By Dr. Marta Adelsman
Life Coach in Communication and Consciousness
(June 19, 2019)
With one child on my lap and the other two snuggled closely against me on either side, I read to my three small sons. Every time we read it, There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon, by Jack Kent, completely captured our focus.
We can all identify dragons in our lives — those emotions, thoughts, occurrences, or habits we want to keep hidden. We ignore them, yet ignoring doesn’t make them go away. They only grow in the darkness with which we protect them. They threaten to make our lives feel out of control.
In the story, Billy Bixby awakens one morning to find a dragon in his room. It’s cute, about the size of a kitten. But Billy’s mother keeps insisting there is no such thing as a dragon.
The story lets us know how ignoring dragons has consequences…
Dragons eat up the good in our lives. When Mrs. Bixby makes Billy pancakes for breakfast, the dragon eats them, and Billy gets only one. Of course, they couldn’t tell it to stop because there’s no such thing as a dragon.
Dragons hinder you from getting where you want to go. Billy goes off to school, and by this time the dragon has grown very large. Because it fills every room, Billy’s mother has a hard time cleaning house. She moves from room to room by climbing in and out of windows.
Dragons run away with you. At one point the dragon takes off down the street with the Bixby’s house on its back and with Billy and his mother inside.
Dragons make a mess. The dragon becomes ravenously hungry and overturns a bakery truck. Loaves of partially-devoured bread litter the entire street.
Dragons separate you from those you love. When Mr. Bixby gets home from work, he realizes his house and his family are gone!
Dragons grow. All day, the dragon’s size increases. Not only does it prevent the Bixby family from feeling happy, it also wreaks havoc on the town.
By the end of the story, with the family reunited, Billy convinces his mother to stop denying the existence of a very large dragon. She finally acknowledges its presence. As the family pets it, the dragon begins to shrink. Within moments, it is once again the size of a kitten.
Billy’s mother asks why it had to grow so big. Billy answers, “I think it just wanted to be noticed.”
In place of the word “dragon” in the consequences above, substitute the emotion, habit, situation or secret you ignore. You now have a picture of how it may be affecting your life.
The story tells you how to handle a dragon. Accept it. Face it squarely and give it the attention it requires. As in the story, the first step involves acknowledging its presence. Talk with someone you trust. Get the support you need. Join a group that can help you form new habits that serve you.
What will happen to that dragon? Soon it will be kitten size again.
Do you want to learn how to explore dragons that might be running amok in your life? Set up a 15-minute discovery session with Dr. Marta to discuss how she can support you in taming them.