Since childhood, I’ve had two reactions to spiders: (1) drop everything and flee; or (2) whack with lethal force. While rather sheepish later (once my heartbeat returns to normal), my reaction is instinctive and overwhelming.
With no one to blame, I point to the children’s classic Be Nice to Spiders by Margaret Bloy Graham. Mom would frequently read this book to my sister (who’s just as certifiable) and me. Ironically, it was our favorite book. We’d giggle and shriek as the spiders appear (and multiply!), breathlessly terrified and thrilled.
Of course, our reaction (uh, overreaction) to spiders was established before we discovered the book. We simply used our repulsion-attraction to give story time an extra kick.
Later, as an adult, I had to face real spiders alone: no more Dad to whisk them outside. Hence, my two-pronged approach began.
Now, considering yoga philosophy and ahimsa (non-violence) in particular, I know that it’s wrong to smash a spider just for having eight legs (note: six-legged insects are somehow tolerable to me). If, as I wrote in my prior post, I am vegetarian because I cannot without qualms kill an animal, how can I nonchalantly destroy a spider?
Hypocrisies (those little exceptions to our self-proclaimed rules) are more the rule than the exception. I admitted one of mine. What about you? What are your foibles and weaknesses? Where do you diverge from the yamas and niyamas?