The Hero's Journey
Updated: Nov 11
“Every time you are willing to say “Yes” to everything on your path, you express the hero inside of you.” “When the serpent is slithering inside, you will know it, but only with the gift will you understand how it lives and how it dies.” “When the hero is ready, the mentor appears.”
― Joseph Campbell,
It is a humbling thought that from the moment we are born we start to age.
The lines on my face are a testament, a coming of age, I cannot say I am completely at ease with the aging process because like every female of forty-something I am just grappling with this loss thing. Though I really can't / don't quite believe it myself I am in fact 'middle aged' just not that sexy is it?
On the other hand I pass the baton over to my beautiful daughter, her scarrless essence, vitality, beauty, excitement and unconditional love, I nurture, protect and support her to shine her brightest.
As an adulting woman, I understand with each passing year what it must have been like for my own mother, her life-force, feelings and what society encourages and celebrates.
Our spent youth diminishes before us our offspring blossom in all their glory, we bathe in their grace, want nothing less than everything to be wonderful, blessed and beautiful, for love to be kind, deep, long-lasting and sincere, yet we know and quietly fear for the inescapability of that which lies ahead, the hero's journey, the twisting, turning, sometimes cruel cards delt all are destined to take across a lifetime in order to develope our wiser sometimes too rigit grown up self.
The path, the perilous, yet precious journey of life, if blessed to be bestowed apon us, there is a price to pay - along the embarked way.
As children, we longed with great urgency to be grown-up, free, easy and isn't it grand, is it not ironic, that if we truly knew what lay ahead we may not wish away what we later yearn so fast.
The passing of time endures upon us, the flight of fancy and romantic dreams turn to responsibilities, heavy, sticky and complicated and as George Bernard Shaw so eloquently put it "Youth is surely wasted on the youth".
Over Forty takes a turn, a pause, a new perspective and the cycle of life becomes apparent. Filtered aging, youth culture celebrated. The slow deterioration of a mortal body toward the process of death is like thinking about being a parent, its just a concept.
When we were young, older people were just older. It was not something that you'd care to think about and why should you, a sort of ignorant bliss, an endless life sprawled in front of you for the taking, concerns limited to self-satisfaction and immediate friends.
Turning into forty you might think about it, you think about your children, their future, the government and the mess we have made in the world, your family members, how long they will live, will they get sick, will you get sick, where will you live when you are old, will you end up alone in a home, forgotten and senile, have you been kind, and should you have more children just in case?
Suddenly you find yourself in a calculation of years vs choices and how you can best make amend, course correct, and navigate toward some kind of happy ending and at best not a messy one.
The pressure of time passing, the results of choice and action not taken can become heavy on the tireing soul, even for those who we once saw as strong, wise and all-knowing turned to wine, women, and breakdowns.
It is not to late and it is never to early to start implementing better choices, a good palce to start is with our own health, we can maintain some kind of control and mental stability by way of taking daily action, creating healthy habits by way of our lifestyle.
When you step back and see the great and grand design of your life, you see that everything was meant to be and everything is in fact perfect. There are great gifts waiting in the transition from youth to adult, however it takes a payment of youth to appreciat that.
May you recognise your own hero's journey, live long healthy and with grace .
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
― Joseph Campbell
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