Saving a Spider (concepts, labels, what to do with them)

Bare with me on the line of logic; I use my experience/example to illustrate a concept (either one I was thinking about in almost a brand new way- a new discovery, or about or one I've understood but just understood at a deeper level through this experience). 

The stories about "myself" do have a point, and they're usually a way for me to solidify my own understanding after a process, through writing. 

So many ways we can process information- writing, drawing, thinking on it, having conversations or completely keeping it to ourselves- but this is one of those, "itching to write about it" experiences- a need to create from it, a desire to tell a story and paint a picture in words. I don't know why I've liked this method, I've tried to boil it down... but it seems like one of those things that just is, and nothing else matters. Typing is my fast-paced processing, and relaying information- drawing images seems like my slower-processing. I need both. It seems like when I type, it's the fastest way, when I physically write words on a page it feels like the middle-range because I am drawing out the letters and the letters might flow or be stylized in a way that matches the energy of the words or idea as they go down on the page; so  if we were on a spectrum handwriting is in the middle. Drawing is on the other end, where a concept is being actualized. Symbols, colors, lines, are representing something, and putting shape to them - drawing. 


Each one serves a purpose, depending on the ideas and the kind of energy behind them. Each one relates (for me) to "Expressing" "Understanding" "Learning" "Processing".

The story

I was in the shower (where all my best-thinking goes down)

There was a spider ("Daddy Long Legs")- I saw it as I took my razor off its hook in front of me which sticks to the shower wall. As I moved the razor away, the spider must have dropped because I no longer saw it sitting on the wall.

I immediately looked down, wondering if it's safe from the water or if it's about to be washed down the drain (imagine the shower's spray hitting a tiny delicate creature like a spider? It would be like small meteors coming down on us--maybe not exactly in size but in destructiveness?!)

I spotted him (I guess the spider is a he now) scurrying along the side avoiding the drips, but it would have definitely been pelted by shower water soon enough and was rushing towards the fall of water running off my body which would have crushed him. So I quickly moved the shower head down and backwards so it pointed directly to the wall and so that the water ran down the wall behind me. But the water off my body was still getting on the spider, and I  fumbled a few times trying to get him on my hand, gently, and without causing more damage.

I did finally get him safely on my hand , reached my arm out the curtain, shook him off onto the bathroom mat, and left him there as I showered.

I kind of hurried to get out and check on him. 

When I got out I had to maneuver my way around the bathroom rug, by stepping onto a bathroom bench and next the toilet as if they were stepping-stones,  in case he was there (I couldn't see the ground clearly because I had left the bathroom light off and my eye-sight isn't the best anyways) . 

As I dried off  (and seeing that he did scurry off somewhere to safety) I was thinking, what just happened?

I realized that sense of panic the whole time as I was trying to save him.

I felt like his life was in my hands and I truly did not want him to die. 

I noticed the same feeling of high-pressure to perform, and sense of panic has come before with other bugs- when I accidentally swiped my leg when it itched and crushed a small fruit fly. 

Another time when without thinking, I washed the cutting board of crumbs as well a small group of ants.

That was soon after he died and I remember the idea of it seemed so tragic; that I wiped them clean of existence with a swipe of my hand to turn on the sink water- they were just trying to survive. 

I hate stepping on bugs on accident, I will avoid them, and even move slugs or worms to the dirt- I try to let flying insects out of the car and cringe when flying ones smash into the windshield. I have thought before about how many die that way. And I know it seems "overly sensitive"

After Christian died, all these sensitivities were amplified in me; they were there before (I always looked out for bugs) but now there was a sinking visceral feeling of hurt, sorrow, guilt, some sort of pain or discomfort in a flash associated with it. 

Something else that I've noticed much more since he died or just increasing over the years; 

-sensitivity to energy of people or or my own energy, energy in general ("soft", "hard", "off"/"on", "yin"/"yang", "rest,digest"/"fight,flight,freeze"- and the important of "balance")

-energy of activities, communicating, exercising, thinking, learning...

