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When Fear Gets a Grip

Excerpt from Exhilarated Life: Discovering Inner Happiness

The Dragon Dies

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Can you name the dragon that feeds on your health and happiness?

Today was a bad day. It didn’t start out that way, but a series of events—innocuous, small, some positive, some negative—started tripping me up, and the next thing I knew, I was on a spiral of dark feelings. I didn’t want to be alone with myself and I didn’t want to bewith anyone—especially the one who loved me. I thought of calling a friend to see if she’d like to go to a show last minute, but decided she just might. Then I would be committed to either pretending I wasn’t bleak or else inflicting upon her my useless whining about not being good enough!

Gawd! I grabbed my coat, shoved my phone and wallet in an inside pocket, and headed for the door. My son asked me where I was going and I called over my shoulder that I was going to a show.

“Alone?” he asked, surprised. “You can’t go to a show alone! I’ll go with you if you want.”

“Uh uh.”

I was not fit company—even for myself—so I was going to plug into a big screen comedy and shove popcorn in my mouth. I’d never actually been to a show by myself before. I was early even for the trailers and sat listening to Lou Rawles singing ‘You’re Gonna Miss My Lovin’.’ I had a vague notion that life had been easier when that song came out. But that was no more true than the so-called “truths” my inner beast had been dishing me since mid-afternoon.

I couldn’t grab hold of my usual assurances and concluded for the evening that it was so much easier to be negative than positive. That the chance of things turning out badly in spite of positive affirmations was so much more real than the chance of things turning out well.

That, somehow, good outcomes would take more energy—more discipline—than bad. I knew I just had to ride out this night, and I believed a glass of wine followed by a good sleep would have me back to my sunny little self in the morning.

My phone battery was dead—natch—and after the film I called Athan from the pay phone. I was sure he would find my disappearance odd. He lived in the city and I was in the netherworld, halfway between the city and my home. Athan offered to meet me for coffee. Consistent with my mood, I halfheartedly tried to deflect his offer:

“Are you sure you want to?” What a little girl!

I was glad he overlooked my lameness and said he was on his way. Times like these are not alien to me, as I am sure they are not for most from time to time. But I do know that when one is consciously reaching for a higher level of awareness and connection with spirit, the frequency might lessen but the intensity strengthens. Through my writing lately I have been dropping into a deeper place of remembering and integration of past events and their purpose and significance on a soul level.

Clearing. Lightening. Ridding myself of what does not serve me.

I have always followed alternative and natural healing therapies, to support the physical plane of heredity, environment, emotion and spirit. In fact the piece I had been working on all morning had me thinking about the many layers we might use to interpret our state of balance in body, mind, and spirit. We are like filo pastries of information if we only knew how to read them. Herbology, naturopathy, and reflexology are some and of course all the Chinese medicines read the body like a finely charted map.

If the body doesn’t efficiently process nutrients and eliminate all waste, stuff builds up, accumulates in corners and crevices, and becomes a breeding ground for toxins sapping the host body of nutrients and energy, until the depletion leads to weakened systems inviting biological predators.

When the body is in optimal health and not a fit environment, these organisms move through and are evacuated harmlessly. The body is efficient and intelligent, and is a natural healing organism. But if the body is dealing with various stresses and toxins, even natural therapies may lead to conditions getting worse before they get better. A battle rages for the supremacy of the strongest.

The soul also has such beasts, or “dragons,” as I call them here. As we take in the information of life from the moment of birth, we ingest nutrients and toxins. We take in information and are left with emotional byproducts. We are pre-judgment at the outset, and by the time we may be questioning an external authority, often the parasite of negativity—in shame or unworthiness—has lodged safely in the dark of the mind and the soul. It feeds on negative emotions and grows stronger as it goes unchallenged. In fact, we set up circumstances to recreate the scene or script as it was laid out unconsciously, purely because it is with what we become familiar. Just as a beaten child will often end up in an abusive relationship, we are obscenely comforted by what we know—even if it hurts us. It is familiar and unchallenged, and somehow speaks to us in a voice that sounds true.

Negativity generally cautions us against failure, blame, embarrassment. It sounds so protective—a warning voice. It does this by warning you not to speak out because you might be wrong. Don’t love because you might get hurt. Don’t trust because you might be betrayed. Don’t be different because you might look stupid. Negativity keeps you safe. It also keeps you prisoner—and worse, it will eventually bring to bear all the circumstances from which it kept you “safe.”

Negativity also tells you to be like this person or that person because he or she is famous, successful, rich, beautiful. Of course, you can never be just like anyone else, so your inner negative voice will jeer at you for failing.

Once you begin to detox (through therapy or practice, psychologically or spiritually), you get lighter. The dragon is no longer so easily integrated into your personality. It becomes more obvious when it lashes out.

Then, as you gain strength in your own light of authenticity, the beast begins to writhe in its death throes. It even tricks you by staying really quiet until you begin to tip the scale into autonomy and authentic expression. With this comes confidence, esteem, and self-value. The dragon hates that. It cannot compete with true pleasure. It cannot thrive in love any more than cancer can in an alkaline host. Cancer needs an acidic body. The dragon needs fear and shame. Like a rat cornered, the beast fights to the end.

Unless we slay the dragon, it will go into remission and find some cranny of negativity to sustain it until it recovers. It will move us subtly into wrong decisions that, if we are not watchful and aware, will trap us in a cycle of disappointment or victimization. When we default to living unconsciously—reactive rather than proactive—the dragon rises up and the familiar voice will chide, “I told you so.”

When I met Athan for hot chocolate after the movie, he said that my words on the phone had frightened him. I had said them “unconsciously” but, of course, it was the dragon speaking. They were words of fear and failure at the very time when I was being most successful in my heart’s desires. It was the indication that the dragon was raising its ugly head in final assault and, if given the chance, would annihilate its very host.

I realized even as I took myself off to a show alone I had purposely avoided the one who, with love, would hold the light for me. The dragon was in control.

So tonight I slay the dragon. I—who carry spiders outside—will slay the dragon. It’s not what “nice” girls do, but I’m done with pain. I choose pleasure.

As I write, I reflect on the past week. Three days ago I said to my son,

“You know, I am finally living the life I always dreamed of.”

It was that statement that sent the beast of negativity and unworthiness into stealth and final ambush today. Now I get it. In a way the dragon coming out so ferociously in daylight is good. It proves that I—and “all that I might be”—am alive and well, and the dragon is a myth of my own illusion.

A myth is a belief system that forms our life. Either this one will steal my joy, pleasure, success and health, or I will destroy it once and for all.

My truths are daggers and my love is fire. The dragon dies!

~

Follow me and don’t miss Part II and more from Exhilarated Life: Discovering Inner Happiness

 

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