Behind the toilet, wrapped up in the bath towel, snuggling inside the bedsheets, in the shower, and even inside the pillowcase were scorpions. The most frightening of my Trust Your Animal Instincts encounters was definitely the appearance of seven scorpions within a 48-hour period. I had journeyed over 2,000 miles from home to a remote area near the jungle to listen to my own intuition. My answers to life’s questions mostly came in the form of wild animals.
Along the way to finding love, like many, I experienced some pretty traumatic events at a young age. There was my sweet boyfriend in the sixth grade, who gave the candy heart he bought for me to Debbie Smith instead (evidently, she had a more developed physique than my skinny, boyish-looking one!). Then the dreamy popular boy in seventh grade who took me to the football homecoming dance but was making out with a ninth-grader when I returned from the bathroom. Or in high school, the date who wouldn’t take “No” for an answer, and later the stalker who tried to run me over with his car, so I’d be injured and “need him.” As a result, I spent decades allowing fear to keep love at a safe distance by building a barrier around my heart for protection. I reasoned, If they can’t get past my walls, then surely they won’t be able to hurt me.
During my time alone in Costa Rica, reflecting on my life and asking for guidance about finding true love, I began finding scorpions everywhere in my home. But what did it mean? The scorpion is an ancient symbol of power, representing transformation through the death of the old and rebirth into the new. Rebirth could be with the self and others, of ideas and beliefs, or a complete change in one’s way of life. I wasn’t thinking of transformation when the cranky, barb-tailed arachnids greeted me, in what felt like an all-out invasion.
After a couple of sleepless nights and a long day of hiking, while meditating about how scorpions could be the answer to my questions about finding love, my “Inner Owl” (intuition) spoke. A scorpion’s exoskeleton provides a strong barrier from its enemies. The scorpions represented the hard shell I’d built around my own heart for protection. The problem with barriers is that they prevent things from getting in and from getting out. I should have chosen a shield of protection that could be raised and lowered, as needed, to allow love to flow freely in and out of my heart.
I decided it was time to smash that barrier around my heart and give love a try. I trusted my own intuition about what felt important at that moment and took the risk of loving someone. It felt scary at first, but also liberating, freeing, and exciting. Not a single scorpion came into the house after that day of revelation. And, while I appreciated the personally delivered message from my scorpion friends, I hope to never encounter another!
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