of each emotional wound and the repercussions of the specific cloak that protects it will be explained in further detail to help you gain the knowledge that will allow you to enhance your animal’s quality of life in the short run and in the long run. Understanding the animal profiles and their wounds will give you an opportunity to have more love, compassion, and patience for yourself and your animal companion as you continue to evolve together.
Just as people usually have more than one unhealed core emotional wound, animals typically do too. Thus they create experiences at a soul level to help them to simultaneously heal several wounds. When you read through the five descriptive types of animal profiles I developed, know that your animal will rarely exhibit 100 percent of the behaviors from any one cloak of protection profile. Out of the five, they’ll typically have one or two of the core wounds that are deeper emotional wounds.
The ability to recognize your animals’ core emotional wounds could be the beginning of an amazing healing journey for you both to profoundly improve your lives. You’re attracted to each other so that you can heal together and create a safe environment of love and well-being. The most powerful source of healing for you and your animals is the presence of unconditional love in the foundation of your relationship.
Soul Healing with Our Animal Companions by Tammy Billups © 2018 Bear & Company. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com