A few weeks ago, I was lying on the sofa outside enjoying the last few chapters of my book – “If I stay.” In the corner of my eye, I saw a spider, albeit a small one and without thinking, I practically fell off the chair in an attempt to get as far away as possible from this seemingly harmless but frightening creature. I stood and watched for a few minutes as this tiny insect raced across the wall above the sofa and then came to a dead halt. I stood there wondering what it could be thinking about or why has it stopped. I was also becoming annoyed because I desperately wanted to finish my book and felt a little silly that I allowed such a tiny insect to interrupt my plans 🙂 . Reluctantly, I got back onto the sofa knowing that I could still watch it from there and could make an easy escape if it changed direction and headed back my way. I looked at my book for a second and when I looked up the spider was gone. I was on edge the entire time I was lying there, because I didn’t know where it had disappeared to. But I managed to finish the book because Mr Spider made like Houdini and vanished into thin air.
Last Thursday whilst cleaning my bathroom, I noticed a spider web in the corner. I went a little closer to investigate if the owner was home, but he wasn’t 🙂 . However, whilst cleaning the floor, there he was, next to the toilet brush that I needed to move. Being an arachnophobe, I immediately called my hubby to take care of it.
Saturday night, there was a massive spider walking across the kitchen floor. Okay, not massive, but exponentially bigger than the ones I saw days before. I completely freaked out – for a few moments, my breath had hit away. Once it came back, I managed to call Noel and Mr Spider met his Doom – literally “Doom Insect Killer” sent Mr Spider to his grave. We stood watching the poor thing do the dance of death until it finally gave up and died. I felt bad that we had killed it, but there was no way we could release it into the garden I spend so much of my free time in.
I’m surprised at how my fear of these insects gets the better of me. I practically hyperventilated and although I wanted to run as fast as I could, my fear crippled me and left me standing all vulnerable watching this creature walk across the floor. I didn’t want to be scared, but my fear overpowered me and left me feeling helpless.
Monday morning as I sat on my bed writing, I saw a tiny spider merrily making its way down its web towards my feet. I watched it for quite a few minutes but thought to myself, as soon as he is close, I have to kill it.
Four spiders in the space of a few weeks. This was more that I had seen in a year and was definitely no co-incidence. I kept asking myself, “What is the Universe trying to tell me?” “What is the hidden message I am supposed to get in seeing all these spiders in and around my home?” I decided to do some research about what spiders symbolise and was pleasantly surprised at what I read.
One website said that spiders are dream weavers. Spiders weave the most intricate and beautiful webs. It knows that once it has put in the work, it can sit on the side and wait patiently for it’s dream to come true which is symbolic of the food it catches. The spider doesn’t rush building the web. It knows that if it is not done properly, the wind will come and break it and it will have to start all over again and may even miss the opportunity of catching its dream for that day. So it takes its time, gives it the attention and skill it deserves to build a strong and beautiful web. It takes pride in doing so and from a distance admires what it has built, knowing that it will lead to a fulfilled dream.
Another website said that spiders are symbolic of the past, present and future of life. The web is the spider’s life line and every night the it spends time mending the web if the wind or even its food damaged it. It also said that when you see a spider, it means that you have to take stock of your life. You need take an inventory of where you have been, where you are now and where you want to go.
The other website said that because spiders are feared by most people, seeing one is symbolic of facing your own fears. As I read these articles, I smiled because everything I was reading resonated so much with me.
When I read that seeing the spider was symbolic of taking inventory of your past, present and future, I decided to do this exercise for myself. It may sound like a cliché, but the conclusion I came was that everything that happened in my life, had really happened for a reason. At the time, I didn’t know what it was, but in hindsight, it all makes sense now. When I looked at my past and the decisions I made – it all lead me to where I am right now. The good, the bad and the ugly. Everything that I had accomplished, experienced and survived was preparing me for this exact moment. The moment where I get to decide if I want to change course or do I stay on the same familiar road.
I realised that I am the spider. I am the weaver. Of my own dreams and of my own life. And only I get to decide what my dreams are, no-one else. And if they happen to change, it’s okay. People change and people grow. I decide how much work and effort I put into building my web. What I put in is what I will get out. I must also learn to have the patience to sit on the side, admire what I’ve built, how far I’ve come and see what gets caught in my web. If it’s not what I want, I start again, a new web, a new dream.
I also realised that there were many fears I had been ignoring because they too painful to face. Self-inflicted fears that comes from a place ego and pride. I haven’t faced all of them, but that night in the kitchen, I was forced to face at least one. Although I wanted to run, I was crippled and left there staring at the one thing I was so afraid of. When the spider eventually died, it was curled up and it was so much smaller in size than when its legs are spread out.
Isn’t that what fear is? So much bigger in our minds than it actually is? It cripples us, leaving us stuck where we are and unable to make the decisions we know we need to make. But when your face it, as painful and scary as it may be, you come out stronger on the other side. You find your courage on the other side of fear.
I may not have overcome my fear of spiders, but I’m sure I will be better prepared for my next encounter. Hopefully it’s not anytime soon 🙂 .
So the next time you see a spider, remember what it means. My wish for all of us is that we have the courage to face our fears, take stock of our lives and build the web of our dreams!
“It’s like the spiders are sharing an ancient secret with me, and that’s why I’m going to spend the rest of my life studying spider silk.” – Cheryl Hayashi