You are the Spider, not the Web.

by, Ellen S. Wright, MA, LMFT copyrighted post.

Garden Spider came upon a willow tree. She thought, “finally, this is home. There are two branches that are low enough to side of the stream to create the perfect web and place for catching insects!” She decided to weave an orb web. Spirals of delicate yet strong silk spun from her spinnerets. Her long yellow and green legs easily moved over her art and the environment. She carefully wove the grid and anchored the large net to the many falling branches. After she created her masterpiece, she waited on the edge of it and admired her work. Garden Spider was content with her creation. Then settled to sleep in hopes of prey the next morning.

As she slept, the wind picked up and branches swung faster. Then she started spinning in the web, her long legs getting caught in the silk. She became disoriented.  She spun trying to right herself while also feeling the uncomfortable sensation of the leaves touching her web. In her panic she became caught in web and branches. She felt it best not to spin anymore but still felt trapped and powerless. In that moment, she thought of herself as prey, and convinced herself there may not be a way out. She froze. Then, eventually she saw Black Widow crawling by. Garden Spider weakly called out, feeling, hopeless.

Black widow who saw the ball of silk was confused, then asked “What’s up, my friend? Is this a new type of creation?”

Garden Spider stated, “No, I was dreaming and got caught in the tree branches and the web. I think I’m going to die. Something must be wrong with me. This wouldn’t happen to someone like you.”  

Black Widow kindly stated, “No, my friend, you are just panicking. It’s okay, you were dreaming and got caught for a second. It HAS happened to me. You will get out of this moment. You will be fine. Just unwind yourself and move slowly.  Remember you are not the web.”

Have you ever experienced feeling like you are stuck in life? Most of us have!

The mundane aspects of life can be very much like a web. They can be our bills, chores, relational responsibilities, and basic need procurement. Webs feed the spider, help protect their eggs, provide shelter and even protection. The amazing sticky creations, which are all different in the time and space of each creature, may vary in their effectiveness. Our life situations and circumstances are all different. Each one of us have various patterns and challenging environments that are a part of our life experience.

The mundane aspects of our life are very powerful fixtures in our experience. We cannot deny basic needs are real and strong influencers of what we create. Spider silk is five times stronger than steel of the same diameter. Imagine that! I have found it helpful to realize that the silk has a stronger hold then we might normally think it is possible or appropriate. Give yourself grace, as a human being, for the very real intensity of our mundane lives.

If we become caught and struggle in the mundane webs of our life, we risk becoming ensnared in those things. Possibly forgetting for periods that we are not the web.  This is when we begin to think our LIVES are the bills, responsibilities, daily tasks, and basic need procurement.  Worse yet, some people begin to believe they ARE the web and lose their connection to creating and become hopeless.  Spiders, if you notice, do not become caught in their own web as a regular practice. To the spider, the web is a its creation and a response to the static environment around it.  

Finally, spiders are also known in many native and indigenous cultures to be the first creators of words.  They started language. It is through our experiences in the mundane world where we can create our preferences.  We can speak things into existence. We can direct where we want to go and what we want to focus upon. The web is not just a place to sit and prey, or a resting spot…it is a personal creation of the Spider in response to its environment.

So how do you navigate the mundane and not become mired in the surrounding world?

Have frequent reminders that you are the spider not the web!

These reminders can come from yourself in the form of journaling, connecting to our breath, dancing, creating art, meditation, listening to music, laughing, grounding and body soothing activities. Using gratitude while within the web is essential in liberating ourselves from the pressure we feel when we struggle in it too long. Each of these activities can help us to remember that we are in the mundane world but can choose to feel good. Despite the strong pressure of the steel fixtures within the mundane world.

Also, our community can remind us.  In Old English, “community” meant “fellowship, union, common ownership.”  Community, in my eyes, is any group of safe beings that do share fellowship, union and shared responsibility. Safe, empathetic, and supportive people in our lives can remind us of when we are becoming ensnared in the web. Hopefully, they will not advise us or tutor us, but sit and listen, until we remember. Sometimes they may remind us of what we have created previously or of our future goals. Most importantly, they can remind us to be appreciative of the present moment and to relax within it by being with us while we unwind ourselves. We sometimes need an external kind, compassionate and understanding voice who believes in our vision, to remind us of who we are AND what we are capable of doing.

WE are the weavers of the web, responding to our environment. We are the weavers.

Would love to know your thoughts. How do you feel about this analogy?  

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