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Registered: 10-2008
Posts: 2215
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Validation: Charlotte's Web


The Web of Trust

By Lynn S.

She crawled across the barren ground, a spider, left to roam.
The web she’d shared to spin her dreams no longer was her home.
The strands once strong had given way; her mate turned silk to dust.
She thought the weave would hold her heart. Then he betrayed her trust.

His web designed to gather prey once glistened in the sun,
But in the dark she saw the trap, a trap from which she’d run.
So now she journeyed far and wide, to find a place to cling,
But nothing felt quite safe enough. She feared another sting.

The spider searched for that new home, the place where she could grieve.
Her weary heart then called to her, “A new web you must weave.”
She was a spider, after all. She had her own fine thread.
Why had this not occurred to her? What caused this kind of dread?

She knew she must release the fear of weaving something wrong.
It might look like the web he made, but here he’d not belong.
“My web will be of my design. The strands won’t wear or fray.
And when it’s done I’ll offer it to others on their way.”

She looked around to find a place and much to her surprise
She saw webs floating everywhere, each one a different size.
Some webs were built for shelter strong, and others to deceive
But now she knew the difference so she set about to weave.

She wasn’t sure just what the thread would look like as she wove.
It seemed she’d hidden all her silk and saved it for this cove.
The spider spun with all her heart. Her efforts would reveal
A web of dew and gossamer with strands as strong as steel.

A hundred other spiders had just witnessed what she’d spun.
They gazed upon the beauty, seeing her in what she’d done.
“This web won’t hold me captive,” she whispered, filled with pride.
She turned to all the spiders there and said, “Please come inside.”

“There is more work that I must do to travel to the core.
I need the hands and hearts of those who’ve been this way before.”
They climbed onto the silver strands, exploring what she’d made.
They travel, still, this web of trust, and not an edge is frayed.

© 2005


Charlotte's Web, a classic children's story, contains many lessons, not the least of which is the importance of validation. Charlotte, the spider in the story, recognizes and fosters the 'radiance' of a pig named Wilbur by weaving words about him into her web. Conversely, Wilbur supports and notices the good in all others as well.
Validation is an important element in recovery from a relationship with a Narcissist who is by nature an invalidator. Interaction with other survivors has been an important element in my own recovery. In those relationships, I have found validation of not only my experience, but also of my own worth.
Jonathan Young's work is referenced often on this site. He has some wonderful articles online which examine the psychological aspects of fairy tale and myth, and explore the value of story in healing and learning. His thoughts on Charlotte's Web can be found here:

The Radiant Life:
Thoughts on the Enduring Significance of Charlotte's Web
by Jonathan Young

"Charlotte did not create Wilbur's fine qualities, she just noticed them. He even protested that he did not feel particularly terrific, but she knows better. It is crucial that a mentor celebrates true qualities. The magic is that caring attention allows a glimpse beneath the surface."



The following quote from Charlotte's Web beautifully summarizes the power of validation and also emphasizes the importance of our words and connections with one another:

"Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."--Charlotte's Web by E.B. White


Last edited by LynnS, Jan/23/2009, 10:08 am

"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Oct/29/2008, 6:44 pm Link to this post  

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