Yesterday afternoon I witnessed one of the funniest and saddest things I’ve ever seen. The boys had gotten home from school and come inside. Lucinda (my wife for those of you not playing the home game) told our six year old son Will to go back out to the car and bring in his book bag.
I came up from my office and noticed that I had been talking to Lucinda for a while and had not seen Will yet. I took a few steps towards the front door and saw Will, just 4 feet from the door… one foot on the porch, one up in the air. He was holding his book bag over his head (recently he’s been pretending it’s an umbrella).
He was frozen. It’s like we had been playing “Red Light Green Light” and someone said RED LIGHT and then left to run to the grocery store.
I looked at him for a few seconds and told Lucinda to come over. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought it was funny (Will gets VERY into playing and watching things… he’ll sit and watch a bulldozer for an hour without moving if you’ll let him).
As we approached the door, I assumed he was just watching something. But we started to get worried as we got closer and notice that he was standing on one leg, and wasn’t moving.
He saw a bee by the front door.
He was terrified. He froze. We asked him why he didn’t call for help and he said that he thought if he moved or made any noise that the bee would sting him. Who knows how long he had been frozen like that… it was probably several minutes at this point.
Lucinda went out and ushered him in. The moment that she helped him unfreeze he broke down into tears. He actually kept himself from crying (while frozen) because he was so scared, but when the threat was over and Mom and Dad were there to protect him, he was able to allow his emotions to set in.
We’ve all had that moment. We’ve all been paralyzed by fear. If your credit cards are late, it might be fear of the collectors calling. It might be the fear of someone coming and taking your car. It might be fear of getting fired due to cutbacks at work.
We all act the same way thought, don’t we? We freeze. We roll over and play dead.
In Will’s case, we were just 20 feet away. If he would have called to us, we would have come and helped him instantly. We were able to walk with him and get him in the door. We let him know that a bee sting isn’t the end of the world. We were able to comfort him and calm his nerves so he could go on with his day.
Are you scared about your finances? Do you have uncertainty about retirement or are facing a potential bankruptcy? Do you have more month left than money?
Don’t be afraid to let someone help you. Chances are, you just need help getting those 4 feet to the door, and someone to let you know it’s going to be alright.
I’m someone who has been stung by bees (metaphorically and literally speaking). I’m here to tell you it’s going to be alright. Some people need just an hour or two of coaching, and some need more. Either way, take the first step to getting help because if you stand there long enough, you’re going to get stung.
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