Back ♥ Home = happy place (physically & mentally)
Bridges = help us get there
It all started a few days ago.
I was writing on my laptop, enjoying my first cup of coffee, when I heard something in the other room. It sounded like something was hitting the window.
I walked into the family room to check it out, and sure enough, a robin was repeatedly flying into the window. The minute it saw my reflection it flew away.
I was relieved it hadn’t hurt itself and went back to my writing.
No sooner had I returned to my laptop, when I heard the same persistent sound again.
Bang……..………..…(wait for it)………………..Bang…………..(and again)……………… Bang!
I walked back into the room and the robin flew away again.
I thought: “Geez, poor bird. It’s gonna hurt itself.”
I figured by now this bird must’ve realized it keeps hitting something hard and obviously impermeable and finally flew away somewhere else.
I went back to my writing. And, I kid you not, within minutes, it started again.
I was shocked. How could a bird be that stupid…or that stubborn??? Then I recalled hearing stories about how an animal’s instincts can cause it to repeat behavior over and over, even if it results in physical injury or worse.
And we’ve all heard the quote:
“Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of Insanity!!”
WTHeck!?!? I didn’t have the time, energy or desire to deal with an insane robin!
Every time I walked into the room, it would fly away… but, it would come right back and keep doing the same stupid Banging!!
I couldn’t keep walking in and out of the family room all day.
So, I observed its behavior from a vantage point where it couldn’t see me.
There’s a tree next to the window, and this robin sits on its branch and then takes a header into the window… knocks itself silly and then does it again!!!
I wasn’t sure how to help this poor bird, so I tried a few ideas:
I taped some foil to the window— this didn’t help, it just moved to a different section of the window!
Then I designed a replica of myself (like a scarecrow) using chairs, pillows, blankets, etc— this didn’t help. I added a fan to give the materials some movement— no help!!
Then I cut-off the branch it was sitting on— it just moved to another branch! (I thought about cutting down the whole tree, but deep down I knew that wouldn’t help either.)
I screamed at it: “What is WRONG with you… are you TRYING to kill yourself!?!?”— no help.
Then I opened the window (which has a screen)— Voila, this seemed to help, but we’ve been having a lovely winter this spring and the house was getting a bit chilly (considering the 19* temps outside) so I ultimately closed the window.
By this time it was dusk and Thank Goodness the silly bird retired for the evening!!
The next morning I’d forgotten all about the bird until… it started AGAIN!!!
WoW!!! It certainly was a consistent little bugger.
This time I tied up the window-blind strings and positioned the fan to blow them around. And the Good News is, it seemed to solve the problem.
There is just one issue. This contraption has to be turned on constantly until dusk. If I forget to turn it on… I am reminded by a persistent:
And I know there may come a day when this latest fan/string contraption won’t help anymore and I fear finding that bird lying dead under the tree.
This whole ordeal has really ruffled my feathers.
No, I am serious!
It is unnerving to try and help another when their behavior is going to hurt them (or worse), and most of your intervention does absolutely nothing .
The moments when I waited to see if a new preventative method worked, were absolutely grueling. My heart would sink (& I’d inevitably feel like a failure) every time I’d hear the Banging start-up again.
The very worst letdown was when I thought I’d finally helped, because things quieted down… but then inevitably it would start again.
I’m always looking for the silver lining, or lesson learned from facing challenges in life.
And this situation unfortunately mirrored the greatest challenge we all face as human beings:
The pain and frustration we feel
by watching those we Love
that hurt them or can eventually kill them.
The hardest thing to endure it to stand-by helplessly.
And yet that is all you can do.
Because if they want to Bang into that window… They will… And there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
Lesson 101 in loving someone, who is actively engaging in harmful behaviors… is to know there is very little you can do. It is up to them if they want to change or stop.
We. All. Have. Free. Will.
These past few days I learned some important reminders.
Here are some things you can do:
You do what you can to help.
You realize there is no magic wand to make it all better (no matter how much you beg, scream, cry, plead, wish, hope or pray).
You learn to live with your feeling of helplessness.
You accept you have no control over another’s Free Will. You surrender trying to impose yours.
You eventually Let Go (and let God).
You remember to take care of yourself.
… a little birdie told me so! ♥