The Heroic Journey
Posted: February 3, 2014
Not long ago I learned about The Hero's Journey. It is a pattern found in many stories and movies we love so much. The hero starts out in "ordinary world" and then ends up in a strange and scary world by a choice he makes or sometimes by a choice someone else makes or by an unexpected life experience. While in this strange and scary world, the hero faces challenges and often reaches a bottom, often called "the belly of the whale." Usually, the belly of the whale is where a great transformation will take place. Okay, that is a crazy over-simplified version. It is worth researching more. It is fascinating. You can read some here. Another great resource can be found here (go sign up for her newsletter). Ever since I learned about this, I've seen it everywhere. I have watched movies, thought about stories, looking for The Heoric Journey. Enter this life event..... Two days before Christmas, fifteen years ago. I had my niece and nephew (who were maybe 5 and 7). It has snowed/iced and I was determined to get them home. I loaded them in the car and started heading the 2 1/2 hour trip to their home. I was about 30 to 45 minutes away and hit a patch of ice on a large bridge. I barely recall exactly what happened. I think I ended up facing the other direction on the bridge. I was scared, so scared to keep going. In fact, I ended up heading back to my house. I live in Texas, so we don't have ice and snow much. We did this past December. I was content to stay hidden inside my house most of the weekend. I was worried about my husband or son heading to work, and was helping them map their way to work without crossing any bridges. Monday came around and it was time for me to go to work. While the worst of it might be over, there were still bridges to cross. Bridges that really triggered some fear in me. I would slow down and get on hyper-alert while I crossed. I was really wishing I didn't have to cross the bridges at all. But I did. What I did each bridge I crossed was think about the hero's journey and how the step of crossing the bridge was symbolic of life's challenges. It is actually fun to see life, even individual events, through the lens of the Heroic Journey. Tell me....do you know about the heroic journey? Can you apply it in your life? Think about your favorite movie and see if it fits the theme.