Growing up, I heard the phrase “better the devil you know,” used by my father when talking about current events, business strategies and general uncertainties. It’s an Irish proverb that has been in use since the 1300s. ... Some say that it first appeared in a book of proverbs by R. Taverner, others claim that it was first said during a war for control between two brothers. Regardless of it’s origins, lately, I’ve been exploring it in terms of emotions, feelings and fears, questioning: Just how well do you know the devil you are dealing with? What would embracing it instead of fighting against it, feel like?
Using the term dragon interchangeably with devil, I’ve often thought about how Dragons, in our western culture have been portrayed. Countless tales of dragons in stories or ‘fairy tales’ have instructed us that 1. we should be waiting for someone else to come ‘slay’ them & 2. they should be hunted, captured & killed - mainly because they are guarding a ‘treasure or material wealth.’
A quick google search revels: The dragon is a symbol of evil, in both the chivalric and Christian traditions, however, In the Orient, it symbolizes supernatural power, wisdom, strength, and hidden knowledge. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it in. In most traditions, it is the embodiment of chaos and untamed nature. So why are we being programmed to fear and to fight?
What if we consider befriending our Dragons? Getting to know them with compassion, with integrity, trusting their loyalty and devotion, without sugar coating their presence in our lives - and instead of being afraid or even feeling shameful about them - embracing them with intention, claiming them as our own with a prideful defensiveness, exploring their powers & finding out what treasures they really are guarding.
“Our deepest fears are like dragons, guarding our deepest treasure.” -Rainer Maria Rilke
By identifying what we are afraid of, we create an awareness; Awareness ‘sheds light on the ‘monsters’ and reveals them for what they are: FEAR - False Expectations Appearing Real. Once we know what we are working with, we can decide how to approach the task, we can decide to enjoy the journey, we can be determined to have fun, we can truly find delight in the details, we can give ourselves permission to thrive and be happy.
We can chose Love over fear and we can befriend our Dragons, thank them for the lessons they bring us, and see it as a loving partnership, not a fatal foe. Our amygdala, our lizard brain (think small dragon) is what programs our fight or flight response. In the same way we acknowledge and befriend our ‘dragons’ we can develop an understanding with our lizard brain too.
“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, Letters to a Young Poet
Dragon energy appears when we need to connect with our Inner Strengths. As a reminder that they are our loyal companions, and You don’t need saving and it doesn’t need to be a struggle. I invite you today to get to know your Dragons, give them names and a place to reside peacefully with you. Show them gratitude for what they are revealing and ask them what it is they want you to learn. Enjoy the discoveries of the unknown, of your mystical and magical super powers and the true treasures that lie beneath your surface. Come with Love, Go in Peace. X, Robin