For Writers Island prompt #23 soar
This was originally written a while ago, but I’m posting it for the prompt today because dragons not only soar, they can help us soar up and over some of our most persistant stumbling blocks. Although many view dragons as monsters come to destroy, or immovable objects, I see them differently. They can be friends and help us to learn, and unlearn, both new and old habits. Hope you enjoy.
I have already written about my Personal Mythology. In that Mythology there are dragons. This is my personal definition of them and how I see them in connection with ones own person and life. It is a mixture of things I have read, some theories about how we humans actually operate, and my own personal tastes.
Dragons are a more highly evolved species. They come into our lives to protect, to guide and to teach us, and remain as long as we need them to do so. They often come when we are children learning to creatively cope with daily existence.
Because of ongoing development, children don’t always get the “whole” picture. They get pieces and parts, and assume that what they are seeing is all there is to know. And they are often confronted, because of that only partial knowledge, with things that threaten them and their continued existence. Whether those things are imaginary, real, or simply a misconception, children are always about the business of creating and learning coping skills that will allow them to proceed with their individual journey through life, as they know it.
Research says that we pretty much have put together a ‘world view’ by the time we are five years old. A world view is our take on how the world operates and our own particular place and function in that world. And a by-product of that world view is the creation of coping mechanisms and skills that will allow us to move through our lives somewhat unimpeded by things and other peoples’ reactions and actions.
Think about that for a moment. When I was five, I was recovering from a car accident which landed me in the hospital for surgery, and the placement of a steel pin in my skull where some of the bone had been smashed. Talk about a need to develop coping skills aimed at keeping me safe. Lots of them.
But, now I am grown, have a much fuller concept of how life works, and am fully aware that some of those coping skills I put into place, way back when, get in the way of how I really want to live my life in the present moment. Reality is, because they were created so long ago, and have become, to a great extent, much more habit than thought process, I can be and often am, unaware of how or why, or even when I am engaging in those particular coping mechanisms. Which only means, I am sometimes baffled by the things I do and say and, often question my own sanity or grasp on reality.
And that is when the dragons come into play. They may be a more highly developed species which happen to live forever, but that doesn’t mean they can’t, or don’t need to learn a few things as well. They essentially are a symbol for those coping mechanisms we no longer need and, most likely, need to change.
As I said earlier, they come to protect, especially children. Because they can shape shift, changing size from hugo to minute, they can wrap themselves around the individual giving a feeling of being behind a rather sturdy wall that also happens to be a fire-breathing weapon. Not bad, hunh? In that process they also teach the child behaviors that will allow him/her to go on feeling safe behind that wall. Hey, if it works you use it over and over again until it becomes habit.
Example: Back when I was five, every physical movement I engaged in was scrutinized and limited because I had survived and sustained a serious head injury. No one knew what might, or might not happen, and my parents had been warned that the surgery might result in symptoms akin to Cerebral Palsy.
Although my family wanted me to learn how to be careful, what I really came to know was a lot of what is labeled as “learned helplessness.” That translates to the very real fact that when simple action is called for, I sometimes have a tendency to just stay seated and ask someone else to do whatever action might be called for. That can be majorly exasperating to all parties concerned.
It became a really big issue after I had children and continually asked them to go get me a glass of soda, or a book that was on the shelf just across the room from where I was sitting. I heard their complaints and sighs of exasperation, but didn’t connect it all together until I finally heard the phrase, “learned helplessness.” That’s when I met my first dragon.
He was blue and green, and his name was Peter. Blue is the color of knowledge and wisdom, green symbolizes growth. The name Peter means “rock.” Lots of clues there. But, what else I learned is that dragons are as much creatures of habit as we human beings. He didn’t really want to change and liked his role and his life as a rock. Movement was work, energy, action.
We talked. I was able to show him that by remaining a rock, he would never fulfill his other and far deeper purpose (Dragons seem to begin a slow process of forgetting when they enter the earth’s atmosphere). That was to return to his own home environment, after releasing me from the habits of years of existence. From there, when he would appear, I knew I had to get up and move and not ask others to do things I was fully capable of doing myself.
Eventually, we both got comfortable in our new roles, and he began to fade, and finally left because his real work had been completed. It was difficult and emotionally hard to release him from what he saw as his commitment and obligation to my person. But we did do it. And we both grew in the process and gained some very needed knowledge.
Several more have appeared since he first came. I always asked for a name and made sure I knew what the color meant specifically. Haven’t had one appear in years. So was surprised last week when I caught sight of a purple dragon flying in my direction. His name is Neosafalus. We still have a lot of talking to do.