“Find Your Wasp Sting”

I think it’s time for a little story don’t you!?

Gather round children, we have a tale of millennial mental health with potential food for thought. Yum yum.

A couple months ago, I got the words “Wasp Sting Flow” Tattooed on my shin. What on earth does that mean??

Well if you shut up, I’ll tell ya 😉

Once upon a time, the year was 2016. I was spending the weekend in Altofts,. A village outside Wakefield. Nearby Leeds (the greatest city in the UK, hands down, don’t even start). I was spending the weekend with my then boyfriend.

Now to paint a little background for context, I was fresh out of an abusive long term relationship and at this point had not addressed any issues that had come from that, nor realised anything would need addressing at all at this point.

My then boyfriend was a lovely nice man (which was great at the time, to be with someone genuinely nice, it ended due to simply not being compatible). He was outdoorsy and full of community spirit.

So, back to Altofts. Not my favourite place in the world I will admit. A sleepy village with not much happening. My worst nightmare.

One day it was hot and sunny and we decided to go for a walk in the fields and forests nearby. What a lovely way to spend the afternoon hey!?

Unfortunately, in those days I was displaying behaviours that helped me day to day during the abusive relationship, but these behaviours did not serve me well in normal situations. I had become passive aggressive. I would go inward with my thoughts, retreat from everything. So, physically I was there but mentally I was a million miles away sulking, suffering and overthinking/worrying etc about everything and nothing.

This is not a nice person to be around!

And naturally I am doing exactly that on this glorious walk in the forest. I am being a stink to walk with. Ruining the afternoon with my toxic foul mood that I so often would slip into.

As I was walking along, a wasp landed on my calf and stung me. I have never been stung before and it was actually really painful! It felt like a knife was dug into my leg and twisted! I thought to myself “oh great! Feeling bad, and now THIS!”

My boyfriend helped me, and I got over the initial shock.

But something had changed. That pain had pulled me out of my spiral funk and into the present.

This is going to sound so mega cheesy but suddenly I was aware of the hot sun, the cool breeze, the beautiful trees and nature surrounding me. As if a veil was lifted and I could see properly for the first time! The rest of the walk was wonderful, we talked, laughed and enjoyed the rest of the day.

Around the same time I came across Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. I realised that most quests for happiness or at least contentment can be boiled down to reducing your thoughts about the past and the future and spending as much time focusing on the present moment as possible. Something that is to be practised as much as possible and seems to be an on going process.

That wasp sting yanked me out of a spiralling hole of negativity and sulking. It kicked me in the butt out of the darkness and into the light.

Nowadays if I am ever in a funk (barely ever!) I think to myself go “find your wasp sting” – go find something to do that will make you present. Cook some food, read a book, yoga, go for a walk, talk to someone – anything!

Best pain ever!

Photo by Darren Lawrence on Unsplash