There is a swarm of bees in there! Don’t open the door! If one gets out, you will be chasing it for days!
My past is a swarm of bees. Every single bad decision I have ever made. Every bad thing that has happened to me. Every single thing I wish I would have done differently. The swarm is buzzing full speed. Circling the space, looking for an exit. Waiting and waiting, buzzing and buzzing. Just building energy waiting to unleash. One slip up, one bad day, one bad moment and the next thing you know I keep opening the damn door. And an angry bee or two dashes out. Then I am chasing it, analyzing it, wondering where it’s going next and how do I get it back in that damn room? How can I get it back in there without opening the door? If I open it, I risk more bees slipping out. So I chase it. Should I just kill the bee? But I can’t kill it. I need it.
And in a moment of clarity I decide I’m going to just live with the bee. Acknowledge the bee. Leave it alone.
But that is hard. It is making a distractingly distinct sound. I can’t just let it be. I forget about it for a minute but it’s not long until I am swatting it again. Regretting it. Hating it. Wishing it away. It is a struggle. It takes an abundance of energy to keep that door shut. It is depleting at times, exhausting to have the mind sparing with itself. A single bad moment, a mundane agitation… and I have opened that door.
Self-awareness. I know living behind that door is no place for me. I don’t belong there. I know I will get stung over and over and over. Each time filling with more poison. And too many stings, too much poison and I won’t have the energy to leave. The swarm will consume me. Take the life from me. I know it. It has happened before. I’ve crawled out of that room battered and swollen, barely alive.
But my brain thinks there is an answer in one of those bees. And it wants to examine each one, looking for an answer that is not there.
And I can’t find the other door sometimes. I know there is another. One that holds the antidote. It houses the flowers. The good things, my successes, my triumphs, my victories. Instead of the bees pollinating the flowers, making the good times good, they seem to suffocate them. Drain the sweetness from their vibrant pedals.
I long for the day that both doors are open. That the bees buzz at a slower clip. They may sting but it won’t hurt too badly because I will be surrounded by the smell of the most beautiful bouquet. Warm sunshine on my face. Birds chirping. Can you feel? Can you hear it? Can you smell it? I can.
But that is in the future. And I’m not there either. I can’t be there. I cannot live in the room of angry bees and I cannot live in the room with the harmonious garden. Neither of those places are here. And I am here. In this day. Sitting at my kitchen table. I’ve been up since 3:30 and the day already feels long. My coffee has a chill to it, I have neglected it while my fingers touched each key. Its 5:30 and time to start the day. To make lunches and breakfast, to get ready for work. And I can’t help but feel sad. I’ve opened that door and I feel the weight of the swarm. It makes it harder to have faith is my ability to parent, to be a good mother, a good spouse, to be a good student, employee, daughter, sister, friend. To eat well, to take care of this body. It is just so heavy. And I want to collapse under its pressure. I want to retreat. To surrender.