An Irrational Fear of Bees
Apiphobia, an irrational fear of bees, is something I’ve struggled with as long as I can remember. I have several childhood memories of fleeing from a single bee due to the simple idea of the damage it could do to me. I once took a nasty ten-foot fall from an observation tower at a friend’s little league game, knocking myself unconscious upon meeting the ground, all to escape the perceived wrath an innocent little honey bee. I had been running from bees my entire life when finally, while I was in college in my early twenties, it happened. I was in the middle of substitute teaching a class for my creative writing mentor, and I slammed my hand to my thigh to emphasize a point about metaphor or analogy or something, only to feel a sudden sharp piercing pain between my fingers. For the first time in my life… I had been stung by a bee. I swear I could hear the stinger penetrate my skin, and all I could do in the moment was laugh to myself and think of all the time I had wasted being afraid of nothing. Sure it hurt, and of course it’s not something I would want to experience on a regular basis, but I was fine. I was fine! It barely even swelled up! What the hell was I so afraid of? The average honey bee is less than one hundredth of my height. This is the embodiment of so many of our fears.
Stop and think for a second about how many choices you make out of fear. We stay in toxic relationships because we’re afraid we will never find love again. We keep working the job we’re miserable in because we’re afraid to end up homeless and hungry. We avoid being who we actually are because we’re afraid people will reject our true identity. The fact is though, the likelihood of being killed by bees in the U.S. slightly exceeds one in ten million according to a brief search I did on Google. Our fears are futile. Quite frankly, the universe doesn’t give a fuck who you’re with, what job you work, or who you pretend to be. The universe isn’t against you. Your own choices are against you. and the reason they’re against you is because you are afraid. The real, and most important question is, what do you want? What drives you and brings you joy? Once you have that figured out, take some time and consider what is keeping you from obtaining it.
Personally, I have some rather specific entrepreneurial endeavors I am working toward. The problem is, they are risky, as most start-ups are, and admittedly I have several fears surrounding this. I worry I won’t find a life partner who is supportive enough to understand my passion and endure the possible pitfalls of starting a business. I worry about leaving my current position of financial security provided by a soul sucking corporation which daily compromises my values and ethics. I worry about failure and all the pride and effort I put into my passions being fruitless. I have a feeling deep in my gut that I was made to be great in some way; something more than a “cog in the wheel” as they say. When it comes down to it though, if I let those fears dictate my actions, I am frankly worse than the cog next to me on the assembly line who is content in accepting his fate as a cog.
The point here is, fear ruins our lives! Fear keeps us stuck in a perpetual state of longing, unable to reach our full potential, and whether we realize it or not, this interferes with our relationships and interactions with others. I often find myself mentally distanced from what is directly in front of me (whether it is my job, my family, or my friends), all because I am unfulfilled; petrified to pursue the life I truly want. Now, I know it may not seem like it in the moment, but your fears are like a bee sting. If or when you get stung, it is rarely something you cannot recover from! It is important to remember, bees make honey too, and I don’t know about you, but I eat honey a lot more often than I get stung.
One more time:
- What do you want to do with your life?
- What are you afraid of that is keeping you from doing it?
Comment below. Share your perspective. Let’s chat.
Lastly – GO. DO. LIVE your life.