A Stinging Consciousness

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? Last week, Anna had a day like that. It was her day to go to the vet and get her yearly vaccinations. Bad enough for a dog, right? It gets worse.

Anna is all nose, and this particular morning her nose got her into trouble. Sniffing around in the backyard before going to the vet, her nose led her right into a nest of yellow jackets. They were not happy with her intrusion and made their dissatisfaction clear in no uncertain terms. I guess you could say she was "sticking her nose in where it didn't belong."

So you're thinking she must have learned her lesson, right? WRONG! No sooner had we brought her home, injection of Benadryl and all, than she went right back out there again! This time the angry bees chased her all the way into the house! Since then, she has been making a wider circle around that nest.

I hate to admit that Anna's behavior reminds me a little of myself. There have been times in my life when I have felt the "sting" of rejection or humiliation or just plain rudeness from someone else and something in me wanted to make excuses for them. "They didn't mean it. They were just having a bad day. Don't take it personally. They just don't know any better. It's probably my fault." Then I would put myself right back in harm's way, only to get "stung" again. Am I an optimist or just a fool?

How many of us can recall a recurring life pattern, repeating the same mistakes over and over again? What is the lesson to be learned? I think it's about consciousness. When I am fully conscious of my own feelings and needs, I am more able to have my needs met in an appropriate, life-enhancing way. When I am fully conscious of the needs of others, I am more likely to want to help them meet their needs as well.

Anna wanted to identify the strange scent in her familiar backyard. The yellow jackets needed a safe place for their nest. The yellow jackets made their needs known (albeit forcefully), Anna comprehended (at least the second time), and now they are able to share the yard in peace. Hopefully, as human beings we can make our needs known without stinging each other or sticking our noses in where they don't belong.

Surprisingly, many of us don't know what we need. After all, we don't want to be too "needy." Take a look at this list though, and see if you don't resonate with what's on it: Universal Needs List.