As an animal lover I am part of a small minoriity of people where I live. Many many people are afraid and uncomfortable around animals, street animals, domestic pets and wildlife and many believe them to be unclean or ferocious. I have met so many people who have confessed to feeling afraid around animals and some species eg “I like dogs but am scared of cats” “Birds are spooky especially their claws”
The majority is quite comfortable towards living with the fear. However those who are on the spiritual path and want to overcome their fears can begin by learning about the role animals play in our lives. As spiritual teachers and healers. Almost every major faith speaks about compassion for animals, and many ancient civilisations not only worshipped certain species like the cow in India and the cat in Ancient Egypt but considered them as integral to their own spiritual healing and growth.
A Few Learnings
The soul of the mammal, bird, fish, reptile or insect has every right to coexist peacefully with us on this planet. Some species are older than mankind.
Animals respond by instinct and in fact teach us to be aware of our own instinct and intuitive voice.
Many animals sense your fear before you do.
If you’re fearful or uncomfortable about a particular animal, there may be a lesson or learning for you to grow as a soul. The feeling that is evoked may serve as a reminder every time you encounter that particular species that a part of you needs attention.
Many cultures believe the animal appears as a symbol, an omen or as a healer. Your response when you encounter an animal, is the first key to what you may need to learn
Here’s what your fear/discomfort may be revealing.
If you’re afraid of dogs, it means you need to learn unconditional love in this lifetime.
If you’re afraid of cats, it means you need to face your own fear of the unknown and learn to take more risks in life.
If you’re afraid of birds, you find it hard to let go of attachments.
If you’re afraid of fish, you need to learn to just be in the present moment.
If you’re afraid of reptiles you aren’t fully grounded in reality.
If you’re afraid of horses you dont like responsibility.
If you’re afraid of insects you may resent being ignored and need to learn to enjoy solitude.
If you’re afraid of wild animals you need to learnt to trust your own instincts.
Nobody can make you overcome your fear of the particular animal but you and that particular animal.
What can be inculcated is the awareness of why you may be afraid of the animal, what it reveals about you and how it could help you on your own journey.
Your next step would be working towards understanding the animal you’re afraid of. Reading up or watching documentaries about the animal may bring a deep realisation within you that they’re like all of us, living their lives meaning no harm to another.
Understanding may lead to a deeper compassion towards the animal’s right to survive, and have feelings. Working with alternative healers may bring in a sense of courage that comes from connection and empathy.
Its a slow journey, the fear may have been in you for many years and even lifetimes, however with conscious inner work and gradual interaction with the animal you may slowly discover a side of you blossoming in a way you never imagined:)