All dragons must be slain. This is no play on words. From religious symbolism to medieval lore dragons are used to describe the darkest parts of ourselves, the things that keep us up late at night and has a unconscious control over our lives. But slaying the dragon is critical as it is all we should be focused on in life. The process of improving the world I believe starts with ourselves and the battles that rage right under the surface.
Dragons manifest themselves in every way conceivable to the mind. But all dragons are metaphorical, within the mind as barriers to reach your true aspirations.
“Whatever you do and think everyday is what you are.”
The dragon is not as much guarding the desire similar to the medieval stories of knights and lowly princesses in castles full of gold, but is there only for you, to make you psychologically numb. As the dragon is developed in your mind, it is an immovable object that complicates your situation to such a degree that those aspirations of greatness, the princess, the riches, the ideal of yourself, is a goal too lofty to pursue.
Saint George and the Dragon
Dragons, snakes, demons and all types of beasts have been used in Christian lore to describe the devil and chaotic forces that control human urges. I think this is something to understand as the ultimate battle of the soul, as these battles whether they range from social anxiety, physical disabilities, addiction, depression, or any problem faced there is a understanding that these things control you more than you desire. The dragon creates a world of chaos that feels inescapable because there is no way around it. Your problems are right in your face, screaming at you every morning. Breathing hot fire into your mind, making your bones brittle and charred.
How does it do this? A great saying I always like to think on is “Whatever you do and think everyday is what you are.” a profound sentiment that is true. And the truth in that is that we as human beings with minds of our own wrapped in complex conciseness that are shaped by the interactions in the past and in the present. This thing called “being” forces us to come to grips with problems, sometimes subconsciously and out of our immediate psyche. Most problems are not properly realized and ignored creating a cycle of negative emotions that spiral out of control. As myself, I have battled with depression and addiction. Falling into a hole of despair and self suffering is one of the most common ways the dragon seduces you into submission. Life is brutal and weakens you, because there are so many dragons to fight and only one you.
So how can you manage? Nowadays there’s a lot of quick fixes presented to fix problems. “5 Steps to Fixing your Finances”, “10 Ways to make yourself happier”, you get the idea. But as we’ve seen that the internet and social media cannot solve every problem among peoples. Most dragons faced are not fixable by anything else but acknowledgement and desire to overcome the real problems of your life.
Life is chaotic for a lot of reasons, many issues are caused by others which will push you even farther down the rabbit hole of frustration and rumination. A part of the dragon that is so powerful is that issues caused by yourself or others create a negative feedback loop that moves you into a dangerous inaction. This inaction manifests itself in your life, making your dragons bigger and more vicious, and your goals seem farther and farther away. Life is nothing but a cycle of trying to improve yourself and in improving yourself you have to face the things you don’t want to speak on. Or the problems you can’t seem to take on. Or the things you can’t seem to take control of. Inadvertently you will slay every dragon you come across because the path towards the glory of self fulfillment is riddled with shedding the bad and reinventing yourself with the new.
Going from Point A → Point B (source: Jordan Peterson)
The dragon is the battle between who you are today and where you want to be. Running away is not a option because you are always in the battle. It is inescapable as you are always in a perpetual state of thinking of a future self. Every action taken is a step forward, even if it is a step forward into complete madness. So you may as well fight for the ideal you want, instead of being swallowed up by the fear of what you are today or were in the past. Be honest with yourself, you know what you are. And if you don’t, and feel too far gone, talk to a professional therapist. And if you can’t find one in person, try https://www.talkspace.com/ as a option. If you want to try a more self actualizing approach I highly suggest checking out https://selfauthoring.com/ provided by Jordan Peterson. It is a great tool that has helped me greatly in my own battles.
One swing of a sword does not slay a dragon metaphorically or physically. It takes preparation, concentration, priority, and patience. So as I myself continue to work towards a better version of myself I hope this article helped you along the way to mastery as well. Attack your problems, be victorious.