Love > Fear

Okay, SO. The other day I was just waking up, doing my morning stretch/cuddle sesh with the lil man (my handsome pup, Kappie ❤ ) and leisurely getting out of bed as usual. I was relaxed, happy, and ready to start my beautiful, delightful, fabulously wonderful day ahead of me, when BAM. I saw it.

I knew this day would come. In fact, I was quite surprised that it’d taken so long for it to arrive. Since moving into my new apartment almost 8 full months ago, I hadn’t had one surprise visitor like this yet, which was unusual. Living in Florida, it’s quite common, especially when you’re located in a beautiful part of town like I am. The price you pay to be surrounded by water, trees, and luscious grass to play in is… you get roaches.

Up until now, I had always feared them. Roaches were my arch enemy, and I wasn’t strong enough to defeat them on my own. My powers were simply too weak, so I would call in for backup… “Dadddd!!” (Thankfully he worked nearby, and loves me enough to come to my rescue when I’m being attacked by ickiness. Thanks, dad!)

BUT. Today was different… today I decided to be strong.

Contrary to what one may think regarding what “being strong” means in this situation, it did not mean that I was ready to smush this bug with my shoe, or even to spray it with bug spray and wait for it to wither up and die before I carefully picked it up and quickly tossed it to it’s watery toilet grave. Nope. This time strength meant much more than that. It meant that I would save this little guy and release him into his natural habitat… outside… ummm far, far away from my door.

Why would I do this? Good question! In fact, I had to ask myself that question multiple times throughout the time it took for me to act on that strength, and each time I had to remind myself of the answer repeatedly until I could boldly continue moving forward in capture mode. And the truth is that I had two reasons for this decision.

I firstly believe that every animal is a valuable being that deserves life and respect… yes, this even applies to roaches. Secondly, I saw this as an opportunity to exercise strength in a difficult situation, which is something I believe is extremely valuable no matter how “small” the given situation may seem.

See, it would be easy to kill this bug… no one would know, nor would anyone care. In fact, I could more than likely count on much more support in that approach than I would receive for the choice that I was making to free the critter. But ending a life just because it’s easy, and just because I’ve always viewed that like to be “icky”? No. Not gonna happen. It is not only not my place to decide that a life should end, but it’s my responsibility as a human being of love to save anything that I can if I’m able. And even aside from that, honestly, what reason did I even have to think of this critter in such a negative light? I mean, to really think about it, it’s just a roach. It’s just a bug. I have never once been harmed by one of these creatures. I have no reason to fear them. In fact, I’m pretty certain that I would not fear them had I not been taught by the environments and people around me that “roaches are bad” and that they should be feared. My mindset on this matter, which was so difficult for me to shake despite my strong beliefs behind the situation, was entirely created and implemented by other people. Ultimately, I was hesitating on following my own heart because I had allowed other people to tell me how I should feel and think about a certain situation.

Ummm… so that’s absolutely ridiculous.

But then I thought about it some more, and I realized that this is not an uncommon thing, allowing others to strongly influence how we think or what we believe. And how many times have we made decisions based upon that foundation- based upon what we’ve allowed other people and society around us to tell us is right or wrong, good or bad? Furthermore, how many times have we made decisions based out of fear, be it fear created by others or fear created by our own selves and past experiences?

I decided a long time ago to stop allowing others to influence the way that I thought, felt, and acted upon my own life, and I was certainly not going to allow that influence to affect the life of another living creature, even if it is the oh-so-fearful roach.

So, if you’re wondering, yes. I did free the little guy. It took a solid 20 minutes or so for me to push those familiar skin-crawling feelings to the side over and over, and to replace them with an entirely new concept that “this bug is a living creature, and it deserves love and respect just like all living creatures do. There is nothing to fear, it’s just a bug.” But I did it. And it was totally worth it. I feel stronger, I feel more independent, and I’m proud to have had an opportunity to put the strength of love above the weakness of fear.

I won’t lie, I hope that little guy doesn’t come back! I’m perfectly happy with my pup here and would prefer to not have any extra company crawling by unexpectedly. 🙂 But if he does, he can rest easy knowing he’s safe and will be handled with care… unless my roommate’s home. In that case, I can’t be held accountable for her actions.