Take My Arm
By James Bridges
If you’ve ever had a spider bite you know the discomfort feeling. It’s somewhere between the itch of a mosquito bite and the deep tingling of an open wound. It’s rather irritating and strange. I discovered such a bite on my arm a couple of weeks ago. Instantly I wanted to scratch it and make it go away. Those that have been there know how difficult it is to resist temptation… However, I was luckily able to conjure up the strength. I looked at the bite/gash (that would probably eat my arm off) and started thinking.
I was curious why I wanted it gone so badly. I thought of something unique. At least it helped me silence my desire to scratch. My mind was telling my body that something is out of whack. My animal instincts were begging me to remove whatever was out whack so that I could carry on in comfort. The skin that covers my arm, where the spider “attack” occurred, had been the same smooth formation for years.
Now something has come along to change it. “Change” is a mild way of addressing it compared to the thoughts rushing through my head at the time. What had really been flowing were terrifying thoughts of a creature gnawing away at parts of who I was. This creature wanted to attack me in ways that had never been done. Afterall, this was my first spider bite. One could only assume. It wasn’t as if this spider was trying to communicate or let me know why it wanted to “eat” me. I assumed that this spider cared nothing of the soul inside of the skin that it was now devouring. Nibbling just enough to get it’s fill in the middle of the night while I’m silenced by my slumber. I automatically assumed that it would repeatedly return and cowardly eat more and more of my arm. It would ingest my other limbs at some point. Meanwhile I would sleep and scratch and hope that things would get better.
I then realized what I needed to do. I realized that this was all in my own head. I only wanted to scratch because there was something different about my arm. It wasn’t all that bad. The thought of a spider biting me terrified me, but it wasn’t bad in reality. So I decided to embrace it. I didn’t take it personally. I knew that the spider needed to bite on something. I also knew that once I accepted and evolved to the change the spider bite would eventually become a part of me. There was no “removing” of it. It wasn’t possible. Instead there was a lesson. One of embracing obstacles and accepting them as part of myself.