A few days ago I had an experience that blew my mind and has created some personal metaphoric meanings that I’d like to share with you.
Here we go…I was sitting in the backyard with my girlfriend discussing some tough challenges that she is currently experiencing. She was sad and I was listening and providing support. It was peaceful but the conversation was heavy. The dogs were lying in the grass, the wind was softly blowing through the giant bird of paradise trees that line the yard and the weather was gorgeous and sunny.
In the middle of a sentence where she was telling me that she was feeling “held captive” by her situation, I heard a “thud.” I subconsciously knew that a bird had either hit the house or the fence when my girlfriend said, “oh God, it’s a hummingbird.” Paco (my dog) was standing over a hummingbird that was lying on the pavement. It wasn’t moving.
Lesson 1: Sometimes we hit a wall.
Whatever that wall is, there are times when life stops us in our tracks. That wall might be there to divert you from a situation that you would not recover from. That wall is probably protecting you…it just might not “feel” that way.
I got up, went over to the hummingbird, picked him up and put him in the palm of my hand. I thought his neck was broken and was positive that he was dying, as he was weak and limp. He was a beautiful little guy, no more than three inches long, had tiny glittery patches on his chest, and feathers that were multicolored and soft.
Lesson 2: Sometimes the hits we take are so hard we need help to get up.
Have you had the wind knocked out of you or felt completely numb like you just don’t have one more ounce of energy to get up? Me too. In those times I needed help to get up…I needed support…I could not do it alone.
I wanted to do something but didn’t know what. I truly thought that my purpose was to hold him and be with him while he died. I was hoping that he was just stunned and needed a few minutes to recover but that didn’t seem likely. I stroked the top of his head. The only two things moving on him were his left eye (slowly blinking) and his tongue (poking out as if it was telling me to find it some nectar).
Lesson 3: Trust that others are there to help and support us.
People want to support us but many times have no idea how to do that. When we are wounded, it takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to ask for what we need, even if we don’t know what that is…it could be a hug, an ear, a meal or a glass of water (or nectar in this case). Start somewhere. What if the most courageous thing you did today was tell someone you’re hurting, ask for help and get his or her support?
I walked him over to one of the giant bird of paradise trees to see if he could get some nectar but he was too weak. His eye was blinking slower but his tongue kept coming out of his beak. My girlfriend asked if we could get him to the vet, but the vet was too far away to be of any help. I told her that there might be one thing we could try and to go into the house and get some sugar water. She ran in the house to get the sugar water. I sat down with the little guy and prayed.
Lesson 4: If we listen to our intuition, it will lead us in the direction toward mending and overcoming our injuries.
We instinctively know what is best for us, but we have to trust and pay attention to our deepest inner wisdom. It’s always there and will always guide us in the direction that life is meant to traverse.
I was pretty sure that he wouldn’t make it and I was sad. I also had a small amount of hope that he might recover. Either way, I knew it was not up to me. He was so peaceful and beautiful with his tiny blinking eye looking up at me. My girlfriend returned with the sugar water in a small saucer and I tilted my hand down so that his little tongue and edge of his beak would get some of the liquid. I really had no hope that he would recover but wanted this last “Hail Mary.”
His tongue hit the liquid and he lay there for a second and then…he jumped to his feet on my hand! It shocked me! He hovered over my hand for a second and landed back on my hand, remaining there for one last second before he flew away like nothing had ever happened!
Lesson 5: Getting back up requires action on our part.
The bird got up! We all have the ability to get up in some capacity, but that takes action and courage. Once we are able to take the action to get up, then and only then can we integrate the physical and emotional wounds to positively serve our collective life experiences.
In that moment, the joy and gratitude that I felt cannot be accurately expressed. I thought the little hummingbird was going to die. I looked at my girlfriend (with what I know was a look of shock, joy and disbelief) and the relief we both were obviously feeling was overwhelming and brought tears to our eyes. It was truly what I call a “God shot,” an unexpected miracle that created pure joy and amazement.
Lesson 6: At the end of the day, I really know very little, I am not in charge, miracles are everywhere (when I am noticing) and life is one big beautiful mystery.
Understanding the lack of control that I have over the complete outcome in life gives me peace and freedom. I can contribute to the health of the universe…I believe and trust that the outcome is entirely up to a higher power.
So there it is friend…my mind-blowing (for me) hummingbird story. In the moment before the hummingbird hit the wall, things felt emotionally heavy and challenging. That little guy shifted all of that heavy energy into elation, joy and gratitude.
I have no idea of the subtle forces around me and I hope to keep noticing the hidden meaning in each situation. If you find yourself hitting a wall, find support, ask for help, take action, and remain open to this beautiful mystery we call life. That wall is probably your friend, to stun you and then wake you up…and someday you will realize that after finding yourself on the path that it diverted you to.
It might take minutes, days, months or years to find the gift that wall was there to give you. Hit it, notice that you hit it, lay there and nurture yourself, ask others for help and, when you’re ready, get up and celebrate. You deserve that. My little hummingbird deserved that. I am beyond grateful that I noticed.
Image retrieved from flickriver.com