-needing time alone

I am more aware of my energy- sometimes there's a deep need to be calm, quiet, reflective and gentle, and anything abrupt or harsh seems shocking, too much to stay calm's a reaction coming from trauma but the understanding of WHY and WHAT it is, is so useful to understanding "fight/flight/freeze/survival mode/self-preserving instinct" - what do those things LOOK LIKE in us, in you- what's YOUR understanding of it related to YOU and your life? It doesn't look the same to everyone.

Do you notice that you have a thought or judgement about it? 

I've noticed that as I've become more objective with seeing these things or asking these things in myself, I am seeing more, picking up on more, and not feeling wrong or bad or faulty for any of it. More...curious...and willing. Not really a sense of "right or wrong" (that quote that floats around on social media that says something like "don't judge yourself for how you behaved in survival mode"--What does that look like specifically in you?)

I'll go on! 🤣

I've become aware of a tight, panicked feeling in my stomach and chest when I eat sometimes. It's when I'm very hungry but I had not been paying attention to how hungry I was, so that when I eat it is almost overwhelming.

The more I notice it the more I am bringing it to the surface- it's been there a long time.

It's like fishing for a mythological shark-like creature; I have it on a wire. I see it. There is a link now between it and me. I have a firm handle on it- I'm determined to not let it go. "I'm" the one watching the scene unfold from a bird's-eye view. As I pull the mythological shark-like-creature up from the depths, I begin to understand it's size- it's massive! A little scary! But I'm pulling it up anyway, because  I'm too curious not,  plus- I have this deep sense that I am ready for it- A deep knowing that I was meant to come to this day and find this thing (Tame it? Hunt it? Inspect it?🤔)...

Maybe there's a label for it- the thing you're fishing out. 

And so what? What about the concept?-What does that label DO for you? 

So maybe you search and you find out this creature has a name- you're not the first one to discover it, but it felt like you were- but how does knowing the name of it HELP you?

What do you do next, with that information? 

That's where the power in this all lies.

I prefer to not "stop" at the label; the label is a stand-in for a concept: I want to make sure I understand the concepts, and see the label as a shorthand way of representing the concept; the label should operate like an acronym- a summary of ideas and words that represent something larger.

At least that's true for me. Just because how I believe we learn and grow is by searching with a belief that it's an Opportunity to better understand something important.

Being highly curious, and a little objective.

Enjoying processes.

Making life fun or purposeful. 

My sensitivity about the spider, and so many related observations, seems more like an invitation to  notice a deep need to heal, to reflect, to sit back and truly accept, that I am safe, and to own myself- yes, I am sensitive. So what? Part of that is my "thing".

And there's some parts that don't have to be my "thing" if I don't want. I've created some space to survey and take inventory- what do I want?

I thought of a few more general examples of reactions that someone might observe in themselves, that can be judged and therefore missed as an opportunity to better understand. Reactions seen as prompts to ask the questions. To ask a lot of "Why?", a lot of "What?"  :

-when you are offended by something or someone (why does it offend you, why do you assume about that, what emotion would you put with that...)

-when your feelings are hurt 

-when you get angry 

-when you react impatiently 

-when you yell 

-when you cry

-when you speed

-when you buy something and regret it 

-when you find yourself regretting something you said or did

-when the first thing you tell someone when you see them is about a negative story- how often does that happen?

-when you notice a feeling in you that these sorts of questions are brushed off or bring up unease 

These ideas are often reduced to labels, but labels are insignificant and unhelpful when they are only a stand-in for a very grand concept or implication.

Sometimes our own judgements of a label prevents us from looking deeper. Sometimes the intellectual satisfaction of researching, finding, and memorizing  the label prevents us from seeing it's useful nature and how we can turn around and put that knowledge to use in us. 

It's not a label, it's a sensible pattern- don't you want to know about it? 

In these conversations or reflections I often am thinking... "hmph, yeah... I do."

