So we’re well on our way now. The journey has begun, we’re committed, we’ve bumped into allies where help has come from the oddest of places. We’re learning new skills, starting to be pretty danged fat and sassy with our decisions and path. The world is our oyster! What could possibly go wrong?
Plenty. Of course! Because that’s what the journey is about. Tough to really learn those new skills and strengths without tribulations and trials.
And the roughest part of this, for me anyway, is walking straight into bad guys. Those pesky villains who try and thwart your progress, whether overtly or covertly.
Without bad guys though, we’d have no story. And no one to challenge us to become better.
Often, adding insult to injury, the villains on our path had masqueraded as friends before. And the closer the friend, the more the betrayal hurts.
You know the old saying: When you go through a trial, you find out who your friends are. Yep. How often when you’re embroiled in something really messy, do the folks whom you thought had your back just disappear? Or, poke holes in your plan, in the guise of “wanting the best for you”?
You know that scenario. Whether you’re embarking on a fitness plan and the husband gets threatened (most likely by how the idea of a fit and beautiful you will bring other male attention) and brings you chocolates? Or you decide, finally, to write that book, and a writer “friend” shoots down the idea?
Or of course when faced with something quite serious like an illness or a lawsuit, etc., and the friends or family you need aren’t there. Or worse, take the other side . . .
Isn’t this always just a shock? But it’s part of the process. And gives you another opportunity for Grief work. Because that person isn’t who you thought he was, and you have to grieve that loss. The sooner the better, or otherwise you’ll carry it with you. And you don’t have the luxury of that, because you’ll need all your resources and strength to fight the battles ahead.
And the funny thing is, whether in myths or stories or books or real life, the outer dragons mirror your inner demons. Otherwise they wouldn’t be dragons in your world in the first place. What’s a demon to one can be an angel to another . . .
But these dragons are parts of our inner and hidden selves. The foibles we didn’t know we had, or thought they were minor little devils that didn’t affect us. Only to find that oh, my, this is an entire complex! Wow, didn’t see that one coming!
We’re all familiar with the idea of the shadow, and of projecting that onto others. I.e., what angers us about another is within ourselves or we wouldn’t care. It’s all about the fragile little ego inside each of us. And psychologically speaking, the dragon is one’s own binding to that ego.
It’s a lot easier to slay him if he isn’t a part of you in the first place. But, he is.
But the really good news about this is, once you slay it (and you must, or your story is basically over. I.e., you quit this quest and go back to the mundane of life), its strength becomes yours. Or, as Joseph Campbell said:
“The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.”
Puts it into perspective, no?
And the self pity that came with it dissipates into thin air . . .
How do you deal with betrayal?