The Bee Sting Philosophy of Life

It happened the other afternoon. The injustice. The betrayal. The perspective change.

My kids and I were having lunch outside on the patio of a restaurant. It was a lovely October North Carolina afternoon. The sun was shining and bees were flying about as we ate our sandwiches. This scene was perfect – blue skies, warm temperatures, and insect life surrounding us. The bees didn’t bother us; I had taught my kids to be calm around them. I ensured them that the insects were not interested in us and only would sting if we acted crazy causing the animals to move into defense mode. So, there we were eating, laughing, enjoying the sun when suddenly I hear my 4-year-old daughter scream like I have not heard her scream before.
Bolting into action I spun around looking for the culprit. My daughter grabbed her arm and insisted a bee stung her. I couldn’t believe it! How was that possible? We followed the rules. The bees crossed the line. Our first reminder that life is not fair.

A European honey bee (Apis mellifera) extracts...

A European honey bee (Apis mellifera) extracts nectar from an Aster flower using its proboscis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I quickly picked up my daughter and hugged, kissed, and rocked her as she screamed bloody-murder into my ears. But then, the pain subsided a bit and the screaming changed into sobs. After a few more moments, the crying was interrupted by some pauses and then we moved into recovery mode. Going into the restaurant, I asked for some ice and told the man what had happened. He looked at me strangely and then said “She is handling the sting very well.” She was. I was proud of her. Then he added, “What did you do or say to her that she is so calm?”

“I whispered to her that it was not fair that the bee stung her, but that it happened and she needed to decide how she was going to respond to it. It was all up to her.”

My daughter has heard me preach this message before. The act itself, and the pain that followed, was not deserved. She did nothing “wrong” and still she was attacked. But, she could have cried and cried and let her whole day be ruined or she could decide to move on and let her body heal itself and focus on that which was still good.

My children hear these words from me often. They have also see this message play out in action in our home. Their daddy is so sick, with Lyme disease and ALS-mimic symptoms. He can’t talk with them, play with them, or interact with them as we would all like. He did nothing wrong and certainly does not deserve the pain and sadness that occupancies a horrible disease. But, he can choose, and by default his family can choose, to look at the good things in life over the bad condition. The event may not be changeable, but how we move on from the event is all ours.

The Bee Sting Philosophy.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Heather on October 31, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Beautiful!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Asher P on October 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Very well said.. Life does Hurt sometimes.. I have a friend who always says ” Put your Big Boy Pants on.. Life isn’t easy… ” Stay Strong !!

    Reply

  3. Posted by peggy Groscup on October 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Love this Erica — you are such a good Mommy and I admire you more than I can say.
    xoxox, Peggy

    Reply

  4. Posted by Julie Rohrer on October 31, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I learn from you daily. You are an incredible mother. Thank you for teaching me!

    Reply

  5. Posted by Erma on November 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Love this analogy, Erica! And, I admire your strength in doing all that you do each and every day!!

    Reply

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