Spirit Animal Armadillo
Gifts: Boundaries. Recognizing your vulnerabilities. Empathy. Groundedness.
Challenges: Hiding your vulnerabilities. Lack of intimacy. Lack of empathy. Impenetrable boundaries.
Armadillo is a powerful ally if you have weak boundaries, as Armadillo offers the gift of strong boundaries. When you have a difficult time filtering other people’s needs and emotions, taking them on as your own, Armadillo can guide you toward strengthening your boundaries—or creating them to begin with. It is not your responsibility to carry the emotional baggage of the people around you. If that’s what you're doing, you may be highly empathic and sensitive, finding yourself randomly upset or out of sorts for no apparent reason. The reason is that you’re picking up what other people are feeling and projecting.
Armadillo brings you a sense of grounding—firm footing on the recognition of true self. The search for Self can lead to head-in-the-clouds flightiness, floating in the unknown. Armadillo reminds you to hold onto your roots and keep your feet on the ground.
Armadillo teaches you to know your vulnerabilities. You cannot protect what you do not know. You don’t have to expose your vulnerabilities to everyone or in all situations. You have the power and the right to pick and choose when you show your vulnerability and when you show your shell. Knowing your vulnerabilities will enable you to discern which to do when.
Armadillo can roll up in a ball to protect itself. More often, it runs away when threatened. If Armadillo is your spirit animal, the lesson isn’t necessarily for you to hide or run away all the time. The lesson is to use these gifts judiciously. Spiritual growth requires exposing your vulnerabilities—and occasionally getting hurt in doing so.
A challenge of Armadillo is that you can become overly defensive, perpetually hiding your vulnerabilities, even denying that you have any weaknesses to begin with. Fear of vulnerability expresses itself as an intense desire to avoid criticism and ridicule. Armadillo avoids criticism and ridicule by rolling up in a ball and hiding. When you are hidden, nobody can see you to criticize or ridicule you. Right?
Another challenge of Armadillo is overreacting to fear. Physical armadillos jump three to four feet straight up in the air when they are startled. If you’ve driven through the state of Texas, you’ve probably seen these “Texas speed bumps” dead in the road. When a car passes over them, jumping straight in the air is the absolute last thing they should do. When you start to overreact to fear, think of that Armadillo lying dead on the road . . . then breathe and choose a healthier Armadillo response instead.