Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well.
:: Frequently, when I meet a new person and their animal companion, the person introduces the animal as: "He is my rescue." When I ask the person how long ago she met the animal, the answer is repeatedly, "Five years ago in June." Isn’t that curious?
:: Our human nature keeps our mind in the past, thinking of our animal as 'a rescue' even five years later. Introducing your dog, cat, or horse as a 'rescue' five years after 'rescuing him' holds the animal energetically in that rescue space. The word rescue often evokes pity for the animal. People will know the horse as a rescue and most likely treat him as such. Using words that are no longer an accurate depiction of the animal's reality can hold him back and keep him from moving toward his highest and best.
:: Animals are energy sponges. It is their nature to absorb the energies in their surrounding environment. And words carry energy.
Words cannot change reality, but they can change how people perceive reality.
Jack Schafer, PhD
:: If I introduced my horse to you as "The one who bucked me off." you would immediately think about my horse in a way that is most likely not favorable. If, however, I introduce my horse to you as "the one that teaches me a lot about sensitive horses," you would feel differently about my horse, possibly more curious.
:: I can introduce Scout, our dog saying, "He is sometimes aggressive toward other dogs," which is true, or I can say, "Scout is a hard-working dog, always brings in the feed buckets from the pasture," also true.
:: The power of words becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you refer to your animal as 'trouble,' she might stay troubled. If you call your animal bossy, he will continue to be bossy. These descriptions feel so limiting and restrictive.
:: Animals, just like us, want to be seen and heard for what they're good at. So let's acknowledge and feature our animal's skills and abilities and introduce them as "She is so curious and brave." or, "He is such a gentle leader." Those words allow your animal to reach its potential or support his/her purpose.
:: Next time you talk with or about your animal, consider the effect your words have. Do you express words that feel soft or tight, expansive or contracting?
:: Here are a few examples that show the difference:
I am gonna grab my horse out of the paddock.
I am gonna bring my horse into the barn.
I am gonna train my dog.
I am gonna teach my dog.
When you say those sentences aloud, you will notice how different the first and second versions feel in each case. The first sentences sound bossy, harsh, and limiting, while the second sentence has a softer, more expansive ring. The latter is a soothing balm for the animal's nervous system and your own.
:: When you choose kind words and share something positive about your animal, you foster well-being and build confidence in you and your companion.