Dealing With The Dragons In Life
(How To Remain A Romanic In A World of Realism)
by Larry D. Wright
Life was unfair to her.
Her dreams of a perfect world were shattered when a dragon invaded her space and took something that did not belong to him. For years she looked for a knight on a white stallion to charge forth and rescue, slaying all the dragons in her world. She longed for someone to appear who could find all the broken, missing pieces and make them fit together again. Floating aimlessly in a sea of insanity, she longed for her life to make sense.
As wounded people are apt to do, she dreamed of living in a remote castle surrounded by a moat where she would be protected from all the fire-breathing dragons in the kingdom. It would be a safe place to live and one that would shield her from other shattering experiences in life.
The knight never came. She never found the castle. The shattered pieces of her life remained scattered and the dragon from the past would not go away. In fact, more dragons followed him.
All the dragons in her life seemed to have the same purpose. They threatened to blow out the dim flame of hope, fairness and decency that flickered deep within. Her dream of an immaculate world was tainted as the grimy footprints of an ugly dragon smudged the landscape that had once been as pure as a fresh fallen snow.
When I met her she was dangerously close to becoming a dragon herself. Since dragons reproduce themselves through the people they violate, a vicious cycle is created. This explains why there are more dragons flourishing in the forest than free people who build castles in the mountains.
When the world of dreams and the world of reality collide, the result is shattered dreams, resentment and a sense of helplessness that eventually gives way to the poison of bitterness. The question is, "What do you do with the fragmented pieces of a shattered life?" Better yet, “What do you do with the dragons who invade your world?” Is it possible to remain a romantic amidst a world of realism? By the term romantic, I mean a mind-set, an outlook, a perspective that tends to be adventurous in nature and is definitely idealistic in its approach to the way life is suppose to be lived. Romanticism is a paradigm. It is a pair of glasses through which a person views the world, hence, a worldview.
The good news is that when your dream of a perfect world is shattered, broken pieces can be used to build a wholesome life. The vicious cycle can be broken. Old dragons can be defeated. You can be free but you must make some difficult choices along the way. You can choose to be bitter or you can be determined to be better. The outcome is a result of your choice. Joseph Epstein in his book Ambition: The Secret Passion writes: “...we do choose how we shall live: courageously or in cowardice, honorably or dishonorably, with purpose or adrift. But no matter how indifferently the universe may be to our choices and decisions, these choices and decisions are ours to make. We decide. We choose. And as we decide and choose, so are our lives formed”.
The bottom line is this...we make our choices and our choices make us. You choose to become like the dragons that have hurt you or you choose to live as a free person in the kingdom. Choices swing on the hinge of opportunity so when a dragon invades your space, you are afforded the opportunity to make a choice.
There are dragons in life who may steal some things from you, making you feel violated. They may even inflict pain so that you hurt. They may breath intimidating fire so that you cringe. They are still dragons and the choices we make are what keep us free. You can choose to live in the kingdom as one who is free, dream big dreams and pursue those dreams until they become reality and thus remain a romantic or you can become another dragon.
When you allow a dragon to extinguish your flame, in the darkness you realize that you have become like one of them, another dragon. It's easy to be a dragon...quite challenging to be a dreamer...down right difficult to be a dragon slayer. I know. I have had to slay a few dragons in my life so I am confident that it can be done. If you are a person involved in mortal combat with a dragon from your past, you need to know that you do not have to live in fear, suspicion or shame. You can be free... free from the dragons in life...free from the frustration of shattered dreams. Free to walk in the kingdom because “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).