To Bee or Not to Bee - Naming the Fear and asking why
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
I'll get to our Enneagram types and our fears but first...a little story...
I love springtime! I love sunshine, day light savings time, getting my hands in the dirt and planting flowers and even my feeble attempts at jogging in pleasant weather. I love almost everything about this season. So why did the words “I HATE SPRINGTIME” just fly out of my mouth like an angry hornet? Well, there’s a clue in that last sentence. “Oh I totally understand” people will tell me. “I can’t stand bees either”, they say. But they don’t understand. They can’t possibly know the same fear as one who would sacrifice their child to prevent the attack of a killer bee (it was probably just a honeybee). So much for that maternal instinct that is supposed to be instilled in each woman who has borne a child. How could I have done such a thing, you ask. But I did….I held my own toddler in front of my face as a shield to protect me from the wasp or hornet or bumble bee or whatever it was (I didn’t stop to determine classification or phyla even though I was a biology major) as it dive bombed toward me. I immediately realized what I had done! I held my child close to me and told him how very sorry mommy was that she had screamed and scared him when that mean ol’ bee flew at us. But in my mind I was begging “please, oh please, oh please don’t remember this even when you are in the therapist’s office one day - because you will be for sure now!” Over 20 years have passed since that event and I’m happy to say that of my three children that one was my hero when it came to rescuing mom from the winged monster that occasionally found its way into our house. But I managed to spoil many a picnic and scare both young and old with my blood curdling screams until I finally faced my debilitating fear and found help to overcome it. It started with asking ‘why’? Why was I so fearful of this tiny creature? After much inquiry, it seemed to be tied to a particular event when I was just a toddler, sitting in a high chair, eating applesauce. My mom was in the kitchen with me but had her back to me when a swarm of little, bitty sweat bees that were unknowingly nesting inside a wall, smelled the sweet applesauce and decided to join me for lunch. With applesauce covering my hands and my cheeks those little critters summoned all their nearby friends and relatives to have a picnic on me. My mom heard a humming noise and turned to see me sitting perfectly still, not moving as they crawled on my skin, enjoying the all-you-can-eat applesauce buffet. She calmly began to remove the bees from my body and, in fact, she said I was never even stung. The truth is, I don’t actually remember this event but I’ve heard the story and thought of it often enough to have painted an actual image in my head. But is perception really reality? When I began working with a technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to help me overcome this fear it took some extra time because while I was never stung by the bees when I was eating that applesauce, the humming sound the swarm made was at the root. I had to deal with what might seem a minor detail, the sound, before I could rationally move on to the bees that were associated with that sound. Don’t get me wrong…a little fear is healthy and that instinct is there to protect us. But it can create a mind-crippling, life limiting inability to function in the outside world. We come into this world pre-wired with natural instincts that there to ensure our survival. In the language of the Enneagram, each type has it’s own unique core fears and motivations with which we are also born. Nurturing reinforces those fears and motivations in positive and negatives ways. This is our gift…the ability to question ourselves and, in turn, grow to healthier and healthier ways of being. No other species has the ability to 'think about thinking'! If there was no way to determine the why of how we process thought and react to life then we would forever be in bondage to those limitations. We would simply be victims of the roll of the DNA dice. But we are NOT!!