My reaction to things dying seems connected to two things, and I had to discern for myself based on concepts I have studied like the parasympathetic nervous system and the activities that would be done when an animal is operating from this system, versus what would be done while operating from the sympathetic system, what adrenal fatigue can look like, post-traumatic-stress and the role of stress on the nervous system, immobilization and trauma in animals as well as humans, anxious-attachment, Hornevian Groups, ego, instinctual drives, the reptilian brain, cerebellum, the soul's journey, Enneagram Subtypes, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the collective unconscious, Neuroplasticity - all have been some of the useful driving concepts in my self-understanding over the years and they're beginning to make sense in a network to me: 

- There's a new sensitivity and respect for life, and death. I greatly value both now in a way and at a degree I didn't before ( I am often in awe, so hungry for more, and afraid of the vastness of it) 


-There's a deep need for healing in me; This is a time in my life where I am recovering from ALL past wounding (that I am aware of at the moment) in my lifetime and not only from events in my past 5 years of living, or even just from Christian's return to "home",  but from when I was young.

I believe we all need this, to some degree, and throughout our life. This healing. 


It can be seen as a tune-up for the management system of your body and mind.

A spring-cleaning of a house and it's collections from a year.

A garage sale or a deep-scrub of sorts.

Or  returning to home. 

People get turned off or sensitive with labels, words like trauma, healing, conditioned patterns- I think it's useful to see the "alikeness" in what these things represent.

It's a  little operating systems, and there's way more to you than those.

Lighten up, have some fun. 

It can be kind of entertaining, when you look at it differently :) 

To me, those examples of emotions and reactions or behaviours that I brought up earlier are related to what you are reacting against or from; against or from a place of fear? 

Reacting from or against a place of hurt? 

Either way - that behavior, reaction and emotion is a protective mechanism at play, and it's a mechanism that's ONLY job is to be productive.

But that doesn't mean it IS productive. 

...It's like, when you're driving and you know where you're going, and somewhere along the route or when you arrive, you realize there was a much better way you could have or "should" have taken- it might have been faster, or more scenic, less traffic, good to run another errand on the way... whatever constitutes as "better" to you in regards to your belief or that circumstance. 

But if you get angry about it, and give yourself shit for being forgetful, not thinking, being absent-minded, etc, you're not really getting anything out of it.

Being upset about taking an inefficient way doesn't do anything- it's negative. And noticing there was a better way but not deciding if it mattered or not to you and what you want to do about it, also doesn't do anything- it's neutral. 

I get interested in wondering about it: 

What is "better" anyways?

Did you decide that was a value, or did someone else?-(using the car-route example) What if you like to take the longer route? Or, what if you don't really care about the scenic route at the moment? What if you do? 

In these moments of seeing a pattern, you can simply use it as an opportunity to learn, to ask questions and be curious. 

It's common to hear language, "thank the critical voice" and how to talk to the ego- but what's the reason behind that discussion in the first place- what is that implying and how can you have more moments where you are operating from a place you would actually really prefer to operate from? 

Deciding on certain frames-of-thinking that are  generally going to steer me in the direction of thinking and living I PREFER to operate from has helped me a lot. 

Operating under a belief that  "Everything happens for a reason" has helped me a lot. Understanding and allowing the concept that humans have an inherent deep wisdom built-in and to trust that has helped me a lot. Personality structure and the Soul's Journey have played a big role in understanding the layers of systems that a human can operate from, has helped me a lot. 

And generally there are a lot of things I recognize now as being consciously decided on, thanks to some space between...

Meditation helps me keep that distance between my intellect/my thinking and thoughts about stuff, and my responses to fears, and hold this third perspective that is outside both- that sits outside of them and somehow gently reminds that those perspectives are the machine and not "me"

It makes "helping myself" retraining myself, and purely understanding through "watching", much easier.

Being in nature is in-line with this ongoing learning and useful thought-process; nature is like an easy teacher to us- it shares a language with us that's very accessible and we get more fluent in it just through our time with it. I think that is so cool. 

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