Yesterday while working in our backwoods I got red ants all over my arms and legs. For over a week I’ve been pulling out weeds, cleaning debris, and taking out poison ivy from the roots. Luckily I am not allergic to poison ivy because the place is full of it. It’s definitely invasive just like the kudzu. As I was transplanting some moss and ferns a colony of red ants made their way throughout parts of my body. I was rushing because it was late afternoon and I was tired. I stopped being present in what I was doing. When I felt them on me I stomped and went to the creek to get them off. Unfortunately, it was too late for my arms. I was covered with bites. Nonetheless, at that moment I poured water and kept on working. My body was on that go-go state and the bites really didn’t hurt.
Last night I was miserable. No matter how much lotion I put on the bites I resumed to scratching and tearing out my arms and legs. Several times I got up and got ice cubes to rub on the welts for some minor relief. This reminded me of how difficult it is to ignore the sting when we are hurt by others. Red ants attack when they feel attacked. I was in their space. They were minding their own business when I invaded their place. Isn’t it just like that sometimes with people?
It is difficult to avoid a sting or bite from another person even if they aren’t closed to us. Our ego gets a huge bruise and we take things to heart. We worry, create anxiety, and hold remorse. A lot of times issues arise between two people that have nothing to do with that particular moment. Sometimes it’s just that we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. You can never know what is happening inside of another person. I also know that usually the people closest to us are the ones who feel they can let go and attack.
My little welts (that aren’t little anymore) are a reminder that it is hard to focus on something else when pain gets a hold of me. I found myself even apologizing to the ants the moment I saw them all over me. And, that’s another thing we don’t do when we enter into a place of hurt with another…we don’t remove ego out of the equation and apologize for our invasion. Whether you are wrong or right those three simple words, “I AM SORRY!” are magical. Often times an apology is the bridge between a sleepless night and one without worry.
Sometimes welts, scars and hurt are created by our invasion in others’ lives. We are co-creators and participants of each other. The pain we take on is always a lesson and once we recognize the significance we can move on. If we are present and aware of our actions many times we can avoid those moments. We can then walk away and not be intruders in someone else space. Mindfulness would have been a savior for me yesterday. Now don’t mind me, I have to go put on more lotion on these suckers…it is going to be long itchy day.