I see it all around me. Beautiful people who love animals and want to relieve suffering the most – getting taken down – trampled – disheartened – swallowed – by what they are most passionate about. What we love the most can make our hearts sing or break.
One day we rented the movie “The Cove” thinking it was a light-hearted summer beach and dolphin flick. Well, instead it was a true story about dolphins getting rounded up and bludgeoned to death. As someone that holds all animals in reverence – with a particular soft spot for dolphins – I found myself in such a state of reactive turmoil that it was probably a good thing that I wasn’t there at the scene – that I didn’t have a club in my hand – and the opportunity to match the mentality of those committing the act – to sink to that level.
The intensity of my reaction was so strong, I could have made myself sick. The footage put me in total shock. The popcorn went untouched. My heart hurt so bad, I could barely breathe. At one point I almost puked. After surviving the moment, I could have chosen to continue to whip up the experience day after day, looking for stories to feed my anger, grief and resistance. If I made it my mission to walk the earth looking for ugliness – for further evidence – to support and fuel my story – day after day, week after week, on a rampage – I would find it somewhere. With this focus I would become a hateful one person gang. A mission lived this way can eat you up from the inside out.
The real live people in the movie rose above the level of getting swept away in reactivity. It wasn’t a documentary about murdering the murderers. It was a story about the strategy, courage and teamwork it took to shine the light on what was occurring – to get the video footage to let the world know what was going on behind closed doors. This was a much more effective action than getting permanently thrown out of the country, thrown in jail, or worse.
The best navigational tool I can suggest when you see something going on with animals that bothers you is to find a way to make peace with what is. It is always the first step. Doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to help. Just keeps your guts from getting splattered on the road along with the snake or dog or squirrel.
Finding peace raises your vibration above the level of fighting against what is. It takes you out of reacting to more effective action. You can think clearer. “Ok this is what is going on, what can I do?” It lifts you out of ego. It connects you to broader perspective. It lets you see from someone else’s shoes. It allows more intelligent action more in harmony with all that is. Dropping the fight, the resistance, the reaction – to find peace – always feels better inside you.
The only way you can be the change you wish to see in the world, is to make peace with what is. You have to find peace to bring peace. You have to find peace to bring peace to the animal in distress. Or to see that there actually already is peace, where you thought there was distress (from your human limited reactive view of the world).
To make peace in a situation that bothers you, transformation has to occur. Triggers are a gift! Not only do they show us what we love and where our passion is. They also hold the key to our freedom. They show us our limiting thoughts, beliefs and what causes us to lose our power. Each one is an opportunity for freedom.
If you can look at what bothers you from a place where you are not resisting, fighting, running, denying they exist… you are well on your way. In that still pause of calm acceptance, transformative insights and understandings have space to land. There is room to receive. There is a pause (between all the flailing and shouting “NO” inside you). Broader perspective on BIGGIES such as fear of the unknown, lack of control, being homeless, hungry, bullied, or death can be shown to you. In shining the light on these things, love will be revealed. Once transformed, the turmoil and the trigger disappear.
How can we best help the animals? Grow peace, love and forgiveness within ourselves. Then we can bring it to the situation and to the world.
Dr. Penny Lloyd is a NWESC veterinarian who enjoys teaching skills and games to grow our healing bond with animals. For more information, visit ConnectionTheBestMedicine.com