Our animal friends are more than companions. Our furry and feathered
playmates are reflections of our unconscious emotions and actions.
Through their behavior, animals mirror the aspects of our lives that are
out of harmony. These crafty creatures are on a compassionate mission:
to help us re-align with our life goals when we get off course.
A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
Sometimes this reflective phenomenon is easily seen between parents
and children. On his TV show, Dr. Phil explains how children's emotions
and actions are reflections of their parents' unconscious emotions and
actions. Dr. Phil uses TV cameras in people's homes to catch this
reflection on video.
In one family, the cameras reveal how accurately a son reflects the
emotional state of his mother. The mother is angry. The son is angry.
Mom throws things when she is frustrated. So does her child. When
feeling out of control, mom smacks her son. When having a tantrum, the
child hits his mom. Before the mother saw her own actions on tape, she
mistakenly thought that her son is the cause of the disharmony. The
mother was unaware that her son is reflecting her own feelings. After
seeing the tape, mom realizes that she will have to first change her own
behavior before her child's behavior will change.
The Pet Reflection
Animals, like children, also mirror our unconscious emotions and
actions. Just like the son who reflects the anger of his mother, our pet
"children" reflect how we really feel when we're not aware of our
true feelings and behaviors. If pets are "misbehaving," our pet
pals are most likely telling us that we're "misbehaving." We're out of
alignment with our life goals and don't know it!
Animals see beyond our "I've got it all together" outer appearances.
They know what's really going on inside us. Being quite sensitive, it's
easy for animals to know that we're angry, scared, confused or depressed
before we know it. And to inform us, our pet buddies show us what's
going on with our feelings in the only way they have available-through
their actions. Behaving in unusual or annoying ways is usually the only
means critters have to get our attention.
Animals are in our lives to assist us to have more fun, joy and
harmony. When pets are happy, they're reflecting to us that we're being
successful in living in a way that's harmonious and nurturing. And when
pets are "misbehaving," our pesky pals are "telling" us that we're not
acting in our own best interest. In a very real way, our pets "r" us.
Here's an example of how the "pet reflection" works:
Wishbone, a Cocker Spaniel Who "Leaks"
Wishbone is a sweet cocker spaniel who loves people. Unfortunately,
this wiggling ball of fur pees uncontrollably when he interacts with
people. If people are standing too close when Wishbone greets them, he
leaks all over their feet. Thinking Wishbone's problem is physical, his
"mom," Ann, takes the spaniel to several veterinarians. Wishbone gets a
clean bill of health. The cause of the problem is not physiological.
What's this leaking spaniel reflecting about Ann? In one moment his
behavior says, "I'm happy to see you." The next second he repels people
by peeing on them. The spunky spaniel is giving mixed messages to the
people he enjoys being with. Wishbone might be reflecting that Ann is
giving mixed messages to the people she enjoys being with.
When Ann tells me about "Wishbone's" problem, the pet reflection
becomes clear. On the one hand she praises her pooch saying, "Wishbone's
such a great dog." In the next breath she reveals her pain and conflict
complaining, "I'm so frustrated with him, I don't know what to do." Ann
is giving me mixed messages! And the more Ann shares with me about the
rest of her life, the more mixed messages I hear.
It doesn't take me long to verify that Wishbone is reflecting Ann's
mixed communications. When I'm alone with the spaniel and I'm consistent
with my message to him, my feet stay dry. Any time I give him a mixed
message, he pees on me. I quickly learn not to say "What a good
boy" at the same time I feel upset with him.
Through his contradictory actions, Wishbone is trying to tell Ann
that she's putting out contradictory messages to her world. Also,
because Wishbone is unconsciously pushing away people he wants to be
with, most likely Ann is unconsciously pushing away people she wants to
be with. When I asked Ann about this pattern, she realized that she is
The next time your pet "misbehaves," rather than correcting your pet,
why not experiment with changing yourself? Then notice what happens.
Once you harmonize your own feelings and behavior, your "pet's" behavior
problem will "magically" disappear!
If you'd like to find out more about the reflective relationship
between people and animals, here are some books that might help. Two
books by Ted Andrews, "Animal-Speak" and "Animal-Wise," show how people
enrich their lives by understanding the specific traits of animals.
"Animal Angels," by Charlene R. Johnson and Michael Rebel, contains true
tales about how animals guide people's lives back to happiness and
Sulana Stone, personal life coach, vision quest guide and animal
communicator, assists people to get the gift of "the pet reflection" by
email, phone and through workshops. She provides hot tips and fresh
articles for people who want more love in life, yearn for a more
fulfilling job, or seek a purpose beyond the mundane in a FREE
Prosperity Ezine at