A Heroine’s Journey?

We have only to follow the thread of the hero path.
Where we had thought to find an abomination,
we shall find a god;
where we had thought to slay another,
we shall slay ourselves;
where we had thought to travel outwards,
we will come to the center of our own existence;
where we had thought to be alone,
we shall be with all the world.
    ~~~~Joseph Campbell, The Hero with A thousand Faces (as Quoted by Richard Rohr)
It is comforting to know that Richard Rohr considers a journey like the one that is my life, a heroine’s journey with characteristics like these:
  • they live in a world that they presently take as enough while unbeknownst to them, there is SO much more and in reality they are actually a princess (in the best sense, I’m sure – no pink frills or perpetual dependence upon a man for this princess assignment).
  • they have a sense that they have a divine call to respond to and that their real life exists beyond their present comfort zone.
  • they are severely wounded and wrestling until the problem is accurately identified and dealt with. The resolution becomes the only way to find entrance into the “second half of life”.  I find the second half presupposes that there are equal parts on both sides of the fall but in reality I think that he is simply saying that the fall that takes you upward is a deep line that separates you from the life you’ve lived up until now and takes you into the next part of your life with new meaning. Half is a bit of a misnomer.
  • as the hero “falls through”  by the way of the wound and its healing, they discover that their life situation is NOT their real life. Their real life is grounded in a much deeper place than they ever knew before.
  • the heroine returns to a place where she first started and as T.S. Eliot puts it, “knows that place for the first time”.
  • AND then… she will pass on what she learns to others.

Rohr goes on to describe how the very first sign of a potential hero and heroine’s journey is that he or she must leave home, the familiar, which is something that may not always occur to someone in the first half of life.  I can honestly say that whether my journey is actually heroic or not, the real truth of the matter is that I clearly see each of these things happening in my life. I also know that through the tremendous wounding of the last 4 years I have discovered an issue that has repeatedly kept me back and sucked up my strength.  In my weakest physical state I was pushed even further and forced to really become my own self in ways I never even imagined possible. I have confronted some issues that I’d only touched on before but as a result of this devastation in my life and the prevailing thought that death would simply be a better solution, I was raw. In that state my truest thoughts were spoken out loud , dysfunctional patterns of  pleasing others first have been confronted like never before, some actually broken. Recently I have had the sense of arriving at a place that I once knew long ago and it is very much as if it has been discovered for the first time.

I’m sure I’ll have more to write as the days go by. thanks for reading this.

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