Our battles with dragons

Recently, a cancer victim friend of mine wrote to me of her thoughts and feelings expressed in a short piece of prose. Her piece was called ‘Fighting the Dragons’ and I reproduce it here for you …

Fighting the Dragons

Cancer feels like a battle of facing dragons
Each day we get up, put on our armour
And head out into the forest to face the unknown
But one thing is for certain …
We have to find the courage to do it most days …
It’s amazing what a armour can do …
Sometimes though, somewhere along the journey
The armour gets heavy
The horse gets slow
And another thing for certain is …
The warrior gets incredibly tired.
So it’s amazing what a little armour can do …
That’s when it’s good to go back to the castle
Take off our armour
And sit back with family and friends
But one final thing for certain is …
Life is one living moment at a time, experienced with those we love
Isn’t it amazing what no armour can do …

This woman is a strong woman but went through a great deal of trauma. I wrote back with an alternative view renaming the piece ‘Surviving Dragons’.

Surviving the Dragons

Cancer is a battle with marauding dragons
Each day I live life to the full dressed in my protective armour
Walking always in the light, avoiding darkling places
And one thing is for certain for me …
I know I have to find the courage to do it always ~ everyday
Isn’t it amazing what armour can do…
Yes, there are times when somewhere along life’s journey
The armour does get cumbersome and heavy
The old trusty steed gets slower
But another thing for certain is…
The warrior gets incredible views from atop his back
And we don’t have to walk every which way
Isn’t it amazing what a little humour can do …
What light and happy emotions can do.
So it’s nice to get home after a long days work
Strip off the old armour and sweaty clothes
Freshly bathed and sitting back with a wee dram and with family and friends
And realise how lucky we are because …
Life should be one moment at a time,
Blissfully experienced with those we love
Isn’t it amazing what nakedness in life can do …?

So … life … what is life?  What does it mean to each one of us.  What does the ‘normal’ person feel and think, the person sitting on the bus travelling past us, walking along the street, the shopper in the Supermarket or walking in the town centre, what do they think and feel? What does life hold or mean in their ‘reality’?  We live, we work, we live and we work.  Often times the living detail gets lost within a mass of form and emotion or we become numbed, surviving under the ‘host’ of thought and concern.  Paying bills, having arrangements and meeting appointments, toiling towards personal goals and career goals and work goals and family goals and living goals and eating goals…. it all adds up.

One analogy could create a vision of our ‘reality life’ as being a ‘dragon’ … with fire breath, hard scales, sharp talons and teeth, lizard like eyes that bore right through you as though you are worthless, a flicking tail to swat you in any given moment, a beast whose aim is to devour you ~ is it the state?

A great many people find or believe themselves to just be ‘prey’ to life.  They are fearful of losing their jobs and/or their homes; fearful of losing a battle with illness, fearful of losing a relationship with a loved one, fearful of losing ~ period.

If we consider recent news we learn of company closures, redundancies, job cuts, cut backs and then … there are increases in fuel prices, taxation, spiralling food costs … the cost of ‘reality’ living which is becoming frightening ~ Dragons all.

The world in which we live can be and is in fact a truly wondrous place and yet, if we look at the detail, we can see how we spoil and desecrate our home world … we war on our neighbours … we starve our children … we ‘squeeze out’ other life forms with which we share this Earthly environment because ‘we’ think ourselves of more value ~ elite ~ apathetically arrogant.

Even though the 2 stories above are referenced to a state of being [or ill-being], of a person having cancer and fighting it ~ II believe I can write thus because my reponse to my friend was one of pure ‘empathy’.  Yes, ‘empathy’ because around the same time as her remission I to discovered my little ‘aliens’ who reside in me J

But I also believe the state can also be related to life as well.  Society has a life of its own.  It’s organic, living, dynamic.  But it has its cancers, it has its illnesses, it has its maladies.

I believe I am a fairly even and emotionally intelligent and aware person.  Some call me an empathist.  Whatever I am, I see things differently sometimes, most times, but there are times when I too get lost in the miasma and quagmires of life.  I believe that the ability to see things differently, as I sometimes do, is a natural gift that we all have.  Conditioning however, frequently gets in the way for natural clarity.  Greed or avarice gets in the way.  Narcissism gets in the way.  Self-Protectionism gets in the way.  Ignorance and idleness gets in the way.

We are all susceptible to exhibiting and suffering (from) these conditions because we are conditioned ‘human beings’.  I do believe however, that we are all able and capable of seeing things differently and doing things differently and ‘being’ different.  We just have to become or revert to our true and emotionally intelligent selves through acknowledgement and awareness.

Sound-bites resound in our environment ~ ‘living in harmony with each other’ ~ ‘turn the other cheek’ ~ ‘caring for the environment’.  Sound-bites … every one that’s ever been uttered are just what they are … simple sound-bites.  But really, isn’t it what we do that counts in our lives … both positive and negative?  Campaigning is positive, apathy is a negative

Becoming emotionally intelligent and aware affords our own personal development; our own self-change, affecting how we communicate, how we interact with ourselves and others around us and in becoming successful in relationships, how we respond to the needs of individuals, groups and even our special and unique world.

This is so true even of and in our working lives.  Managers should manage with empathy and sympathy.  They should be observant of the needs of their staff and cognisant of emotions, thought and feeling.  Managing is a skill centred on people.  Encouragement, praise and inclusivity is key to business success which is key to relationship success.

Time is too short my friends, for each of us to ‘not’ need to become emotionally intelligent and aware.  We see ourselves in the mirror but, do we really see what we like or need of and from ourselves?

Being emotionally intelligent and aware brings us back to our innate being, our natural being, because I believe we are all natural ‘human beings’ with natural responses.  From an early age, our societal environment works to condition out our naturalness and imposes its own structures.  Our original naturalness is our ‘authenticity’.  We really and truly do need to recognise this and embrace it.

If we are going to make a difference, not to the world, but to our microscopic and macroscopic selves, our physical and meta-physical selves [our body and soul], we have to return to ourselves and become ’authentic’ through a variety of means, not the least through emotional intelligence and awareness.

Human emotion is ‘the’ catalyst for all our actions and interactions.  Intelligence and awareness in and of our ‘emotions’ is a vital component to enhanced life and living.

We must all join together, individuals, groups, teams, organisations, etc, to join with the fight in the battle of fighting all ‘dragons’ in our human and Earth society, for only then will be made in our world and crucially, in the future of the human race and life on our planet.

This article was written by

Michael Boase

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