My dear friend Allison had MS for years, and wherever she travelled, she would contact beekeepers in the area. She had read studies that said that bee stings were a great way to boost the immune system, so she would buy bees, put them under a glass over her leg, and wait for them to sting her.
I wonder if we don’t do the same thing in our relationships.
If our childhood trauma involves a parent who ignores us, we choose partners who don’t return our attention, don’t we? Likewise, if it involved a parent who yelled at us, we choose partners on the volatile side. If trust was an issue, we choose untrustworthy people.
In short, we collect bees who sting us. And we do so for the same reason as Allison: to boost our immunity.
One day, hopefully soon, we’ll realise that we neither want – nor need – to be treated badly anymore. We wake up one morning and suddenly, we’re no longer buying into that childhood story, the one that says we’re unworthy, that we don’t deserve any better, that love is difficult and painful and doomed.
We’ll admit to ourselves that we were kind of addicted to the story – as ugly as it might be – because it was a part of our identity. For some reason, we had to prove to ourselves that we deserve unhappiness – over and over again – until at long last we no longer believed it.
Then we stop collecting bees… and start collecting butterflies.