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I recently saw How to Train Your Dragon. I loved it, as I do most animated films. A young boy, misunderstood by his father and unique among his peers, employs his individuality to shift his village’s paradigm. He transcends being misunderstood to achieve reverence and fulfillment – a common theme in children’s stories and a possibility that adults don’t want to forget.

No matter our age, a part of each of us is Alice Miller’s “gifted child” – misunderstood, suffering from a lack of acknowledgement and validation of our authentic self; so we learn to contort ourselves to fit in. Our fantasy is that one day the rehearsals of our future success – which we are sure would come as a surprise to those that don’t see us for who we really are – will end; there will be no need. Our authentic self will be welcomed into the world.

Until then, we hope, and we buttress ourselves with stories of our fantasy manifested. Stories that teach us we can expect to journey through difficult times, and things may get worse before they get better, but our differences will one day be recognized as strengths. At the end of it all we will find the perfect niche where we don’t have to dummy ourselves down, seldom share what we really think, and contort ourselves into something we’re not.

We too, will train dragons, with little effort and no need to tame them, because our approach, our way of being, will be proven right all along.