That bug. That nasty, creepy-crawly, disgusting bug.
That bug. That beautiful, golden, iridescently luminous bug.
Have you ever noticed how our perspectives on a situation can change given its background, framework, and surroundings? Upon discovering the bug in this photo on the kitchen floor, would you find this bug to be utterly repulsive? Would you even hesitate to step on it, crush it, and flush it down the toilet?
Take the same bug, clinging to the petals of a stunningly vibrant flower, and it almost glows. The same bug, with different surroundings and a different perspective, can be recognized for what it really is – a life-giving, life-sustaining, indispensable participant in the vitality of nature.
The same can be said for the bugs of our lives. Depending on the framework that we provide, we can see a challenging, painful, or stressful experience as a horribly unfair, no-win situation. Or we can see the circumstances for what they truly are.
Of course, bad things happen. Terrible, unjust, awful, ghastly, no-good-reason, bad things happen. And we have every right to be sad, to mourn, to grieve, to be pissed off, to wail “Why me?!? WHY THE F*&^ ME?!?
But once we step back, distance ourselves from the pain of the situation, and gain some perspective we might be able to see the situation for what it is. A nasty, ugly, creepy-crawly, and utterly beautiful bug.
Several years ago I suffered three consecutive miscarriages, all during a year when my husband was experiencing exceptional work-related stress and we faced a number of other challenging events. At the time, those miscarriages, the vanishing ultrasound heartbeats, the countless visits to the fertility clinic to discover why this kept happening, the surgeries, the needles, the tests, and the emotional rollercoaster of unstable hormones, were all disgustingly scary bugs threatening to crawl into my soul and eat up what was left of my optimistic and faithful outlook on life.
But now, years later and with perspective and a different framework, I am able to look at the situation for what it was. Yes, it was nasty. Yes, it was disgusting. Yes, it was painful.
But, in a weird way, the situation was almost beautiful. Not just because it eventually resulted in the birth of our second son, a little over two years ago, but also because it resulted in the birth of a new appreciation for my eldest son. A new admiration for my husband and our resilient marriage. A new empathy for the pain that others may be experiencing. A new comfort in my supportive family and friends. And a new respect for my enduring spirit and faith.
Oh, how bugs have a way of getting at us and getting into us, making us feel scared and unsafe and utterly grossed out.
But put them on a brilliantly dazzling flower and they can almost – just almost – become radiantly beautiful.