Friday, September 2, 2011

Living out of our comfort zone, lessons from a spider

I dreamt of a black spider last night, with long elegant legs. I put her in a small jar and watched her as a fly flew over and she caught it and ate it. This fascinated me somehow and I watched as she weaved her web around her pray. A moment later her long legs reached over the edge of the glass as she made her way out of her confinement. I panicked. What if she gets lost? What if she gets hurt? What if she is poisonous and harms someone? I cared for this spider and wanted to protect her. I made her a new home, a taller jar she could not climb out of. With love I placed a small container of water so she could be nourished, and kept the lid open so she can catch her food if a fly was to pass.  When her new home was ready I searched for my spider and could not find her. She was loose and I panicked that she was gone, and scared that I could no longer protect her as she set out into the big and dangerous world.
  After waking I looked up the meaning of the spider as a totem to see what message spider was bringing me. Spider totem means the following: Spider is the weaver connecting the knowledge of the past with the possibilities of the future.  Spider cautions us not to get locked into the illusion that has made you what you think you are.  We are locked into that illusion because it has become our "comfort zone", and it is our fears of the unknown and untested which keep us in that zone. It is far easier to live in the hell we know, than to stick our mental and emotional toes out into the world and chance discovering that there is another way which may be better for us.  Spider is telling us that the possibilities for each of us is only limited by our own view of ourselves. Notice that the web constantly grows, outward, still connected to that small center space. It is always reaching, always expanding, never satisfied with the status quo. When something of value get caught in the web, it is taken back to that small center and utilized; never wasted. It may be stored for later use, but it is never wasted.  The next time you come upon spider weaving its web, stop to really look. Notice the beauty and symmetry and balance; the careful and intricate design. Spider is telling you to have the courage to reach out and create your own tomorrows; to break out of the illusion that has you locked in a time-step, and discover who and what you truly are.

  After learning about the Spider totem, it is easy to interpret my dream. I am both the spider as well as the one who is trying to confide the spider to protect it from harm. But the spider totem teaches a valuable lesson, to put fear aside that may be keeping you back from taking chances and making changes in your life. By creating a safe little haven fulfills our necessities and makes us feel secure, we are still living in a way that keeps us from living a life that our full potential.

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