Most of you taking the time to open this post are committed to live your life with a curiosity for discovering and/or uncovering a continuously emerging Better Self that engages with life’s circumstances with quiet and wise response, rather than with our habitual noisy reactivity.
One of my earliest and fondest memories was the excitement of settling in on our living floor in my jammies, having just brushed my teeth, on Sunday evening. If I was really lucky, a bowl of ice-cream might be placed on the carpet in front of me. It was almost 8pm and the World of Disney was about to come on our 17-inch black and white TV. My favourites were the Disney animated fantasies, ubiquitous during that period.
I realize now, sixty years later, that being in proper and effective alignment with the random circumstances that pop up in life, is what reminded me of my experience of watching those films.
Out of a cloud of swirling sparkles of fairy dust, a real fairy would take shape, and seduce me into belief of her reality. To my grief and disappointment, it ultimately dissolved back into sparkles and blew away with the wind.
Today, I am thankful for this metaphor, as it shows me how to be with my thoughts, emotions, and perceived experiences. Notice, allow, understand, and appreciate them to be in my field of experience when they show up to seduce me as those fairies on the screen did many years ago.
Today, when pleasant thoughts of expectation and grandiosity of getting more or better show up in my mind, as those pretty fairies did on the screen, I remember I am married and committed to a deeper quieter sense of who I am that doesn’t separate me from the rest of life. I observe the images but reach back to hold the hand of the one who has always been here. From this deeper wider place and space, I realize these pleasant images aren’t me, but just pleasant fantasies who will soon return to sparkles and blow away in the wind. I am left with no regret of this impermanence.
I also remember from my vantage point on the floor, back 60 years, more frightening images that might materialize on the screen as well. Fierce dragons and mean giants. Sitting on the other side of the screen, I realized I was safe at home and didn’t have to fight or run away from those scary images.
After many years of inner work on what to do with my own inner dragons and demons, I have learned they are not me, and I don’t need to either fight them off, or run away from them. I am again, “safe at home”. Today, when they appear, I might invite them in for tea, call their bluff, until they slink and melt away, leaving me at home with whom I actually am.
We are all the observers of our own fairies and dragons who come into form and dissolve back into formlessness. They only stick around to push us around when we believe they are real, and then let them into our minds to stay and dictate our stories and reactive, self-protective behaviour. Our reactivity empowers them and makes them real.
Dragons and fairies pass in and out of our lives, as thoughts and emotions. They only stick around to mess us up if we believe in them and attempt to hold them here or push them away. Growing up is to realize these mental fairies and dragons aren’t real. Neither to be held onto or pushed away.
The truth emerges and guides us as we uncover what is false.