Over the past few months I’ve made a concerted effort to speak up, use my voice, and say when I am not happy or am being hurt by something. This process has been lifelong for me. As a child through to my young adulthood, I didn’t realize I had a voice, or a voice that would matter even if it spoke up. Then through my 20s, I realized I had a loud roar that breathed fire and could cut people deeply. My dragon was alive and she became my default protection mechanism, albeit a wild loose weapon.
As I began the spiritual awakening process, I wanted to be a “nice” person and just help people, and thus began the process of hiding my dragon and pretending she didn’t exist. It was my misunderstanding of what a “spiritual” person was, and I more or less became a bit of a doormat. The dragon would still come out in different ways, as aggression in business or forcefulness in my personal relationships, but mostly I allowed things to happen that I did not approve of as I silenced her. I made concessions where I did not want to, simply to remain “spiritual” and “nice.”
When my dragon did happen to breathe fire, I would feel a tremendous amount of guilt and shame afterward, as if I had done something wrong by letting the dragon be seen and stand up for me. I just wanted to believe I lived in a world of sunflowers and daisies and would never have to unleash the dragon. I would beat myself up, and tell the dragon to stop; she was not welcome. That was my mistake.
Nowadays, I’m reintegrating my dragon back into my life, and I’ve come to realize her value and sacred space in my life.
You see, the dragon, to me, is my inner warrior. She is unleashed when she has to be; when there is something to protect, when there is something to fight for. There is such a thing as an appropriate use of my dragon, I came to realize. It was not something to stifle or hide, but rather, embrace, tame, and work with. And there is nothing to feel guilty over when that dragon needs to rear her head.
Dragons are sacred (and real, in case you didn’t know, they live in the 9th dimension and do not breathe fire…but, I digress). This inner warrior is sacred. It is the part of me that fights to protect my inner child, the part that must slay, figuratively, someone or something that has misguided intentions and seeks to hurt me. The dragon knows when someone does not have pure intentions. It knows even before my conscious mind has become aware of it. The dragon sends me signals long before my mind catches on. I become serious, I stop smiling, I shut down. The dragon is telling me to prepare internally to fight. I posture, slightly, with my dead lock stare. I lean in for battle.
A true warrior knows when she must go to battle, when all other options are exhausted or proven benign, but still does not lose sight of the fact that any war or any bloodshed is still a loss. A warrior understands that life is precious, and we are all connected to the same source of life. My inner dragon will fight to protect me, but also cry for the bloodshed that has to happen in order to defend what she loves most, me. A warrior does not forget her connection to life.
I am learning to listen and respond to my inner dragon. I’m also praising her for protecting me and breathing a bit of fire when she needs to warn someone on a verbal or nonverbal level of overstepping my boundaries. I still believe in daisies and sunflowers, but am aware enough to know that sometimes the world doesn’t return my sunflowers with sunshine and hearts. In those times, and when absolutely necessary, my dragon comes out and my warrior face is on.
The inner dragon knows, is intuitively wise, and I embrace her now.