I walked up smiling, carrying my cooler. My friend called from his patio, “Is that an electric cooler?”
“Yep,” I said.
His neighbor came out on her porch and waved.
I said “Hey” and then felt a sharp pain on my foot and exclaimed, “Ow!” I quickly set down the cooler and bent over my foot.
The neighbor said with concern, “Oh, did a bee sting you?”
“I think so,” I looked down. “The stinger is stuck in my foot. Should I pull it out?”
She said, “I think you need Benadryl.”
My friend said, “I have cortisol cream, but you need to wait before applying it.”
I sat looking at the stinger and said, “I heard if you pull it out, you’ll squeeze more venom into your body.”
“Let me know, I can get the cream,’ my friend offered.
“I’m fine,” I replied, as my foot began to throb. I looked at them for help, but all they could do is stare attentively. Ignoring the pain, I limped further up to the house. Then I stopped. I bent down and without thinking about the pain, I swiftly removed the stinger.
Instead of addressing the problem, we overanalyze and avoid it
My friends, meaning well, wanted to treat the symptoms before we addressed the cause. I think we do it all the time. We know what our problems are, although we distract ourselves from them. Some of us tell ourselves that we don’t have a problem, or it’s not big enough to be concerned about. We can also blame others for our situation, so we avoid taking responsibility. Others use the delay or “I don’t have the time” option: “Once I get to my vacation, I’ll be happy, so I’ll tolerate working this job for now.” Or there’s the simple distraction of money, better stuff, or loved ones: “Once I get that job that pays more” or “that new car” or “that girlfriend/boyfriend”, I’ll be happy. And then there is the overanalyzing, which delays taking action.
Changing our lives may not be as easy as flicking a stinger away, but we may exaggerate the pain of removing that stinger from our lives. So make a plan and get started on removing the stinger. Our friends, family, or partners aren’t going to remove it for us.