We’re all on a Hero’s Journey! And I don’t have to refer to women as Heroines. Know why? I recently learned the origin of the word Hero. It comes from the Greek name, Hera. Hera was the goddess who was married to Zeus. So Hero is a genderless word. It designates at the same time, a man or woman who is on a grand life adventure, and also one of the goals of that adventure- integrating both the masculine and feminine sides of the personality, the aggressive protector of life and the nurturing creator of that life.
From my psychological perspective, the journey is a developmental one. We are growing from being small and dependent, possible victims of others, to being powerful adults- providers of care for ourselves, our children and our communities. Achieving victory over our life challenges can be a long and hazardous road with no respect for chronological age. But as Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing!”
Where are you on your Hero’s Journey?
1. Have you received The Call to change and to grow? What do most of us do when looking change in the face? We retreat or deny the need. “I’ll put it off just a while longer. I’m not ready to slay the dragons of fear just yet.”
2. So, we get Tossed on the Path. There we are in completely new unfamiliar, and possibly unfriendly territory. When a skiing accident left me with broken bones and a head injury, the long-term prospect of mental and physical impairment was terrifying.
3. I was on The Road of Trials, stripped of my former identity, needing to learn to receive care and accept myself and my condition. I had to be grateful for the help I was given. But, I did have to kill-off some monsters under my bed: fear and panic that I would never be normal again.
4. There was a time that I was in The Belly of the Whale- the underworld of emotions, where the Shadow Self takes over and we are in a deep, dark and hopeless place. In all the writings about this mythical journey we are assured of supernatural aid along the way. And I was given divine visitations and animal messengers to encourage my progress.
5. Finding the Treasure happens when we continue our growing and healing of the past. We discover our own wisdom and understanding of our life. We find happiness and even a new life purpose. I realized I needed to write another book, Midlife Crash Course, documenting these stages of growth.
6. Refusing to Return: This last part of my journey took place in Thailand and Vietnam. I was in paradise and I never wanted to leave.
7. But we must return home and Share the Gifts from our growth. I was inspired to write and to give talks and workshops on these amazing experiences. They’re all described in my book.
Where are you documenting your journey?
What resources have you found to help you along the way?
Most important- know that you are the Hero on your journey!