A fear of spiders & something else I thought of


I have a healthy fear of spiders. I usually don’t think about spiders unless I am confronted with one. But today, I found myself thinking about spiders because I need to turn a new leaf and release the habits that keep me feeling like I am self-destructive.

I did a quick Google search to find out if spiders destroy and/or recreate their webs. I’m ashamed to admit that my research was handicapped by a prevalence of pictures, which evoked my phobia. Thus, unfortunately the thoughts I lay here are limitedly researched based.

It would appear that different spiders can and do in fact destroy their webs for one reason or another. While I was reading, I kept bumping into the concept of a bridge thread or bridge line. “Spiders that build the familiar orb-shaped web usually start with a single superstrength strand called a bridge thread or bridge line“. In other articles, the bridge line was called an anchor. Even when a spider does destroy its own web, it can preserve the anchor.

This was the part that struck me.

Starting over, redefining ourselves, developing new habits—whatever the case might be—are all daunting tasks.  I have been under the impression that to make a meaningful change, I have to start all over.

Who I am is an intricate web. If I should take one thing away, surely everything shall crumble, right? No. Thankfully, humans are divinely designed to be more complex than a game of Jenga.

Similar to the spider, I am capable of re-creation and change. I know this! My TCK-ness practically ensures this. I also have an anchor; my anchor is everything about me that has been tried and tested. It’s what holds me together when things around me are falling apart. It’s my strength, my persistence, my kindness and my work ethic.

My faults and weaknesses, they aren’t anchors; they are what makes navigating my own web challenging. They are the parts of the web that a spider would destroy and recreate.  And I think I have possibly felt that anchor, accidentally walking through a spider web. It might be that lingering feeling that there are still fragments of a web on me. The point is that the feeling stays with me even after I have walked through the web. That bridge line, the anchor, it is strong and resilient like I am, like you are.

Bottom line: Spiders spin their silky intricacies using proteins and this marvel of nature is energetically costly to the spider. The whole web can’t be made of anchors. I have no background in the sciences but it would seem that preservation practically requires that a web consist of weak segments.

Anyone that has comforted me in my time of need has said, in one way or another, that I can’t be strong all the time, or, it’s okay to be weak. Nature might actually justify this. Not only can I not be strong all the time, I might not need to be. If I think about the web then, my weakness is temporary and alterable. 

I can discover that a segment of my web is weak because I fall, or because I see it when I’m perched on my anchor. Like the spider that can consume the weak segment and re-use the silk, so too can I. The segment is weak not broken. I have to remember that there is something special about my weak points simply by virtue of connectedness. Think about traits that you have that have both hurt and helped you at some point.