A Bit More on Dragon Slaying
Last month’s blog centered on the Hero’s Journey and how our awareness is necessary to identify the dragons. I thought this month, I could give you a bit of help in slaying them. Our goal is to be associated with things we love. Love’s absence can be described as hate or other strong negative emotion. But it all boils down to the fact that when love is absent a dragon usually exists. This absence of love may include anything from the seven deadly sins to emotions such as fear and even repetitious annoyances. A dragon is something that holds you back from being the authentic person you want to be.
In fact, some dragons are small enough to slip by unnoticed, but they may interfere with your journey in a big way.
A widowed friend told me of working in her studio. Deeply involved in a critical aspect of her creation, she nevertheless found herself continually looking at the clock. If she didn’t leave now, dinner wouldn’t get made, but if she hurried, the project would be botched beyond repair. It was a tumultuous series of moments of looking at the clock, then trying not to hurry. Suddenly after many of her frantic moments of feeling the ticking clock as it opposed her need to finish the portion of the project she had in hand, she told me, “I realized I was alone. My time was my own. I had no time restraints or another’s wishes to consider. I could stay and finish what I was working on!” She then added, “it still pops up, but it is getting less and less. I am winning the battle.”
A tiny dragon only needed, a bit of awareness to understand one aspect of dragons. Eventually she will fully subdue this one, and her creativity and peace will flourish. Additionally, she began looking at her reactive responses and is more aware of how she has been programmed in certain situations, and thus enabled to decide if those programs are beneficial to her now. However, not all dragons are deeply wounded or immediately slain, especially those deeply programmed into the psyche.
Since no one can make the Hero’s Journey alone, and no two people have the same dragons, here are a few topics and the books that might help in the journey.”
If we cannot love ourselves, how can we love another? It we wear false faces to be loved, they will eventually be swept away like grains of sand, and all we hoped to gain will be lost. But I assure you that if we are authentic we build on a firm foundation that weathers the storms of life.
Bene Brown’s books are excellent. Her newest book is Loving Oneself, Overcoming Perfection. Dr. Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past twelve years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her groundbreaking research has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. While I am specifically listing two more of her books, ALL are of assistance. You might also enjoy listening to her Ted talk as well as reading the following books: Daring Greatly – How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead and The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.
Susan Jeffer’s classic Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is an excellent guide to overcoming fears which hold you in their grasp. In it are concepts and techniques that have helped people overcome fears, including a 10-step process to outtalk the negative chatterbox in your brain.
Dr. Jeffers, has also published Feel the Fear and Beyond, which has had rave reviews and is designed for both group and individual use.
Each of the two dragons mentioned above contain many species. Fear, for instance can surface as fear of public speaking, which could hold a person back, or something as major as abandonment which spawns a family of dragons. Not loving self includes not only accepting your imperfections but looking at things such as a “know it all” personality, victim mentality, a sexual addiction to prove desirability, and dozens of other dragon versions.
Dragons are dangerous. They rob us of peace and happiness, cause tension and stress, and perform all kinds of mischief. Don’t hesitate to also seek assistance from sources outside of books. I found a gigantic dragon of the fear family when working with art therapy techniques in my master’s class; I may share that next month. I took shamanic training and found more dragons. And I am certain there are still a few lurking around in corners. They are nothing to be ashamed of, everyone has them. But they are to be mastered. I wish you courage and mastery in your journey.