The credit for this blog belongs to my friend Montana Wood, because she mailed me a copy of one of her favourite books and it’s the inspiration of what I’m going to be writing about today. The book is Carlos Whittaker’s Kill The Spider.
In the self-care series I think there are two ends of spiritual self-care. I think spirituality can be a calming force in people’s lives that brings hope encouragement and peace. But the other side of it is what I want to focus on today, that you need to take time to care for and invest in your spirit.
Spiders & Cobwebs
The premise of Kill The Spider is that there are lies we are believing about ourselves. These lies are spiders in our lives that build cobwebs and impacts how we live our lives, have relationships with others and ultimately how we serve God. But we can solve this by figuring out what those lies are and replacing them with truth – killing the spider.
Whittaker defines spiders as an agreement you have made with a lie and cobwebs as medicating behaviour that bring false comfort to the lie. Cobwebs can be things like insecurity with body image, seeking approval from others, substance abuse , control being a control freak, finding worthiness through being a workaholic. Any type of behaviour that brings false or temporary comfort to lies about ourselves.
When I first started the book I was like “oh this is nice, but I don’t think I actually have any spiders”. But I was so wrong, because I do and we all do, it just comes out in different ways. As you figure out what these lies you’re listening to are you not only kick them out, but you replace them with truth. This can be done by;
- Keeping track of how God is present in your life, how He is speaking to you and answering prayers
- Trusting God always, when when you don’t really understand what He’s doing in your life
- Involving God in the small and ordinary parts of your life, not just when you’re in trouble and need help
- When you feel lies creeping in that make you feel unloved or unworthy push them out with what you know is true
- Be honest with your friends about what you struggle to believe so they can hold you accountable
- Practice gratitude for the small moment
- Keep digging deeper and grow in your faith to prep for challenging seasons
Fact or Fiction?
I recently heard: “Just because you’re feeling something doesn’t mean those feelings are true, should be validated, should be entertained or acted on. I think thats a lifelong quest to figure out what is truth and what are feelings” and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and wondering how it impacts our interpretations of the world.
We deserve to feel like our emotions and feeling are valid but it’s important to challenge if they are always true. We need to work through assessing when what we feel is contradictory to what we know to be true.
I’ve written before about Jamie Tworkowski’s post What I Feel vs What I Know but I’m bringing it back up again in this context because I think it’s helpful to illustrate an important point. We can have days or weeks or seasons that feel pretty terrible, where we don’t feel good about our lives, maybe we build up a lot of cobwebs trying to bring comfort to the lies we are believing. We could feel stuck or unloved but what know is that is not true. We are loved, we are worthy, there are things to be grateful for even in hard seasons.
“i feel sad more than i feel happy.
i feel stuck more than i feel free.
There are things we might have believed about ourselves for so long they seem true, or maybe fears or insecurities that are so tangible they must be real. But it is important to take the time to be mindful that sometimes those fears or lies are holding us back from really living and engaging with others in a meaningful way.
Delight in Truth
I know this post is just giving you a cursory understanding of this concept of killing the spiders in your life, and you should probably just read the book because it’s great, but I hope you’ll walk way from this post today thinking about where to find truth in your life and inspired to .
It’s not only important to be mindful of the lies you are believing that aren’t true about you (you’re unloved, unworthy, you’ve not perfect enough, etc.) but to then replace those with Jesus and with things you know are true.
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth” – 1 Cor 13:6
“Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” – 1 John 3:18
“I am the way the truth and the life” – John 4:16
When I feel stressed out, insecure, or like I’m walking through a hard season I’ve found leaning on faith and truth is the best way to navigate that time. In Kill The Spider Whittaker writes that in the good seasons of life it’s important to build your faith and tackle the spiders and lies you’ve got going on.
My favourite quote from Kill The Spider is this: “Levi said this: “ Trials reveal foundations; they aren’t the ideal time to build them.” Well, listen up, all of you “good season”-ers, pain and suffering’s off season is the ideal time for spider killing CrossFit. This is when you buckle down and get ready because you know that it is just an off-season. Jesus didn’t promise a pain-free life. But He did promise he would be with us as we run, skip, limp, crawl, or stumble toward the finish line” (pg. 151).
In good seasons, easy and comfortable ones – we need to build faith and resilience. Not to be pessimistic, but in knowing that harder seasons will come- and being deeply rooted in faith and having strong healthy relationships with God and yourself and others will help you to face more difficult seasons.
This post is part of the self-care series because self-care is a tool to build resilience, and this is how I think we can build spiritual resilience. Be intentional about your routines and rhythms, so that you have the spiritual foundation in your life you need when you’re going through the challenges life throws your way. Just like any other form of self-care, having the practice in place to take time for you is important to when you are put under stress you can manage it better.