I know exactly where they are going. Every last one of those ants is headed to my house.

….so you do unto me.

I am not well-versed in religion, Christian or otherwise.

I would never presume to attempt to sermonize, or to assume I fully understand the words of those who do.

But I do know this – if by “the least of these” Jesus was meaning bugs, then I’ve got a LONG way to go to earn my “great human being” stripes.

I cannot seem to help myself. I have so much compassion for animals, children, and most adults. I keep my house neat and see my folks at least once a week on average. My bird lives better than some people do (so do my fish and my houseplants for that matter).

But just TRY being a bug in my household and see how you fare.

Splat. Whack. Smush.

At least I don’t stalk them with those electric zapper paddles like my Dad does. But if I’m being honest, that is just because he hasn’t bought me one yet (I hear it is on order).

Since I’ve moved into this place – a 100 year old historic duplex home in the heart of one of Houston’s most historic districts – I have battled roaches (shudder), fleas, both red and black ants, countless spiders of all colors and sizes, one medium sized rodent and a host of black gnats that think houseplants make mighty fine insect residences.

So I suppose I have been provoked.

But still, it makes me wonder. I would no sooner leap on and squash my neighbor’s pet lab or my other neighbor’s pet cat than I would my neighbors themselves (tempting, but no).

Nor would I treat another person thus.

But when it comes to insects…..the instinct to terminate is damn near irresistible.

Of course, in recovery it is said that the first step is awareness. A good friend told me the other day that the Dalai Lama (or at least they thought it was the Dalai Lama) said that insects were the biggest tribulation humans will ever face. Or maybe the great man said that the way we treat insects is our biggest tribulation.

Either way, clearly it is something I need to work on.

But at least I am aware now. I know it bothers me. Now I have to figure out (in true no-whine, action-oriented recovery fashion) what – if anything – I am going to do about it.

Today’s Takeaway: Is there a behavior or choice you are making that consistently bothers you? Using my bug example above, how aware have you allowed yourself to become about how much it bothers you, and the need to do something about it? What steps are you thinking of taking to address the source of your concern and possibly begin to make different choices?