I had an unexpected visit from a hummingbird, who was waiting for me in the kitchen after I returned from a walk. How he got inside is still a mystery but what was interesting was that he perched himself directly on top of a fake hummingbird I have that sits on my windowsill.
In a strange place with no obvious exit, the little guy instinctively gravitated towards the familiar, what he thought was his own kind. It was a mistake of course, as that plastic bird could offer no more help or comfort than the toy car next to it, but a panicky desire for self-preservation drove the hummingbird towards an illusion of safety
Don’t we all do this at times? We find ourselves stuck in a bad situation we have no idea how to get out of and so we delude ourselves with “solutions” that feel safe but really offer nothing. It’s obvious to any outsider that we are not acting rationally, yet we continue to hold on tightly to this false sense of comfort and struggle mightily against anyone or thing that threatens it.
This came to mind as I executed my plan to free the now very terrified hummingbird from the confines of my kitchen. I grabbed a small Tupperware bow, which I had planned to cover him with and then slide a piece of cardboard underneath so I could walk him outside to freedom.
Well you know what they say about the best laid plan plans……as I stepped on a chair and lifted myself up, the poor bird freaked out and started flying violently in to the window, desperate to get out.
I froze and held my breath as he eventually stopped fighting with himself and dropped behind the windowsill ledge; his wings cramped between glass and wood, making them unusable. Exhausted and now stuck beyond measure, the bird just looked at me and I swear sighed in exasperation.
Ok, maybe that was just me finally letting my breath out, but it seemed that bird realized he had no choice but to let me help him so I gently scooped him up with my hand. I cupped my other one on top and as we walked towards the back door I could feel his heart beating so fast I feared it would explode right there in my hand.
His mind though was resigned as he finally stopped struggling and just sat motionless in my hands as we headed outside. I opened them up and he glanced at me before flying madly in to the air. In a split second he was gone.
Like that hummingbird, we all need others to help us at times, that’s just a fact. This can be very difficult for someone like me to accept, as self-reliance has always been a part of who I am and giving up control does not come easily. It quite often takes being forced between a rock and hard place for me to realize how helpless I am before reaching out.
I never regret doing so though and it’s always amazing when a friend gently shows an obvious truth to me. Something I had not seen about myself and/or a situation and was never going to on my own.
Freedom comes from acceptance of circumstances and the ability to let go of false narratives that are only making things worse. If you find yourself in a tough spot, start by kicking pride to the curb and inviting humbleness in. This will allow you to open up to counsel from wise and trusted loved ones who will show you a better path.
Dirty windows make for bad filters to see the world through, especially if you keep butting your head against them in hopes of a solution. Wiping the gunk away can offer much needed clarity to the outside world and on what needs to be done.
Speaking of dirty windows, it’s far past time to clean mine, at least in the kitchen!