Updated: Aug 8
Did you know that badgers are very common throughout the UK and Europe, yet not many people ever get to see them?
Badgers are survivors, who live a life that suits them. They are nocturnal animals, who are able to live peacefully with many other animals. They move at their own pace and at a time that suits them. The lessons they can teach us are to not rush into things, to accept others without prejudice and to live a life that suits you, even though it may be different to that of others.
Go At Your Own Pace
Badger’s move at their own pace, whether this is to get to a certain place, or to come out of their set at an appropriate time or when they feel it is safe. Badgers won’t come out if they smell humans. Despite the high population of badgers in the UK and Europe, it is rare for people to actually see them due to the care they take to hide themselves away.
Often when people are faced with decisions there can be a temptation to make a decision very quickly, often without weighing up all the other options available. This can sometimes come from a feeling of desperation or anxiety to change something. Maybe you need a new job, you feel a strong desire to relocate your home, or you may be feeling lonely and want a new relationship. By rushing into new things there is a danger that you could be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
The badger brings a reminder not to rush things. Here are some things you can do instead:
1) Take a step back an breathe! Believe it or not rushing forward can actually set you back in leaps and bounds. Rushing can cause you to make mistakes, make the wrong decision, from which you will need to start all over again, or lead to you making a decision that can possibly make you feel as bad, if not worse than the situation you are already in. Taking a step backward to actually relax and move away from the situation for a little while can help you gain some perspective.
2) Take time to analyse exactly what the problem or situation is that you want to change and why you want to change it. Knowing exactly what it is that you don’t want can really help when considering what you do want.
3) Consider carefully what it is that you do want. This may take a little bit of time and some deep reflection, depending on the decision that needs to be made. Don’t rush it. Journaling, meditation, walks in nature or creative activities can help to calm your mind to facilitate clearer thinking and reflection.
4) List and weigh up the pros and cons of each choice. If the cons outweigh the pros, then it may not be the right choice for you. Likewise, even if there are more pros than cons, are the cons bearable or acceptable to you?
5) Tune into your feelings. Deep down you know when things feel right or wrong. When you think about the choices that you have tune into how they make you feel and notice any resistance that comes up. In some cases, this may be enough, however you may decide to reflect further on what the resistance is and work with that too. Sometimes, opportunities may be missed because of an unfounded fear or belief that just needs identifying and rationalising. (For more information about overcoming fear see Every Snake’s Secret to Achieving Personal Growth and Success)
6) For bigger moves you might want to consider drawing up a plan on how you need to get where you want to be and take baby steps towards it.
Be Accepting of others
Although they will attack if threatened, Badgers are predominantly peaceful animals, who are happy to share their Sett with other animals including rabbits and foxes. This is a great lesson to humans about accepting others without judgement, prejudice, or a desire to change them.
One of the beautiful things about life is its diverse nature. There are so many different plants, trees, and animals, all of which perform their own roles and functions which keep our planet in balance. Even within a specific animal type there is diversity. Different breeds of dog for example, have different strengths and instincts and perform different roles based on those strengths.
Likewise, people are different. We all have different beliefs, cultures, strengths, interests, behaviours, and appearances, which we are all able to use to perform different functions in society. This is to be valued and appreciated. How boring would life be if we were all the same and nobody ever came up with new ideas, new concepts, or new creations? These are the gifts that diversity offers.
Sadly, society often indoctrinates us to belief that the culture, religion, system that we are in is better than others, which creates judgement and prejudice. This is often compounded by the media, who tend to look at things from a one-sided perspective, to sway people’s opinions for or against something through what they choose to report, how they choose to report it and what they don’t tell you or report on. This in turn conditions people to judge others, even from a young age – what they are wearing, what music they like etc.
An additional effect of this is that we are also conditioned to judge ourselves and become fearful of what others think of us, therefore inhibiting the confidence of many to live a truly authentic life. How often have you not worn something you like, not discussed a particular topic, or not pursued an interest or idea because you are worried about what others would think or say? Why is that and where does that fear come from?
Often this may be the result of having been judged previously, especially at a young age. Children are particularly judgmental of others, but even they learn it somewhere. If you consider the impact that judgement has already had on you and your life, consider the effect that your judgement can have on the life of others.
By accepting people for who they are and not trying to change anyone, including yourself, you will not only develop better relationships, in which the people around you will feel valued and appreciated, but you will also draw the people around you who are more in alignment with your own beliefs. That isn’t to say that you will accept inappropriate behaviours and people in your life who make you feel bad, but it will help you become more discerning in who you want around you and move away from those you don’t.
Live Your Life Authentically
Badgers are nocturnal creatures. Some are solitary, and some live in clans of up to 15 badgers, though most live in clans of between 4 and 8 other badgers. Unlike other animals, they will hunt for food independently, so despite being able to live with others, they are self-reliant.
The lesson we can take from this is that everybody is different, and people have different needs and requirements. What’s right for one person isn’t always right for others and that’s ok. As mentioned above too many people allow fear of judgement to prevent them from doing the things that they love, but that can breed resentment and unhappiness as you settle for things that really are not in alignment with who you are (see also Standing Tall With The Giraffe).
Choosing to do things differently can take courage in a society that is quick to judge others. However, by losing your fear of judgement, or even acknowledging that fear and doing your own thing anyway, you will find enjoyment and fulfillment in the things that you love and the things that you do. You are unique and therefore you have your own unique gifts to share. You can’t share them if you hide away or try to fit in with who you think others want you to be. (For more information about living an authentic life, see also Stand In Your Own Power with The Tiger).
The lesson from the badger here is therefore to take your time and move at your own pace, especially when making important decisions; accept others without prejudice - there is enough room on the planet for everyone; and life a life that fits who you truly are. It’s ok to be different.
Lancashire Constabulary - ‘What Is The Law Relating To Badgers?’ https://www.lancashire.police.uk/faqs/wildlife-crime/what-is-the-law-relating-to-badgers/ accessed 13/08/21
Badger Trust - The Fascinating Lives Of Badgers https://www.badgertrust.org.uk/badgers accessed 13/08/21
BBC - Peek into the amazing secret life of badgers w/ wildlife artist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpx70ARAabo accessed 13/08/21
Badgerland - Badger Setts http://badgerland.co.uk/animals/sett.html
It can be very hard for adults to navigate their fear of judgement, but for children who are finding their place in the world this can have a huge influence on their self-esteem and ability to forge relationships confidently.