Generalizing Dragons

  • June 19, 2021 |
  • 9:42 am |
  • Ed Nissen, MSW, LCSW

Generalizing dragons only obscures them. In other words, it’s futile to speak to the specifics of each person’s dragons because each individual’s experience, both objective and subjective, requires an individualized journey to the dragon’s lair. There is a uniqueness to everyone’s dragon. Hence a universal solution will only take you so far.
The notion of a universal solution to slaying dragons does, however, suggest there are things everyone can and must do to slay their dragons. I’m still figuring out that part. So, I will do my best to speak to that.
Universally speaking, I believe the way we slay dragons is by acknowledging the existence AND presence of the darker and more painful aspects of ourselves, that is, consciously engaging with the unpleasant and terrifying corners of our minds and hearts. These unpleasant and terrifying corners contain things such as tending to childhood trauma, an unwillingness to forgive someone, a refusal to understand someone, with the same empathy we express towards the “people who deserve empathy,” the denial of our self-worth, and the willful dismissal of chaos. We have to look in the hard places that we least want to look. This means we have to practice a conscious openness to push us beyond the feel-good nature of “self-love” and into the uncomfortable area of our lives that may not be so damn pleasant. This is not about merely accepting the darker aspect of ourselves; it is more about addressing these darker aspects and harnessing its attributes for something more purposeful. By owning our shadow, we gain control over the dark, suppressed aspects of ourselves that once manifested in our lives autonomically. If we continue as we always have, we will continue to get the same results. Slaying the dragon means looking deep within, with courage, and committing to overcoming your demons, making them work for you.