You know what I find most romantic? Not flowers, candles or fancy dinners (though, I’d gladly accept any and all of the above). Not something you can buy, or even something you’d want to touch.
That's right. The black and yellow bug that stings. To me, they are the epitome of what love should be.
In this Hallmark, consumerist society that tells you your love isn’t being properly conveyed if you aren’t spending money on your significant other constantly, I think it’s important to retrace love’s roots, setting aside all of the bullshit. In my own journey of learning what love means, I have been drawn to the natural world to find the symbolism I want my affections to reflect, and no symbol has been more powerfully romantic to me than the honey bee.
I find honey bees to be one of the most wonderful symbols to associate with relationships because if you accept the bee for the creature it is, you know it has the capacity to sting you, but you choose to love it anyways. Love, I’ve learned, is a choice. It is looking at someone and seeing all that they are – the intellect and the asshole, the sweetheart and the slob – and saying, “I want it all.” It is knowing that their bad doesn’t ever outweigh their good, and one day it could fall apart, and you could be heartbroken and miserable for weeks on end, and even the possibility of that seems worth it. Ask most anyone, and they will tell you honey bees can and will sting. Their tiny bodies defense mechanism is concentrated to their pointy, poison filled tail. And though in most cases this sting won’t kill you, it most definitely will suck. Love works the same way. You may not picture it happening to you, but one day you wiggle your toes in your shoe, walk out the door and man, does your foot hurt. No, actually, it’s your chest. Suddenly, this thing that gave your life sustenance is causing you pain, and what do you do?
Just like the honey bee, you accept it for what it was, what it is and what it’s going to be. You appreciated the bee for the work it did, the sweetness it created and the beauty of its tiny being. But, you also knew that it could very well pierce your skin if it must. Love fertilizes human experience, just as the bee pollinates flowers, but there often comes a feeling that is no longer pleasant, sometimes even unbearable, and you must remove yourself from it like you would a stinger from your skin. Love didn’t want to hurt you, it wasn’t its original intentions, but it does what it needs to do. Honey bees lose their life by using their stinger, hurting others is something they never enjoy, yet sometimes, there is no other option, and for the sake of the flowers, it sacrifices itself. It helps to look at love this way, as self-sacrificial, as coming from a place of good intention. And if and when heartbreak comes, remove you and your partner individually from the equation and look at the love itself. It was pure of heart, it wanted what was best, the last thing the first date sought out to do was hurt you.Many people dislike the bee because they fixate on its propensity to sting and conflate it with nuisances like mosquitos or moths. They don't recognize the courage it takes the honey bee to use its stinger. Love is not guaranteed to run smoothly, likely it will hurt, likely it will sting – sometimes more like a wasp than a bee. But, choose its beauty, choose its creation. Know that you are willingly subjecting yourself to the possibility of pain because the good of it is better than the fear of the bad. And, don’t run from bees, they, like love, only want to make this world sweeter for you.