Consent and Permission, NOT Assumption and Preemption

The background of the story:

Recently I had my cat Billy in for his senior wellness check. It was time, I had discovered a new vet that had worked well with Raven and I wanted to see how she and Billy would get along.

Other than the fact he’s aging, I was not expecting any news out of the ordinary. This task was therefore lumped into the same category and having the same emotional impact as ‘do the dishes, do the laundry, put gas in the car’.

I was shocked when the vet dropped the bombshell that Billy was “a catastrophe waiting to happen”, citing he had only 25-33% kidney function left. She went on to say that his condition must be monitored very carefully to keep him stabilized so a catastrophe doesn’t happen.

Dumbfounded by this diagnosis, I became paralyzed with fear and dread. Billy’s last vet check was only a year ago and nothing like this had been mentioned. There was no way I could reconcile in my mind what I knew of his medical history, what he was telling me and what this vet was saying. I also believed the vet was genuinely telling me what she thought to be true, based on her findings.

As the shock started to melt away, I was able to start researching and came up with a plan of action. That plan included talking to a couple of colleagues: Anne Westfall, who has a naturopathic approach to healing and wellness, and fellow communicator and BodyTalk practitioner Kristen Scanlon. Neither picked up anything as dire as the vet was saying, and Kris referred me to a kinesiologist, Sherri Cleveland, with whom we are now working. I am happy to say Billy is on Sherri’s recommended regime, as well as a medication prescribed by the vet. He’s doing quite well, eating me out of house and home and chasing after moths like a little kitten.

Calling on Social Media

The heart of the story:

Still immobilized from shock, I turned to a social media site and spewed out my feelings to a couple of groups to which I belong. I basically recounted the story and cried on their collective virtual shoulders.

As good, supportive folks tend to do, they started sending me and Billy well wishes, comfort, suggestions and encouragement. Then prayers started coming, and next the healings started coming.

I was rather astonished folks were sending unsolicited healings our way. I had purposefully not requested anything like this and I was flummoxed that folks would take it upon themselves to automatically start using their healing skills in whatever modality they practiced to send healing to Billy without first being asked.

It was overwhelming, and not in a good way. I had to ask people to stop doing this. I’m pretty sure I offended and hurt some people, which was certainly not my intent, but it was Simply. Too. Much.

So? Isn’t The More Healing, The Better?

Don’t get me wrong – I know in this situation and situations like it when folks send healing they are well intentioned and are trying to help, trying to make things better and ‘fix’ the situation.

So why did I put a stop to it?

By this time there was a plan in place, which had been very carefully thought out and was strategic in the way it would play out. I had consulted with Billy (as had Kris and Anne) and this plan honored his wishes and respected what he thought would be the best way for him to move forward and get better.

Careful forethought was involved, making sure that everyone who participated was on the same page and their healing and energetic vibrations were not only what Billy wanted, but they were complimentary to each other, similar to puzzle pieces fitting easily together.

Any unsought or arbitrary healing that was sent this way had the capability to throw a kink into this carefully structured healing program that Billy himself had requested. Billy needed a human voice to speak up for him that other humans would understand and to say ‘no’ for him. So I became his voice.

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

While Billy’s request was, of course, the primary reason for speaking out and declining those healings, personally I had other grounds for turning them away.

It came down to ethics, boundaries and how healing works, regardless of the modality.

As an animal communicator, I abide by and practice a Code of Ethics. It says in part:

In the interest of creating mutual respect, we go only where we are invited to go. This will help us help those who are open to us; thus creating a receptive, harmonious situation allowing a greater chance at resolution of problems.

That’s the clincher: “we go only where we are invited to go“. Why? First off it’s good manners, but also because the request for help needs to come from the animal or person themselves. They need to be invested in their own well being, and a big portion of that comes from that first step of asking for help.

When I am working with a client and the appointment has been scheduled, I always request they call me at the scheduled time. This is a way of the caretaker concretely demonstrating to their animal pal they are invested in the animal’s well being. If someone is not invested enough to make a simple phone call, chances are they are not committed enough to follow through with whatever is needed to be done to better the situation. It tells me I am not truly invited to participate in their relationship.

Whether it’s healing through animal communication or another modality, there is always a conversation going on between the person facilitating the healing and the animal/person receiving it. My friend Anne calls it a story being told. When an animal communicator/healer/whatever goes in without being invited, they are projecting their needs, intention and their desired results onto the animal or person. They only have half of the story, their half, and have not taken the time to listen to the other’s story. They are coming from a place of power over instead of relationship with. Be it well intentioned or not, this indicates coming from a place of ego, not from a place of being of service with another sentient being.

Our own ego has no place in and is irrelevant to another’s healing.

Consent and permission is necessary to proceed with an animal communication or healing. It is not OK to make assumptions and do what we think is best. This is a time to profoundly listen to the other’s story and abide by it. Because it is their story, not your story.

This is a hard lesson to learn – it involves looking at ourselves and our intentions with tenacious honesty and clarity. It involves exploring our own psyche and discovering why we feel it necessary to step in and project our abilities and desires onto someone else without being invited. While it involves being compassionate and non-judgmental with ourselves when we become aware of this, it is a behavior that needs to be addressed and changed, whether we do it on our own or with the help of a professional.

When we are invited in and choose to accept that invitation, the healing becomes more than good intentions, it is a powerful tool in the well being of all.

Here’s To New Beginnings,