[Bear & Company, 192 pages]
Misty was a small, dirty blonde ball of fur with a shaggy face entirely tear-stained in a dark red colour. She was lying down on the floor of her cage, quiet and completely uninterested in my mother and me. I wasn’t interested either, but my mother remained in front of Misty’s cage, mind already made up.
While my mother already loved her, I wasn’t convinced that Misty was a good fit for us. She was anxious, miserable and non-responsive for the first few weeks she was with us. However, we stuck it out, and I’m glad we did; Misty is now an invaluable member of our family.
It’s with this recent experience in tow that I read Tammy Billups’ Soul Healing with Our Animal Companions: The Hidden Keys to a Deeper Animal-Human Connection, an accessible read about the meaningful connections that make up the relationships humans have with the animals in their lives. Billups is a certified Interface Therapist and animal bioenergy healer, thus providing insight from a spiritual and bioenergetics perspective on our animals’ actions, behaviours and physical issues, and how those are deeply connected to our own energy and emotional wounds.
Aimed towards readers who are animal lovers, this book is akin to a spiritual guide to understanding your animal companion on a deeper level, which ultimately leads to understanding yourself. This journey of self-discovery ends up greatly benefiting both the human and the animal.
What happens during an energy healing session
Although it’s a bit difficult to fully grasp or visualize how an energy healing session with an animal works without having ever been to one before, Billups is able to convey what can be revealed during such a session, and how it can benefit the human and the animal.
Each session’s purpose depends on the animal’s individual needs. In order to identify and enhance our understanding of what those needs are, Billups takes us through the five core emotional wounds that an animal may have. She describes behaviours and physical ailments that are associated with each core wound, and provides us with ways or methods to help the animal through them.
One of the most effective devices used throughout the book is Billups’ telling of the stories of animals that she helped or met over the years. These stories highlight not only how inextricably linked humans and their animal companions are, but also, more importantly, how these animals serve as guides and teachers. However, we must be the ones to open our eyes, hearts, minds and very selves in order to learn from them.
A key lesson to be learned
Billups provides us with the tools to better understand, connect and care for our animal companions and ourselves. This is most keenly felt in the final part of the book, in which she helps us through the thoughts and emotions that come with making big decisions regarding our animal(s) and how to work through significant life changes.
The key lesson to be learned here is a simple but wonderfully powerful one: love yourself.
The key lesson to be learned here is a simple but wonderfully powerful one: love yourself. Billups reminds us that loving ourselves means healing and accepting ourselves, and our animal companions are there to help us on that journey. In healing ourselves, we also heal them; in accepting ourselves, we accept them for who they are.
What I find surprising is my own emotional response to the book and how it applies to what Misty and I are going through. When we adopted Misty, I was in a dark place in my life: anxious, miserable and non-responsive. Looking back, it’s obvious that we were meant for each other. Although I don’t know much about her past, I can see that her wounds are the same as mine. We both still have a ways to go, but we’re healing together, and I can’t imagine going through this without her.