Respect breeds deeper connection, and stronger connection paves the way for respect
Your relationship with your pets (cats, dogs, or others)is incredibly impactful – and the stronger, deeper, and healthier you can make it, the more positive that impact will become. It’s important beyond anything else that there be strong, healthy connection between you and your pets. And a truly necessary ingredient for the healthiest possible connection in any relationship is honest, clean respect.
Let’s dig into the deeper meaning of these words.
Connection: To bind or tie together. A circle of beings.
Respect: To notice with especial attention. To refrain from injuring or interfering with. Or (and I think this one is really important) to observe.
You always are in relationship with your pets – it’s like an invisible leash, which is also a river of information and energies flowing in both directions, affecting both deeply. But is your bond with your pets healthy? Because in any kind of relationship, for it to be healthy, the beings involved need to be interconnected, interdependent and individuated.
Or in other words, there needs not to be co-dependence, where either or both ends of this invisible leash need the other being in an unhealthy way to be able to regulate and be happy and healthy. In most instances where I work with people’s pets and there is an unhealthy interconnection, there is nearly always a lack of respect in one way, the other, or in both to at least some extent.
Pets and People need to have clear, strong, healthy boundaries with each other in order to have a healthy relationship…
And this is where the majority of humans, especially when it comes to how they relate to and interact with their dogs, really struggle. But to be honest, most of them don’t even realise that they are struggling. This is because humans in general do not understand how dogs behave, and humans also tend to treat their dogs as if they are human infant- helpless, needing constant attention to any need, and also needing that their parents have absolutely no boundaries with them, at least at first.
This is paradoxically because humans love their dogs so deeply. AND because dogs are very determined, very skillful non-verbal communicators, and in most cases better at training humans to do what they want than the humans are at training the dogs. Or in other words, most people won’t ask their dogs to do anything the dog doesn’t want to do, because if they do, the dog gives the human a big-sad-puppy-dog-eyes look, and the human then folds and lets the dog walk all over them!
I see this again, and again, and again, and it leads to anxiety and distress for the dogs when the human is not showing up as a strong benevolent leader. If you think of a human (or a dog, or a cat) that you know who is a powerful leader – they always have presence. And another key trait is that EVERYONE respects a strong leader’s personal space. So the one thing you need to do to gently demand your dog’s respect is that you must teach them to respect your close personal space.
And you must be able to ask your dog to stay out of your close personal space when you choose. And you must begin a dialogue with your dogs about how and when you invite them to come into your close personal space (or you need to learn how to understand when they are asking to come into your space, and be able to communicate a yes or a no).
This leads to stronger respect, which makes your connection with your pets healthier, which helps both ends of this invisible leash. And i you want to learn exactly how to do this, email me at email@example.com – I’d be happy to teach you. It’ll make a beautiful difference for your pets, and for you.
You must connect with yourself, and respect yourself, before you can truly connect with or respect others, be they human or animal
This is the other key thing. If you don’t respect and love yourself, you’ll find it hard to fully respect others. And you need to connect with yourself on an ongoing basis, and in a deep way if you want to understand what you need to embrace and heal to get to that place of strong, unshakeable self-respect, self-love, and self-connection. This takes time, and will, and a willingness to embrace healthy discomfort! And if you need inspiration to do this, you need look no further than your beloved pets!
And here’s where you can click through to watch this week’s video where I talk live about these themes from a bit of a different angle.
And – if you haven’t yet come along to Dr. Ed’s free Pet Silent Pain Masterclass, you can register for that at this link.