Sting your past

If I were a wasp, I wouldn’t be stingy with my stings. I would sting to cause stiffness, stillness and vitiate my victim viciously. Just like a rocket-propelled grenade, I would strike with sheer force and might and leave devastation that requires stitches. This will leave my cheerers in stitches and jeerers stifled. My sting would limit my opponent’s stint at the top to a stigma.

The opponent is opulent and optimistic. But I am oppugnant and opportunistic. The opponent has a high affinity for darkness. Darkness cover is a conundrum, but I am a conqueror. I seek the opponent out to outmanoeuvre him. He may have outrageous style, but I zoom in like the flu outbreak. I have to sting until the presence of the opponent is eradicated in this era and area. It must be exterminated into smallness like smallpox. My sting lingers long enough to lynch the relentlessness of relegated renegade.

When the enemy ensnares the enormous and the energetic echelons, then it’s time for combat that is a combination.

When the sting still stems you, then it is time for takeover and turnover. When the bite of the snake still bites your mind, then it is mindboggling. It is mindful for me to write this as I mind whatever blows your mind far from the best. That is why you have to keep stinging until the stinking past stops ringing in your mind. Wring into wrinkles its feeble skin. It is hard to forget the yesterday bite, or sting for the pain was registered in your mind and painkillers have no effect whatsoever.

The night I was stung.

I said if I were a wasp, I would sting and sting again. I would revenge resentfully until my enemy is recumbent and moribund. And that is what wasps are best at.

A fighter who is as tenacious as a garden paper wasp is a pure terror in the enemy camp. Mohamed Ali could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, but how I wish he could sting like a wasp. Probably he would have beaten Larry Holmes, black and blue.

Sometimes back, Paper wasps decided to make a cosy home close to the balcony of where I stay. The snug home was too close to the bedroom window. The days I used to feel snug as a bug in a rug were over. They had disappeared like the morning dew. I watched the wasps for some time as they danced around their nest daily. They would produce a piece of rhythmic music with their wings and dance as if they were idle. With time I decided that I was fed up with this federal republic of wasps. A good insecticide spray was acquired, and these wasps were going to be subjected to a Nazi-style treatment. One of these evenings, these insects would unknowingly go down the drain just like Nazi prisoners walked into gas chambers without realising that it was their last day on planet earth. The D-day evening came, and a highly concentrated insecticide was directly sprayed on the now concentration camp-labelled wasps’ nest.

One by one, the wasps dropped dead. It was instant justice; the Embakasi style; Ferdinand Waititu style. It was a preemptive nuclear strike carried out in blitzkrieg.

According to me, the battle was finished. Least did I know that the war wasn’t over. I didn’t realise that wasps have the second-strike capability.

Several days down the line, after a decisive victory against the warlike neighbours, and after proving to all and sundry that I wasn’t the spider, the wasps pulled out their dangerous card. A sleeper cell had already been opened in my bedroom.

I was awakened at around 3 pm with a potent sting on my forehead. The excruciating pain did not give me time to remain in the bed. It was so painful that I jumped out of bed as in a reflex action. The next thing was to check what had delivered such a terrifying sting or bite. To my surprise, it was a paper wasp. It is better to confront a paper tiger than a paper wasp. You can make a reasonable guestimate of what went through my mind on seeing the wasp: It had come for revenge. Possibly it was a member of the elite force that is customarily inserted deep into the enemy territory with the sole aim of inflicting maximum damage. If that is the case, then this wasp scored highly. Most likely, it was a message not to mess with any other nest. Did it manage to create deterrence? Time will tell. Wasps possess second strike capability! Think twice before you launch the first attack.

After I found out what had caused this agonising pain, I took hold of whatever was near and converted it into a weapon of defence. Guess what! I launched my counterstrike, and with one blow, the paper wasp was smashed to smithereens. You do not fool around with a superpower!

The next step was to find relief to the now overwhelming pain. Two things came to my mind; toothpaste and onion. I dashed into the bathroom for the toothpaste. By then, there was a localised swelling, and the pain wasn’t going to die down quickly. I applied the paste on the swelling in a swivel.

Finally, I checked everywhere to ensure that there was no other wasp. I chanced with the idea of spraying the whole house but dropped it when I considered the side effects. It’s like toying with the idea of unleashing chemical weapons on a purported enemy. Interestingly Bashar al-Assad did that in 2015.

After that, I went back to sleep. Funnily I didn’t get much sleep as I needed. Any movement would trigger an alarm in my system. I couldn’t imagine another unbearable sting. That was for that night only. I managed to pull through the trauma and continue sleeping in the same place every night without any fear.

How do I stop living with the sting and the stench of the past?

There is a consensus that past events and fears can impact our lives today and in the future. On the other hand, we sometimes want to exclude ourselves from this reality. We somehow believe we are immune to pain, and more so mental anguish.

However, harrowing events can affect our cognitive capacity and conduct at large. Our behaviour and emotions are not spared either. One who has been bitten by a snake will take off at the sight of a giant earthworm. One who has been stung by a wasp will not tolerate wasps in his or her garden even if they play an essential ecological function. One who has been molested by a trusted person would likely have low trust in people. That is how life is.

The question is now how do we deal with the stings and stench of the past?

The answer is not as simple as ABCD. However, we can have a grasp on what could be the antidote for a traumatic experience. The Bible has characters who went through nasty happenings but somehow managed to overcome. Mephibosheth’ condition could have influenced his decision to either meet the king or not. He chose to meet the king anyway. Gideon’s environment did not allow him to think of becoming a military commander leave alone being a leader of the people of God. Ruth had a troubled past, and this would have ravaged his future if she allowed it to control her decisions. Esther did not let the status of her life to define her.

The wasp sting opened my mind into an arena of vital lessons that I feel obliged to share. The physical pain most of the time ceases, but the emotional pain and the fear can linger on for a lifetime.

So what do we do?

Find the source of the emotional smash up. What caused this painful feeling on my forehead? It is a wasp. Finding the source of psychological damage is one of the first steps in finding healing.

How did you develop that phobia?

What happened that made you fear public speaking? Did they laugh at you the first the time you tried it?

What made you hate marriage? Did you come from a failed marriage?

What made you become an atheist? Does it spring from a background of pain and anguish? Does it originate from a place of disappointments, unanswered prayers, pain and suffering?

Actually at the core of most atheists is a disappointment in God, anger at God, a rebellion with a cause – the cause being pain and suffering in the world.

Finding the source of the pain in your mind, in your heart, on your forehead is extremely imperative. Failure to do this means that you may never be able to slay the wasp that almost ruined you.

Second, after establishing that it is the wasp that caused me this pain, go for it head-on. Attack the cause of your emotional deficiency. Pick it apart. Analyse it. Break it into pieces. Shred it into manageable parts. Confront it through prayer. Talk to the source of your problem. Tell it you are more than a conqueror. Tell it you have outgrown it. Forgive another person. Forgive yourself.

Hammering down the wasp that stung you is something that must be done. Otherwise, it will hurt again.

Third, after dealing with the cause of emotional turmoil, is healing. Find healing in the power that is higher than you. Don’t sit there and do nothing. Get a toothpaste and apply it to the sting wound. Get an onion and rub it on the sting wound. For a Christian, healing is found in none other than Jesus; the Great Physician.

Live in the present. The wasp will not sting again. Even if it will hurt again, it is true that you do not know when. So for the moment, live your days to the fullest.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

~ Proverbs 17:22

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