One day shortly after Ducklings came to stay, I found myself in a surprising conversation…
“Peep! Peep! Peep! I am HERE. Where are YOU? Peep!” The duckling in my lap shouted. She was upset about being separated from her sisters.
“I know you’re here,” I told her. I used my human voice and my animal communication voice.
“You heard that?!?” she asked.
I smiled. Yep, of course, I said in my animal communication voice.
She fell silent and stared at me for several long minutes, then said, “I’m ready to go back.”
I quacked a couple of times, said OK in my animal communication voice, then kissed her and carried her back to her sisters. Although I only caught a wisp of it, I heard her telling her flock of her experience.
We humans have been a non-communicative lot for a long, long time. It’s not all that surprising when new adult animal friends are surprised to hear any of us respond in their language…but a baby with less than a handful of sunrises under her belt? Rose was only days old, and already she’d adopted the idea humans aren’t capable of understanding. That speaks volumes to me of how we’re perceived within the animal community. It also, at least partly, explains why so many animals don’t quite trust us even when they live among us.
Trust is a Bridge
As animal communicators, no matter our skill or experience level, we’re building a lot of bridges. I took the opportunity on that first communication with Rose to build trust. I listened to her needs, which were to feel secure and safe and to be connected with her flock. I let her know I’d heard and understood by responding to her with my human voice aloud as well as with my animal communication voice. Then, I took action by reuniting her with her sisters. It was the first of many opportunities to show her I am listening, understanding, and I’m going to do what I say I’ll do.
Trust is the first bridge we all build when we’re setting off on a new relationship. It really doesn’t matter if we’re both human or if we’re of any two species; we must establish trust through clear communication before the relationship can grow.
Be Flexible: Change Builds Trust
One of the key components to building trust is to be flexible and willing to change. I was as surprised by Rose as she was by me. She expected I wouldn’t understand, and I expected she was too young for such a clear expectation of us humans. We surprised each other…and we both quickly changed our world views. I saw the burden of representing my species and our capacities falls squarely on my shoulders; it’s my job to show Rose and her sisters we humans can communicate in the universal language just like they can. Rose saw her initial assumptions about humans needed some amending; not all humans are deaf, just some (maybe most), and those who can hear might be worth looking into. We both decided to be open to where this relationship can go and to give each other opportunities to build on that first communication.
It’s Gonna Take Time
Patience is another key to building trust in your animal communications and relationships. Jasper said trust is something you build over time. In his estimation, it’s worthy of many lifetimes worth of building when you find the right other. I tend to agree with this line of thought.
I don’t expect Rose and the Ducklings to trust me completely yet, but I can see already they’re open to the idea we humans are worthy of further study. I feel honored to be on this journey with them. The burden of representing my species, and especially of working on undoing the damage we humans have wrought in our relationships with so many of the beings with whom we share this place, may be somewhat heavy, but I see it’s rich with potential. I’m ready to work at this.
It ain’t Easy: Be Ready to Work on Trust
Willingness to work at it is another key. Rose has since offered me several opportunities to prove I understand her as have her sisters. My response is always the same: Listen, Understand, Act with Integrity…and keep at it no matter how many tries it takes.
I’m happy to build this bridge one brick at at time. When you’re building trust, it’s okay to go slowly so long as you keep going. You don’t have to be an expert animal communicator to build trust with a non-human animal friend. Now, I use my animal communication voice alongside my human voice sometimes, and at others I just use my animal communication voice.
When my animal communication skills were much more rudimentary, I used just my human voice, and I often stumbled and faltered. I was lucky to have a good Study Buddy who was willing to help me develop my confidence and my skills. We built trust by stepping outside our comfort zones regularly and trying again when we got it wrong.
Working at it is about tenacity and willingness to try again over and over if necessary until we’ve arrived at a mutually acceptable conclusion. In other words, if you keep on trying to get it right, you’ll develop a trust in each other’s willingness to keep trying even if you don’t get it right every time. The trust in each other is more important than the outcome.
That doesn’t mean the outcome isn’t important, though. If you want to build a solid bridge of trust, you’ve got to do the work with Integrity. That means the outcome has to live up to the spirit of your communication. I think of this as meaning you follow through on your promises. When I told Rose I could hear her, I extended to her the promise that when she communicates with me, I will listen. Now, it’s my job to listen and negotiate with patience one step at a time.
If you want to learn more about Animal Communication or want a little help understanding your animal friends, contact me. I’d love to schedule an in-person or telephone Animal Communication Session with you.