A little over a year ago God gave me a very striking image in my head. It was a knight raising his shield against a very large black dragon. The Dragon completely blocked out the sky. He was this tiny tiny dot in comparison. It then opened its mouth and breathed fire on his raised shield. It started getting hot, too hot. After the blast of fire subsided he threw his shield down. He stripped off his armor. He had his sword raise to the dragon. The Dragon easily swallowed him without any problem. He was curled up in the fetal position in this surrounding darkness with no where to go.
The knight in this vision was me and the dragon was cynicism.
I’ve trained myself to think in the negative as far back as I can remember. I expected it like an ever-present boulder above my head ready to drop. It kept my expectations for life low so I’d never be disappointed when I tried.
There’s practical advantage to this, the old adage goes, “hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” It’s good to prepare yourself for the worse so you’re adequately gauging the risk in any scenario. The extreme to this is only thinking of the worst without any hope for what you want to happen is deflating. You train yourself to not try because it seems too hard or you can’t see past the potential failure so you don’t try at all. It’s self defeating. The outcome of this is stagnation and then inevitably to depression.
The two worked well together. Cynicism kept me focused on the very worst in life, which choked out any lasting hope. Then depression would creep in and steal all my motivation away. It was a terrible little cocoon where nothing changed.
My thinking has changed slowly. I’m still not fully recovered. God has shown my the potential for a bright future. That any hard situation is not nearly has big as I initially thought.