Have you ever fallen into the trap of wanting (or expecting) things to happen faster?
Have you ever thought, “Why isn’t this healed yet?!” or “Why won’t this pain go away?!”
Yep, that was me this past week.
I was stung by a bee (or wasp) over the weekend, while outside cleaning up after a big project. I didn’t even see the little stinging friend before it happened. I always tell my kiddos that if you just leave bees alone they won’t bother you… apparently, this bee didn’t get that memo, or I accidentally invaded his personal space without noticing!
I can’t remember the last time I was stung before this and thankfully I don’t suffer major allergic reactions from stings. It still hurt like hell, and started to get that red, inflamed, burning sensation almost instantly — doing exactly what the body is supposed to do to fight off the toxins/infection.
Since I was outside, my daughter and I went hunting for a “quick fix” herbal remedy — plantain. This weed is normally invasive around my house, and sadly when needed the most I could only find one tiny plant!
I tore off and crushed a few of the leaves in my hand and applied the “juice” to the red area around the sting. Ahhh… immediate relief! If only plantain would work on all types of pain, but sadly, this little helper focuses its relief on insect bites and stings. (More info on plantain can be found here and here.)
The following day the sting area got slightly bigger and stayed very red and painful. I tried several other remedies to “fix” the problem — lavender essential oil, Manuka honey, coconut oil, ice packs (all used at separate times) — and while each item worked well for a few hours, I was growing quickly impatient and annoyed that the healing wasn’t going faster.
By the morning of day 3, I had to stop and laugh at myself. Was I really expecting a sting to heal in less than 48 hours?! Did I not recognize that the inflammation and redness had gone down significantly, and the pain was barely perceptible? Am I that hard on myself that I can’t even allow my body the time it needs to deal with foreign toxins invading its system? AND doing exactly what it was built to do in these situations? Oh right, I’m a recovering perfectionist… of course I have super unrealistic expectations when it comes to my own body.
I share this story as a reminder to all of us (mostly myself) that given half the chance… and the time to do so… our bodies can heal themselves from most ailments. It’s helpful if we relax and allow our fabulous bio-computers to do their work, and not add insult to injury by expecting healing on an unrealistic timetable and being stressed or annoyed about it.
How can you apply this lesson in your own life? Are you fighting with yourself over chronic pain that you wish would just go away? Are you stuffing down emotional pain because it feels like too much to bear right now? These things are normal… and it’s also possible to make different choices going forward.
While bee stings almost always heal much faster than chronic pain, I encourage you to believe in your body’s ability to heal. Be kind to yourself. Try to accept what is without wanting the circumstances to be different. Finally, know that it’s okay to ask for and accept help from others when needed. You are loved and supported, and other people (myself included) are here for you.