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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dragon 2

I got a beau into a creek once.  He stood ankle-deep in the water with a charmingly miserable expression before I relented and let him put his shoes back on to walk on the path.  Maybe we were both at our most elemental in that moment?  We both wanted to please the other.  I wanted him to enjoy the beauty of a waterfall accessible only by sloshing downstream.  He went along, but after 20 years in the Army he'd had enough of wet feet.  He'd rather get a pedicure and foot rub.

We are alike in doing things we may not enjoy for the benefit of someone else's pleasure or needs.  I'm thinking about this a lot after reading The Drama of the Gifted Child.  I'm not really recommending the book, but I learned some things.

Dragon wall pocket
Maybe all parents are narcissists, some more than others.  Parents teach their children values of "good" and "bad" based on the parents' needs.  Some parents teach their kids not to cry through neglect.  Some carry children obsessively.  Either way, the need of the parent is more important than the child's.  The infant becomes good at recognizing what the parent wants and adapts.

Whoever the child might've been is lost because satisfying the parents' needs is more important than what the child wants.  As kids get older, layers of beliefs and values are plastered all over them, especially the message to please their parents.

Who or what would I have been if I'd been raised by someone else somewhere else?  It's an unanswerable question, but I've been wondering about it a lot.  Maybe I'm more me than other kids could be because I spent so much time alone running loose in the woods?

There were times when I looked at my parents and thought "You people are crazy!" and consciously chose to continue thinking whatever I believed in the first place.  I'm sure there were many more times that I absorbed what they wanted me to absorb.  Childhood is a long time ago though, and how do I know what was the original me and I'm thinking and living because of them?

Dragon by G. T. Vaughn
Somewhere I read that we spend our adult years trying to get back to our original selves, who we were before the world made us into something else.  I think of my beau's wet feet and see that both of us wanting to please the other so much is a sign that we both put others' needs ahead of our own.  That's sweet and nice in a way, and totally wrong in another.

I laid awake in bed this week thinking about what other people want from me and trying to figure out how to get it all done.  I know they don't waste much time thinking about me.  I want to find a better balance.  What do I really want, not what I'm "supposed to" want?

I intend to achieve maximum happiness in this life.  It seems that knowing what makes us happy is the ultimate key to the mysteries of ourselves.

Illustration Friday didn't give a word this week, so more dragons.  I seem to own a number of them.  The clay dragon at the top is something I made from river clay.


  1. Love the wall pocket. I own one dragon - bought at a moment in my life when I realized I could spend a little money on something I wanted, not needed. It now has a broken wing but I keep it because it represents a bit of adulthood to me. Hope you find that balance you're looking for!

  2. The wall pocket is actually one of a pair. They're with the other dragons. I didn't notice my theme until I had to do another dragon post. I felt the same adultness when I got the green dragon at an art festival. I felt good for me and good for supporting another artist. Win/win!

  3. Hi Linda, I loved both your dragon posts and your very deep thinking.If we can change ourselves and our thinking for the better I am 100% behind it. I am much more confident as a grown woman, call it selfish but I have every intention of living the rest of my life being happy...my next stage begins tomorrow. Surround yourself with people who have your values, it helps a lot! Keep thinking and challenging...it's what I so admire about you.Sending spring sunshine xx

  4. Yay for happy women! Thanks for the sunshine. I've got flowers again, but it's been chilly in Ohio. They promise me spring this weekend which will make this woman even happier :)

  5. I started a dragon illustration, but never finished. Since we just got back from a trip, today will be all about pleasing my cats. It's so much easier to do than please people.

  6. Welcome back Sharon! I don't think I've ever managed to please a cat, but dogs love me :)

  7. I love your river clay dragon. Is it fired?

  8. Again, an important post, illustrated with great dragons.
    I don't know whether guiding or complimenting your child is narcissism. It surely is also wanting the best for your child, keeping it safe, maximizing her/his well being. Nevertheless, parents need to think what they admire in their children and why.