I haven’t been able to write lately. Not because I haven’t had anything to say, in fact it has been the opposite. I have so much to say that I am overwhelmed and a little confused. Do you ever get so overwhelmed you don’t know what to do first? I kind of feel like that, except I am so excited to do everything that I keep changing my mind as I go. And because I keep changing my mind I end up trying to process multiple thoughts at once, hence my confusion. And the weirdest part about all of this is that I finally settled down to write about a spider.
Yes, that’s right, a spider. Out of all the wonderful things I had rolling around in my head, I somehow keep coming back to the spider. Believe me, I have tried to write about the other things, because who wants to write about a spider? I have the beginnings of at least five blog posts in the works, but alas my mind has found a focal point and it is the spider. Not even a big spider. He was just a small hairless thing. Aside from the simple fact that he was a spider, there wasn’t anything remotely terrifying about him. But let me reiterate, he was a spider, and that fact alone makes him scary.
I’m not quite sure when my fear of spiders started. I always wondered if it was a learned behavior from my mom, a natural instinct (because let’s face it, there are some that can kill you), or a result of trauma caused by my brothers (they chased me around the house with dead spiders in their hands). Whatever the cause, the fact of the matter is, spiders terrify me.
Spiders terrify me so much that I abandoned one of my best friends in her time of need, because a spider was involved. The spider was on her neck, she wanted it off, I ran away screaming. You know who you are, and I am so sorry! It was that event that convinced me I needed to overcome this fear. I can still see the look of horror and hopelessness on my friend’s tear streaked face as she pleaded with me to get it off. If that ever happens again, I want to be able to face my fear and courageously flick the spider off whoever it is terrorizing.
God has been giving me many opportunities over the past 12 years to begin overcoming my fear of spiders. All of which involve, yes you guessed it, spiders. However, none of these events involve someone else being terrorized. The spiders are only terrorizing me. Sometimes I am alone, and sometimes I am accompanied by another individual who is equally unwilling to help rid the area of a spider.
I will refrain from telling you the details and posting pictures of these terrifying monsters from the last 12 years, because just hearing about spiders and seeing pictures of spiders freaks me the crap out. I am doing the heeby jeeby dance in my seat as I type this, that’s how scared of spiders I am. That is why the only pictures of spiders in this blog post are drawings. As you can tell, overcoming my fear of spiders is a very slow process. I will say this though, naming the spiders helps rob them of their monster status, and moves them down to a frightfully annoying status.
Before I go any further I would like to clarify something, I am not working towards holding a spider, having a pet spider, or allowing a tarantula to walk on my face. I simply want to be able to help a friend in need, if the situation arises. Please do not offer your tarantula for this process, I will not accept, and I will probably tell you we cannot be friends anymore (you know, in case your tarantula escapes its terrarium and hides in the pocket of your jacket and you unknowingly bring it into my house or something).
So anyway, about this spider. I’m not even sure why I am telling you this, because when it comes down to it it is a pretty simple story. I was on my deck the other day, enjoying a long yoga practice on a bizarrely hot day in November. I made my way into my final pose, savasana. If you aren’t into yoga, savasana is what my husband calls “yoga napping”. You lay on your mat in a relaxed state and surrender to the silence while becoming fully present in the “now”. Within moments of laying in savasana my mind was drawn to a tickle on my hand. Due to my long yoga practice, my mind and body were in a place of peace and calm. Instead of defaulting to my frantic, fear induced creepy crawly dance in which I enthusiastically try to dance off whatever is on my body, I slowly opened my eyes and looked at my hand. There sat a tiny spider.
(I realize my hand looks crazy…I’m very self conscious about my crazy hands… this is a tracing of my actual hand)
Despite its diminutive size my heart started to race. I took a deep breath and once again the presence of peace overcame my fear and instead of jumping up and freaking out, I simply watched the spider move along my hand. I started to see the spider for what he was: small, fragile, and powerless to stop my ability to crush him.
Eventually he started to move up my arm so I calmly got up and placed him far away from my mat. I moved back into savasana. The events of that day would have been drastically different if the spider was bigger or had hair (everyone knows hair multiplies a spider’s scary factor by 100), but it didn’t. And that was it. I really don’t know why I felt the need to tell you this, but I did. I feel like there should be more of a lesson here. Ok, here is one: before you freak out, take a deep breath and really look at the problem you’re facing – it might just be a hairless, tiny, spider-like problem. But if it has hair, run like the dickens. The End.
This what I imagine I looked like from Harold’s eyes. Oh yea, I named the tiny hairless spider Harold.