Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From dragons to princesses

We all have dragons in our lives -- difficult family members, contentious neighbors, irritating bosses and irascible government officials, to name a few familiar characters.  But we also have internal dragons -- shame, fear, guilt, anger, habits, and other shadows we're reluctant to confront which have a way of catching us unaware.

Cynthia Bourgeault, in my reading this morning from her latest book,  The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, has a wonderful quote to offer from Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet:

"Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are really princesses who are waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage.  Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."

Now there's a thought worth exploring...


Maureen said...

The Rilke quote reminds me of something Margaret Wheatley wrote, that when we question and show curiosity about our fear, we transform it. And Rumi, he said fear "is the cheapest room in the house" and we all deserve better living conditions.

To regard fear as Rilke describes it would seem to be transformative.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Yes -- transformative.

From now on, I'm going to greet my fear with the question -- Are you ready to be transformed? And then, I'll set to work doing it.