All the Dragons are Princesses, Episode 167

So much of what we’re afraid of is inside us… we’re afraid of the feelings that will come with shame, or with grief, or if we really let ourselves feel the scale of our love or our longing or our hurt. And often our fear is, itself, a way not to feel what we imagine we won’t be able to tolerate feeling. So what happens if, instead of treating all these experiences as terrors, we start to see them as, in their deepest essence, something helpless in us that really wants our love? This episode of Turning Towards Life is a conversation about staying with one another while we discover what there is to feel, and learning not to turn away from the parts of ourselves that are trying to protect us while they, secretly, long for our love; hosted as always by Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

This is Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. We’re also on YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify. You can find videos of every episode, and more about the project on the Turning Towards Life website.

Our source this week is brought to us by Justin, and written by Rainer Maria Rilke:

If we adjust our life to the principle which advises us that we must always attach ourselves to what is difficult, then that which now still appears to us most strange, will become our most familiar and loyal friend. How can we forget that old myth, which is to be found at the beginning of all peoples—the myth of the dragon, which at the last moment changes into a princess? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only 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.

So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.

-Rainer Maria Rilke – Letters to a Young Poet

Photo by Jéan Béller on Unsplash