Animals can be Great Therapists
Updated: Jan 27
Times by yourself can be tough, especially when going through a divorce or separation. You will have some positive days where you think life is right where you need it to be and then you will have some tough days where you question why God is doing this to you. The truth is, God has your life planned and he only give you what you can handle, he is not punishing you. He will challenge us to be better and push us to our limits, or what we think are our limits, but we are made for so much more. But on those days where you are conflicted, depressed, pushed to be better, you might need a friend. And a friend usually listens, but they almost always will give you their opinion, whether it be right or wrong and sometimes we need a different perspective. But sometimes those perspectives can be detrimental or inaccurate enough to make us question life. In these cases, where you need someone to just listen, animals are the best companions.
I got my puppy about seven months after my separation and it was the first time in my life, where I had a dog at the puppy stage. I was ecstatic! I knew he needed me as much as I needed him, which was comforting since I transitioned from a full-time mom of two to a part time mom. I felt like I was not needed anymore, and I was missing out on parts of their lives because I was not as engaged. It took me a while to overcome that emotion. But I knew puppies needed a lot of training, direction, and care. I needed to feel wanted, loved, and listened to. So, it was the perfect fit, he could listen to me and I could care for him and we would both love on each other.
Now, you do not have to get a dog or a puppy, but maybe a lizard, cat or horse – they all are great listeners. Animals have a way of comforting that people do not. They do not judge, they do not care what we wear, they don’t care how we look or what mood we are even in. They allow us to be normal when we need to and that is important. Animals have a way a bringing comfort and joy. I know when my son is with his horse, the world disappears, and nothing matters except how he and his horse interact. Animals can teach us to stop and just relax, breathe the world in and look at the positive things in our lives. Because they only listen (except for a talking bird), they can help us gather our thoughts during a day of hardship. Sometimes just being with animals can bring a sense of peace and reflection that we do not experience otherwise.
Now the animal does not need to be a pet or even domesticated. Sometimes I just sit outside and listen to the birds, watch the squirrels, and take in the fresh air. I love to watch our chickens walk around outside and peck the ground. The way they move their head back and forth and run to keep up with their pack, so they are not left behind. The way they follow me around for food or come up to me just to get petted. They fight over food and take from each other and honestly it is funny to watch them play the game with each other. And there is always a leader in any herd animal, horses, chickens, dogs. I encourage you to just take time to sit outside and take in nature if you have pet or not. Clear you head and just focus on how the air smells, the way the wind is blowing, the sounds you hear, the creatures you see and how they move and interact.
If you want to change your perspective or be more focused in your thoughts, or be comforted on your bad days, consider what God has provided, both domesticated and wild animals and nature. Stop reflect, reset, and re-engage in your life.