Ugh, you know those moments that you make mistakes, and you recognize them immediately yet too late to change them? I hate that! However, sometimes, these moments are even more teachable because we’ve learned the hard way. I was out and about with my friend as we were visiting local businesses looking for donations for an upcoming community event we were working on.
We had pulled into the driveway of a business that raises birds for hunting-dog training and food. We had just turned in the long driveway to see a loose pheasant with blinders on. It had escaped and was wandering around free without being able to see. I immediately hopped out of the car and scooped it up so we could return it to safety. This sinking feeling came over me as we pulled up to the office to return the bird back to the farm.
I knew nothing good was going to happen to this poor little guy, but I did it anyway. Man, I am kicking myself in the butt for this. Sometimes doing the right thing means doing the wrong thing. I believe I should have saved this little bird from impending doom instead of delivering it back to its captures. The feeling of guilt was overwhelming as I handed the bird back. Telling myself this is what I am ‘supposed to do.’
If I had it to do over again, I would have made a different choice. I would have brought this bird home and cared for it myself or brought it to the wildlife rehabilitation center if necessary. Days later, the thoughts and feelings of my actions still are with me. Oh, how I wish I would have done this differently. How many times in our lives do we do have situations like this come across our path? I think more than we admit or care to count.
Learning lessons the hard way is not my favorite, I prefer to learn my lessons through Joy! I am sure most people are the same way, but this is not how life goes, is it? All we can do is forgive ourselves for our mistakes and vow not to repeat them. I believe the Universe/God puts these experiences in front of us in a way that will stick with us for growing purposes.
This bird was vulnerable but trusting enough to let me pick it up because it could not see me. In turn, I violated its trust instead of taking responsibility for its life and safety. Did I take the easy way out? I mean really, what do I know about raising a pheasant? Would I be able to keep it safe and happy, or do I just think I could? Technically taking the bird would be stealing.
Or, if you are an animal rights supporter like I am, I don’t look at it that way. From a moral standpoint, I let myself and this bird down. I know this because I can feel it in my soul. This blog post is not joyous or uplifting, but hey, we all have days like that. We all have lessons we learn the hard way. I am sharing mine with you to let you know you are not alone. Next time we will do it; differently, next time we will do better.
Later that day, I helped relocate and rescue dozens of Monarch caterpillars onto their milkweed food source. Did you know milkweed is the ONLY food for Monarchs? Hopefully, we saved the lives of these endangered beauties by giving them a helping hand. Doing so helped me feel like I redeemed my actions of returning the bird, but only just a little. I reminded myself today that sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.
Thanks for reading my blog today. I hope that sharing my hard-earned experiences helps you to learn more of your lessons through JOY!
Sending joy and blessings to you,
Love, Emy Minzel
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Photos by: Deb Sorenson