In some mythological accounts, dragons were hoarders of treasures. Some tales even going so far as to claim that dragons wore jewels as protective breast plates. Though since I cannot find any reference to this, it may have been a part of a fictional tale I once read. Here though, I am not walking through mythology and tales of Greek gods doing battle. Nor am I discussing the heroes of lore who saved young maidens or entire villages. Here, I am talking about a few of my own dragons battled.
A comment was made that I had been through a lot. To that, I would say yes…and no. It all depends on perspective. Once upon a time, I would have seen my dragons as monsters of great proportions. In retrospect, they were not nearly as large as thought at the time. And, they left gifts.
It is up to us individually how we see things. It is up to us, to see the size of our dragons and the battle it brings. Our thoughts, opinions, are our own and though not always agreed on by others, they are ours never the less. Sitting here now, looking backward, something I tend not to do as I am no longer there, I see things from a different perspective and insight. Looking from here, I see how small my dragons were compared to the battles I know others face. I see now, not from the perspective of my pain, but the pain and struggles of others which is much greater.
That in itself, is one of the gifts from those battles. A greater understanding and empathy.
When I battled being bullied and ridiculed, I gained the understanding of how that felt. I have been the one driven into hiding within oneself in the hopes of being ignored and left alone. I have heard the names, the lies, felt the blows both verbal and physical. When my own son faced it, I knew better what to say. Though a young son can’t fully believe a mother would and could understand–and I couldn’t fully–but enough to get him through the worst.
When I was living in an abusive marriage, suffering abuse from all directions and means. My goal was survival. Find a way to get through. Find escape then learn to live again. From this came more empathy, greater knowledge. I knew the signs. I knew the look, that meek, beaten down expression of submission. I knew what to a degree, to say.
Not a dragon, but it lights a dragon’s fire within, when you see another being abused. No matter who they are, their age, sex or anything else. No individual has any right to abuse another.
That cancer battle. Just one more dragon that made me not only a survivor, but a warrior. Bringing more knowledge of what a fight can be, and how to fight. How to prepare and protect your health. What you should do, and what you should stay away from. What makes one healthier or less healthy.
Losing my job and supposed financial security. Having to work on budgets and decisions on what I could, couldn’t should or shouldn’t do. Looking out toward a future and considering the coming struggle.
Becoming a widow. This, I believe, was the largest dragon of all. To hear the word of his death and then face all that was coming. Getting his body home from out of state. His celebration of life. Paying on that mountain of bills. Discovering how to live without him. Seeking how to overcome the loneliness of his not being here. Here, came some of the greatest treasures.
I found how strong I really am.
I found peace in being alone.
I have come to enjoy fully the quiet of the night, or the symphony of the night.
I have come to find that I really don’t need a lot.
I have come to find comfort in solitude.
I have come to find comfort in my faith. As my faith, through faith, prayer and reading of the Bible, has been and continues to be my greatest weapon against the dragons that still lift their head from time to time.
I have found, that I am not alone, I do fit in and I am accepted.
I have found, that each battle is an adventure that comes with a gift. We merely need to seek it out in the battle. One of the greatest and most precious of gifts, is the gift of life and living. No matter the scars we may carry from the battle. For the scars show we stood, we fought, and we persevered.
The way may look shadowed, but it is the light of our strength, that will shine and light the way.