Acknowledging and Taming Our Dragons

When my kids were little, one of their favorite books was called There Is No Such Thing As A Dragon (by Jack Kent). Little did I know that, twenty years later, I would be using this little book to illustrate a point in therapy! It tells the story of young Billy who wakes up one morning to find a dragon in his room, about the size of a kitten. But when he goes downstairs, his mother says very firmly, “there’s no such thing as a dragon,” and Billy then proceeds to ignore the dragon as if it didn’t exist. And the dragon gets bigger….and bigger….and bigger….until eventually it runs away with the house on its back in search of food. The story ends with Billy shouting, “There IS a dragon and it’s a very big dragon,” and patting it on the head, at which point the dragon gets smaller until it is once again kitten-sized. His mother asks why it had to get so big, to which Billy replies, “I think it just wanted to be noticed.”

Such is the case with emotions or physical cues that are trying to “get noticed.” When we ignore them, they get bigger until eventually they run away “with our whole house.” It may be counter-intuitive, but acknowledging our problems and the signs we are given is the key to them becoming manageable, or “kitten sized” again. So don’t ignore your inner guides, or dragons – welcome them as the guides they are, pat them on the head and acknowledge them, and watch them get smaller. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather befriend my dragons and keep them kitten sized than allow them to run away with my house on their backs!

~ Caroline ~