The hero’s journey is first about taking a journey to find the treasure of your true Self.
Some people, we say, have soul. They have loved, they have suffered, they have a deep sense of life’s meaning. Perhaps most important, they know who they are.
Other people seem to have lost their souls. They may have material possessions – the right house, the right car, the right job, the right clothes; they may even have a stable family life and be religious. But inside themselves, they feel empty. Even when they go through the right motions, it is movement without meaning.
The heroic quest is about saying yes to yourself and, in so doing, becoming more fully alive and more effective in the world. For the hero’s journey is first about taking a journey to find the true self , and then about returning home to give your gift to help transform the kingdom – and, in the process, your own life.
When most of us think of the hero, we imagine a Warrior. The Warrior escapes from a confining environement and begins the journey in search of a treasure. On the journey, he or she is called upon to face and slay many dragons. Such heroes have courage and subscribe to high ideals, and they are willing to risk their very lives to defend their kingdoms and their honor or to protect the weak from harm.
Goal: Win, get own way, make a difference through struggle
Fear: Weakness, powerlessness, impotence, ineptitude
Response to Dragon/Problem: Slay, defeat, or convert it
Task: High-level assertiveness; fighting to what realy matters
Gift: Courage, discipline, skill
The Warrior within each of us calls us to have courage, strenght, and integrity; the capacity to make goals and to stick to them; and the ability to fight, when necessary, for ourselves or others. The Warrior exacts a high level of committement to our own integrity. Warriors live by, and when necessary fight for, their own principles and values even when doing so is economically or socially costly. In competition, it means doing your utmost best, and striving not only to win, but to play fair.
Warrioring is about claiming our power in the world, establishing our place in the world, and making the world a better place.
The well-developed internal Warrior is necessary, above all, to protect our boundaries. Without courageous, disciplined, and well-trained Warriors, the kingdom is always in danger of being ovverrun by the barbarians. Without a strong internal Warrior, we have no defense against the demands and intrusions of others. We live in a Warrior culture.
Today, when it is so clear that war cannot continue to be the way nations settle their differences, many people have negative feelings about the Warrior archetype.
Yet it is not the Warrior archetype that it is the problem, it is that we need to move to a higher level of the archetype. Without the ability to defend the boundaries, no civilization, country, organization, or individual is safe.
It takes high-level Warriors – whose weapons are skill, wit, and the ability to defend themselves legally and verbally or to organize support for their cause – to keep predatory, primitive Warriors in place.
We should never use the power of the sword, the pen or the word to harm another unnecessarily. We should always use the least force necessary, and the least punishing approach that can also appropriately protect the boundaries.
Finally, it is the Warrior within each of us that is humiliated if we let a wrong or slight go by and not do anything about it.
With courtesy of “Awakening the heroes within” by Carol S. Pearson