I'm allergic to bees. So, from a young age I have been afraid of them. One would come around and I would freeze and then panic and run away.
A few years ago for Christmas I got my family a flow hive and all of the gear they would need to be bee keepers. I did this because I knew it was something my husband had wanted to do for a long time and figured I would just stay away from them.
Well, the reality is that they are everywhere. I love to be outside and have "hangout areas" all over our yard. Wherever I sit they join me.
At first this was uncomfortable and I would wait until they gave me some space and move inside.
Today I was sitting outside reading and realized that there were several buzzing around me and that they had been there for quite some time. Then I realized that at some point this summer I stopped being afraid. They are doing their thing and I'm doing mine. I enjoy hearing them buzz around and understand that they are in search of anything they can find to carry them through the winter. They are taking care of their hive and really not at all interested in me. And definitely not on a mission to attack.
What really struck me about this realization is how it relates to everything in our world. We are fearful of what we don't understand. But close contact and interaction with that scary thing, person, culture, emotion, etc. take away that fear.
In the words of Brenè Brown, it's hard to hate up close, move in.
It's an incredibly freeing feeling to be able to coexist with something that frightened me for so long. So I ask, what fears are we holding onto that simply need contact and connection to dissolve?
And what about our self doubt and the negative stories on replay in our heads? What if instead of pushing them aside and moving away from them we sit with them as an observer? Do they become less scary and something we understand on a different level? Can we live in harmony with every aspect of ourselves and then want this same freedom for all others? I think this is our real work in the world.