In reporting the news of the day, have you noticed that most stories relate to death, destruction and downfall? In a world where we are surrounded by 24/7 news and social media sites, we are bombarded with negative news. In the world of animal protection, people frantically post stories and pleas for help to protect animals from harm. And while the hope is to reach just one person who can make a difference for that animal, or to reach out to authority figures to hold abusers accountable and obtain justice, there comes a time when it is too overwhelming and we tune out. It’s called compassion fatigue where the negativity becomes too much to handle and we tune out. While I typically do not listen to national or local news in order to keep my outlook positive and uplifted, I have noticed recently the number of social media stories focusing on the cruelties committed against animals and anger towards the abusers, animal shelters, and criminal justice professionals. The anger may be justified, but is it getting us the results that we want? It is why I feel compelled to declare June as Positive Animal Protection Month: a month where we only focus on the positive side of animal protection, heartwarming rescue stories, selfless acts of kindness, and celebrating the human-animal bond.
I am a Certified Law of Attraction Counselor. I practice and teach others that like attracts like. In general terms, if you put out positive energy, you will attract positive energy. When we place our energy and attention on being mad a someone, we give them our energy and we give power to their behavior. Have you ever been in an argument and found that when you actively engage in the argument, it ramps up the intensity and duration of the argument? When you give your energy to the argument, you give it more power and life. However, when we disengage from the argument and put our focus elsewhere, the argument dies. It is human to be upset when we hear of an animal who has been harmed and our natural instinct is to strike out in anger against the abuser. I suspect you all have read someone who has commented “we should do the same to him/her.” That response places the focus on the abuser, the negativity of what happened, and sends energy to keep it going.
Just for the month of June, why don’t we consciously choose to do something different? Why don’t we decide to fill these tragic situations with positive energy, love, and compassion for the animal. If we individually and collectively put our focus on the animal, that energy will flow to the animal and support the animal to heal. If the animal died, we can still send love and positive energy to the soul of that animal. We all have seen where animals are incredibly resilient and even situations where the animal holds no grudge or judgment against their abuser. While some animals may be scarred by their trauma, many animals are able to live in the moment and let it go. We need to practice letting go of the negativity of what happened and keep our focus on sending positivity to the animal.
This does not mean that the abuser gets away with their actions. As a former prosecutor, I know that there are good professionals out there enforcing laws, and sadly there are also professionals who do not care. Initially, let them do their job. Being supportive without nasty emails and phone calls will actually send positive power to the professionals. If no action is being taken, you can still reach out to the investigators or prosecutors with kindness and compassion, not anger and forcefulness, and ask for them to look into the situation. Here’s another way to look at it … When you charge at someone with anger and resentment for not doing things how you want, people tend to put up a barrier. But when you approach someone with a genuine desire to be supportive, they are more likely to embrace you and your ideas.
The animal protection movement has a growing army of caring and dedicated soldiers who fight to protect animals. However, fighting is negative and puts up resistance. So let’s put down our weapons and the anger and change our energy and focus to bringing light, love and compassion to all of the animals in the world and those who are charged to protect them and enforce the laws. This may sound like a pie-in-the-sky theory that is easier said than done. But it is something that the world and our current society desperately needs to embrace. If we continue this spiral into negativity, we will bring more negativity into the world.
A good way to test this is to practice this technique in your own life. Whenever you encounter someone who is rude, disrespectful, or even harmful, just make the conscious decision to detach from their energy, visualize surrounding yourself with love and compassion (sometimes I envision a pink or white bubble around me), and then send compassion to this person. Why? Because people who strike out in anger, rudeness, and negative behavior are really conveying outwardly how they feel about themselves. They are hurting inside and striking out helps them cope. Remember the saying misery loves company? When you understand that, it becomes easy to send out a wave of compassion to them. So instead of engaging your armor in an argument or entering the battle with others to strike out against those that harm animals, let’s shift our energy and begin to behave like the animals … let’s fill our hearts with unconditional love and send a prayer (or well wishes) to all involved. We just might be surprised to see that when we fill the air with compassion energy, we start the tipping point to helping others be more compassion to animals and people.