Fighting Dragons in the Dark

The unknown is like a dark cave. Our imaginations can get the better of us, creating fierce dragons whose very shadows defeat us.

Fighting Dragons in the Dark
Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Runa's Oracle ♥

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Are you that warrior that enters the cave expecting to see dragons? You light a fire to warm yourself and even more dragons appear as evidenced by their shadows on the wall. You draw closer to the fire, not feeling much like a warrior at all.

We live in a world that seems dominated by fear. It's easy to react to the evil dragons by doing one of two things. 1. Swinging at everything because "the fight is real," and expending every ounce of energy in that fight, or 2. Retreating to the safety of the firelight, until it goes out, because you were too afraid to go out to get fuel to feed it.

Then, miraculously, comes the light of day, rising into the cave. You look around for evidence, and you see that there never was a dragon. So, you think to yourself, "Now, I must venture out and conquer the world, or something like that." But, you are cold and you are tired. Unmotivated. Your fire went out. So, you simply go about your day, doing the bare minimum to find water and food.

The unknown is like that dark cave. Our imaginations can get the better of us, creating fierce dragons whose very shadows defeat us.

Meet fear. This is exactly how fear works. They are shadows, that we give meaning to, that defeat us. Note that I said "give meaning to." That means we can give these shadows a different meaning. What if the shadow of the dragon was friendly, an ally? What warrior wouldn't stand a little taller with a dragon backing them up?

As a matter of fact, I'll go to the etymology of the word dragon, as I am prone to do. It is assumed to be from drak-, an aorist (past tense) stem of derkesthai, "to see clearly," from PIE *derk- "to see." (δέρκομαι - to see.)

“Never laugh at live dragons.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Fight Fire With Fire

Fight fire with fire and fight the imagination with imagination. You can turn your fears into light, and cast your own shadow! You can be the Queen or King of Dragons!

People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.
~Ursula K. Le Guin

How do you defeat the dragons of your imagination with imagination?

Laura Basha says in The Inward Outlook, "Accessing love in the face of trauma and fear is the way out of hell." How do we do that?

Basha would say it comes down to choice, and I believe she is right. But how do we know love when fear is in our face? We use the power of memory and imagination. And we practice!

“We must close our eyes and invoke a new manner of seeing, a wakefulness that is the birthright of us all, though few put it to use.”
― Plotinus, The Essential Plotinus

With an imagery practice like DayTime Dreaming, we can bring experiences of love, both real memories, and imagined scenarios, to the forefront of our minds. We can program these experiences into very accessible tools like mudras or affirmations that bring the feeling of love back in an instant.

“We live out the imagination in everything.”
~Mary Watkins, Waking Dreams

Your dragons just might be, as Rilke says in Runa's Oracle above, princesses and princes, waiting for us to see and act differently.

Take up the sword of your imagination with me and we'll dance with dragons!

♥ Runa