See life as a Hero’s Journey and ask: What even small challenge could be a “call to adventure?”
Back in August, I blogged about the Hero’s Journey and, frankly, it’s become a new passion of mine. Why? Because it so clearly outlines the times in life that we each have to find a way through a challenge/loss/pain and, somehow, come out the other side. And, bigger then the challenge itself, is coming out the other side the better for it. Mentoring that outcome is what my life’s work is all about.
Of course, I heard about the Hero’s Journey almost 25 years ago when I first was introduced to the work of Joseph Campbell. Then, as my husband Lance grew more and more involved with the Mankind Project, he told me how powerfully the Hero’s Journey and archetypes were used in their incredibly important work with men. But somehow I never considered how much our work in A Radical Shift mirrors it until I was having a conversation with one of our current “shifters”. While talking about what she and others were going through, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “Linda, this is the Hero’s Journey! You work with heroes.” I got the chills. So, I started doing my homework on the steps this journey and got more chills. And when I drew the connection of those steps not only our process, but to what I had been through in my biggest Hero’s Journey, I was stunned. It was all there:
- Ordinary World: As a divorced mother of two young kids, I was living and practicing therapy in the suburbs of Chicago and one year into a relationship with a special man. Felt happy. Felt Lucky. Blissfully ignorant.
- Call To Adventure: The special man, who swore he’d never leave, left. In shock. Not happening. Denial.
- The Refusal: Told myself it would be no big deal, I’ll be “over it” in two weeks and go on, go back to “normal.”
- Mentor: Referred to a therapist/Spiritual Teacher who became a lifesaver after recognizing how deeply affected I was.
- Crossing the Threshold: More like “fell” into the new reality without this love in it. Lost. Confused. Grieving.
- Tests/Allies/Enemies: Tested to let go and have faith I’ll get through/Allies in my spirit, therapist, sister, best friend/Enemies in my shame and”monkey mind”
- Approach: Really acknowledged and walked into the full grief
- Ordeal: Wrestle with my hopelessness & depression, experience the shift to hope
- Reward: Recognizing my spirit’s light in this dark journey
- Road Back: The sun comes out and I’m ready to resume life as I now know it
- Atonement: Have a final, full surrender in a tete a tete with God.
- Return: Back in “normal” world, seeing everything differently. Meet my current husband (true love) within 2 weeks. All of my life changes for the better.
Totally wild…and accurate. I hope you are able to see something you have gone through mirrored in this process, these steps. I’ll be focusing each month on one step, taking a more in depth view on how it could show up and what action can be taken when it does. Love, as always, to hear from you.
All the light in the world,