The Star + Fire Ant Spirit
For an ant, she was easily frustrated. It was not unheard of for ants to have off days, or to get upset on occasion, or even to get irritated at times. But she knew that most of her family and friends, in general, were patient and easy going. Though she could carry nearly one hundred times her weight, she always felt as though the weight of the world was crushing down upon her. And this caused her to back away from the rest of the ants, to seethe in anger and to snap quickly and easily.
She never saw the other ants having these emotions; and so, she felt alone and different. She felt the pressure to live up to the rest of the ant colony but feared she always fell short, so she deemed herself a failure. Worthless. A nobody.
One of the elder ants began to take notice of her. Noticed her heavy footsteps, her clenched jaw; noticed how she was always away from the family, and how her productivity decreased. After this went on for some time, the elder ant pulled her aside and told her a story that was passed down through generations of ants. It was a creation story from one of the first ants. It was a story about how centuries ago, this early ant felt small, worthless and insignificant. A story about how this ant felt it had no place in the world, being such a small creature. How could it compare to the mighty elephant? Or the brave lion? Or even the beautiful butterfly? But this ant, this first tiny angry little ant knew that it could lead it’s ant kin to greatness. It watched how the colony worked together as a community. How they built great cities for their kind. How they tirelessly collected food for the community and contributed to the world. So instead of staying stuck and small and angry, this early ant swallowed all that fire and set it’s community ablaze. Not with flames, but with passion and determination and patience. It was because of this choice, the elder ant explained, that this early ant was able to lead the ants to greatness and created the first colony that would go on to be known as fire ants.
The little ant looked quizzically at the elder ant, not fully comprehending. “We all have a choice,” the elder went on to say, “to stay angry and stuck; or, to light our world on fire and rise.” She softened a little. “We all carry burdens, little one, we all carry the world, some of us more than others. But this community is here for each other. You are needed as much as any other singular member; you may even be needed most of all because of that fire in your belly. Take it and do good with it.” With that the elder walked away.
It took the little ant a longer time to make sense of the elder ant’s story and words. But eventually she began to see the ways her anger and frustration could fuel her. How she could redirect it to passion and determination. How connecting with her family and friends and community gave her purpose and therefore gave her an outlet to shift her anger. And although it was work at first to make these changes, without even knowing it, this little angry ant began to undertake her own healing journey; in doing so she would eventually heal herself, and her community.
Throughout the month of October we are being guided by The Star and Fire Ant Spirit. The Star is such beautiful energy to walk into this month. After the difficult transitions that September can bring; the chaos and the turmoil; the effort made to get back into routine; the ups and downs; the ugly moments; maybe, just maybe, we can start to breath again. We fall, but we get back up; and, it is once we are up again that we are held by the energy of the Star. Because this is our healing moment. Our moment of peace and restoration. Our moment to shine.
I realize that can make it sound easy, and I know it is anything but that. Many of us are constantly fighting the demons (or ANTs as I will be talking about shortly) in our heads that want to shadow us in darkness. But friends, the dark of the night comes all the time and yet the stars still shine (even if it is a cloudy night and you can’t see them, they are there).
With these energies coming up for us this month, it feels appropriate to talk about ANTs. Not the little colony that’s made it’s home on your front steps, but the ANTs in our brains – the Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the default thoughts in your brain (ALL of our brains) that tell us “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not worthy”, “Why bother?”, “You can’t do that”, “You’re a failure”. Whatever your ANTs are, I’m sure they pop up regularly, without invitation, and overstay their welcome. I am also sure they fill you with anger and doubt and frustration and sorrow and a plethora of other unpleasant emotions.
Our task is to challenge these ANTs. To find the evidence that disproves them. To flip them on their head. To rewrite them. These thoughts are like the cloud coverage that hides the stars from being seen; but the stars still remain and so too do your strengths, and your abilities, and your beauty, and your magic. Despite these ANTs you still shine too.
So as you are guided through this month, find yourself a mantra or aspiration statement that you can carry with you. It can be as simple or as complicated as you wish it to be. Something that you can use to challenge those ANTs when they crop up. Something that reminds you of your ability to shine. If you are struggling to find a statement of your own, may I offer up: “May I trust and know that I shine even through the darkness”. When those ANTs begin to crawl through your brain, repeat your statement to yourself. Write it down on your mirror. On a post it at your work station, on a note in your phone. The Star offer us healing energy, but we must remember that we heal ourselves the most. So begin to undertake your own healing journey, one small positive statement at a time.