I meant to post our week-in-review tonight, but I’m too tired. So I’m going to do it tomorrow night. It’s been another good week; we have a lot to share.
But again, I’m pretty tired. And I have a lot on my mind, so I’m going to share a bit of that.
Today has been a thoughtful day. It is traditionally the feast St. Michael, or Michaelmas. It is a day which brings thoughts of good triumphing over evil, dragons being overcome, darkness and light striving together. It brings to mind conquering heroes brandishing swords, headless beasts on the turf, pain and turmoil and glorious overcoming, realms restored to their rightful order.
Only, for me, maybe not so much. Oddly enough, today is a day that has made me think of being gentle with myself, and with others. It has made me think of how I can bring more peace into my own and others’ lives. I suppose that is because, in the course of trying to find a St. George and the Dragon story to read to Little Guy, I realized I really didn’t like the violent stories…and not only because we try very hard to keep violent stories, play, and visuals out of our household. (We do.) I realized that, to me, the violent versions are too simple.
Sometimes our darkness is not easily recognized as darkness. Sometimes, it is invisible. And sometimes, fighting it only makes it stronger…because in fighting, we internalize the opposition.
In my quest for a St. George story, I found one in which St. George doesn’t kill the dragon; he tames it, and treats it gently and with kindness. The dragon is not obliterated; it lives on, in a changed and gentler state. And George is still the hero who restores peace to all the land.
Recently, I had someone whose opinion I value tell me I was being too hard on myself. I was then told the same thing by someone else. And then this week, twice I felt the flutterings that signal the beginning of a panic attack…something I haven’t had to deal with for a few years now. Oddly enough, it happened at a time in which I thought I was doing really well, and was at peace. But suddenly, dragons that I thought I had conquered started raising their ugly heads. And negative thoughts poured into my head. Anger at someone who had hurt a dear friend. Pain from a memory associated with that anger. Fear when my child had a hard time coping with a situation. And simple exhaustion from the extent of my responsibilities at this point in my life.
I didn’t have the panic attack (fortunately. That is the last thing I need right now.) But I am learning something. I am learning that, with myself, my family, my friends, and everyone around me…the best way to deal with dragons is gently.
Dragons have to be coaxed from their lairs, sometimes gently, sometimes firmly. Believe it or not, they can be hard workers and even achieve some very un-dragon-like feats of goodness. Dragons can sleep, and awake as peaceful monsters.
But none of that can happen if I constantly attack them with swords.
In my quest for intentionality, I find myself striving more and more to find peace and centered-ness, and have them about me to give if needed. I’m not so good at it yet, but I’m trying, and seeing little results. My mind is a little quieter. The house runs a little smoother. Hubby and son are calmer when they see me at calm.
I’ve never celebrated Michaelmas, and didn’t end up reading Little Guy the St. George story (at least, not yet.) But this is what I gleaned from today. Looking at my life…everything I consider bad is mixed with something good, or has brought about something good. Every single thing. And the more I battle the things that bring me fear, the more agonized I become.
While, on the other hand, the more I focus on peace, rhythm, love, and calm, the tamer my dragons become…by default.
So I think I will try to do a little less fighting and a little more gentle taming.