Monday, June 24, 2019

Love Your Enemy

I had earwigs invade my house every summer for 17 years - years in which I tried every tactic I could find to make them go away.

I looked for gaps, I sprayed, I threatened, I pleaded. But I knew in my heart I'd have to make peace with them. So I tried year after year to find something about them to love. That was hard. Earwigs creep me out. Still do. But I got a bit better at being ok with their existence, and even a little better at accepting the fact that they may never go away.

Then one day another crawled by my foot as I worked at the computer. As I leaned down to pick it up with a kleenex to take it outside, I actually felt a sort of fondness or affection towards it.

That was the moment things changed. 

I don't know what made me do it, but I checked that window with the gap in it yet again. I had gone over that gap every year and it wasn't until that day that I realized the gap was not just a seam in the wood but an actual space that could let, well, earwigs in. I caulked the gap and - no more earwig problem.

I know life is easier when we learn to love what life brings, or at the least make peace with it. With grace, patience and luck along with my effort, I may be rewarded. 

Yet, in the end I wonder if it isn't simply the passage of time that helps me outlive the problem.