This is one of the creepiest creatures I have ever seen. It was pretty startling to find it at eye level, appearing to stare back at me and on high alert. There was no way I was going to get any closer! Known as the assassin bug, apparently it’s bite is worse than a bee sting. But a deeper dive into its lifestyle, it’s actually a good friend to have around.
Assassin bugs, this one specifically called a wheel bug, feed on some of the pests we find in our gardens, such as squash bugs, aphids and tomato worms. But I was most excited to learn they also prey on the Japanese beetles, who prey on my roses! Thankfully, I was calm enough to leave him (or maybe her) alone and learn a bit more about the insect and its usefulness. And come to find out, planting sunflowers is one way to attract more of them so they’ll assist with clearing out my garden of unwanted pests! (Note to self: Plant more sunflowers next spring!!)
So why write about the assassin bug? It leads to a perfect discussion about perceptions and judgment! My initial reaction to this critter was not a happy one, “What is that ugly thing doing on my sunflower?!?!?” Stepping back from my judgment, allowed me to respond in a way that was helpful to my garden, and ultimately, to nature.
“Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?”
― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
When I step back far enough, I can sometimes observe in a way that opens my eyes and my heart to new ideas, new experiences, and new beliefs.
Notice areas in your life where you might be quick to “judge”. Notice the physical reactions of your body when you think of these areas. What do you observe about yourself and your reactions without judging yourself? You may wish to journal about new insights and perceptions you now have.