Last week while walking Harvey through the forest an Echidna scuttled across the path, right in front of us! He stopped of course, as soon as Harvey started barking at him, curling himself into a tight ball, quills raised ready to defend and protect.
Such an unexpected sight, I knew I'd have to look up my Animal Dreaming book to see what Echidnas represent.
As we know, and saw, at the sign of threat they will dig themselves into the ground leaving only their quills visible - a great deterrent, this mechanism shuts them off from the world.
Scott Alexander King, author of Animal Dreaming, writes that while this action protects them from attack, it can also unfortunately shield them from any assistance or support offered by those who would see no harm come to them.
Hmmm...I am beginning to feel uncomfortable in my skin - the Echidna sounds a lot like me.
I read on.
"Open your heart to the needs of those around you and the nurturing they can offer. Stop shutting people out. You need to let down your guard, relax your sense of personal protection, develop tolerance and begin to trust."
It was like he was talking directly to me.
"Echidna helps us understand the fundamental distinction between denial and determination,
or...the difference between not wanting assistance and not needing support."
I am definitely someone who likes to be independent, but the warning he gives to be wary of being too independent, to the point where one may be seen as distant, ungrateful, unapproachable came across loud and clear.
I've felt the quills come up. They usually accompany the old belief that I should be able to do this... on my own. Stubborn creature aren't I? And I know this attitude gives off the energy that I don't need help, or want it, doing just what the animal psychic said - shutting me off from the rest of my world.
I really like to support others and help in any way I can. This Echidna has reminded me that I too need help at times - we all do - we're human. And it's high time I relaxed those quills of mine, let down my guard and soften to the beautiful people around me who want to see me succeed and be well.
NOTE: this post is dedicated to those people - family and friends - old and new, who have patiently supported me and shared the journey so far... With love and gratitude : ) xxxx