Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Life lessons from a bug

It was a comic scene at my feet. The black little beetle scurried toward my shoe with great intensity, bumped into it, capsized, wiggled furiously, righted itself, and scurried off in another direction. However, my bag was directly ahead. With unbridled intensity my little friend ran right into the bag and capsized yet again. It only took a few seconds of struggle before the beetle was upright and on a different course. Unfortunately, the course had yet another roadblock.

I watched as this tenacious little creature repeated this process three times in the space of two square feet and a span of a few minutes. As I removed my belongings, which were its obstacles, the beetle was free to roam and find opportunities or obstacles at greater distances. I walked away with a huge smile and chuckle inside.

I appreciate the reminder that this beetle provided about the presence of choice. For much of my life I lived with a distorted view of choice and really believed that I had very little. Because of my upbringing, I was taught that behaviors were “right” or “wrong.” Obviously, if I wanted to be a “good” person, then I would eliminate 50 percent of the choices.

Then, I worried about what other’s thought or how I would be perceived and another percentage of options was taken off the table. I also lived with great fear so more limitations closed around me as I was afraid to do just what this beetle did: struggle.

As I’ve grown older, I have learned that freedom of choice as well as struggle is a gift. I’ve often heard the adage, “Do the next right thing,” but I was so afraid that I wouldn’t know if it was “right” that I felt immobilized. Now, I am aware that doing the next right thing simply requires being present and choosing the next step to the best of my ability based on what I know and understand in that moment.

The choice may not serve me well and a struggle may result. That is part of the human experience. In addition, consequences exist for choices we make. That is the natural order of the universe. The beauty is that everything provides an opportunity to grow, to learn, to evolve, and to share our experience, strength, and hope with others.

Then, I choose again. Just like my little friend. Obstacles may come and life circumstances might change. Yet, I smile and am inspired by the tenacity of a little black beetle that reminds me to choose again, right myself, and move forward with unbridled intensity toward whatever lies ahead. Whether it’s an open path to opportunity or another obstacle that will require struggle, I am free to choose again.