Lessons From Animals:
In an online post regarding the council meeting yesterday proposing a Therapeutic Community for the homeless on Woodwynn Farms in Saanich, this quote from an upset community member was included “We live out here to be away from the downtown riff-raff. They want to bring the riff-raff out here? What are they thinking?”
On another day, I might have passed this over without another thought, as like it or not, some part of me is quite accustomed to this logic. But today, the true weight of this statement struck me, as they say, like a ton of bricks. My personal work as of late has been on the ways that we, as human beings, separate ourselves from each other and how this separation affects our ability to be compassionate and loving beings to ourselves and others. And so, I had to ask, who are we to think ourselves better or worse than anyone else? Can we really say that “having” more, more possessions or money or fame or “success”, allows us the right to think ourselves better than another being? Or is this, in fact, a large part of the pathological consciousness that is stopping up our evolution forward into truly compassionate and aware beings?
As I gaze out my window this morning I am blessed with a front seat in the movie theatre of life. Chickens peck at their morning grain, horses munch away, pigs snore. There is harmony here between species and with the earth. The chickens have taken in the stray duck as well as a few wild rabbits. They all live with a pot-bellied pig. The dogs exist amidst them all peacefully. In fact, they all live with the help of the others. Darling, the pig, keeps predators out of the coop. The chickens will often lay eggs on the floor for her to eat. The horses leave grain (unknowingly) for the chickens. The chickens, duck and rabbits help us in the garden, to turn the soil and keep the weeds under control. There is a sense of camaraderie amongst this little tribe.
Now, take a human being. We are blessed with a much higher level of cortical function and awareness than a chicken, but the majority of us are in an almost constant state of fear, meaning we are existing primarily in the reptilian and limbic brain, or more precisely, in survival mode. In survival, there is not enough for everyone and we must protect what we have at the cost of others. Change is a threat and so we fight against it, even when it might bring us great gifts. Other people (outside of our families and close friends) are nothing but threats to our survival, dangerous until proven otherwise. We are closed, contracted and unable to feel or express ourselves authentically. Our main goal is to continue to live; but truly, is this living?
In my journey on the road to non-separateness, obstacles abound. My ingrained beliefs, my cultural influences and layers of societal pressure colour the glasses with which I see the world. It has been many years of work to break down these barriers that exist only in my mind. As I shed these distortions away, I begin to see as these animals see, through loving eyes, that indeed there is no difference between us and that each one of us offers a unique and beautiful gift to the world. This, as far as I can see at the moment, is the truth. And sometimes all it takes to believe this truth is for someone to believe it about you. May you never forget that you are beautiful, vibrant and loved.
Alexa Linton, is a Certified Bodytalk Practitioner, a Kinesiologist, Reiki Practitioner and Equine Sport Therapist.