In a past post, I talked about ways to tell stories and I used the analogy of a fairy tale. That is, that you start with “Once Upon A Time” to give the context of where you are starting, then you describe the actions you as the hero have taken, and then follow that up with “Happily Ever After” or what had changed since the beginning. While I still hold to this, I think that the part about your being the hero of your own story.
This was brought up to me again while listening to a recent episode of the Spirit Sherpa podcast with Kelle Sparta and Kathy Scheieirn. The topic was to go delve into the mythology of the Hero’s Journey, which was made famous by the writings of Joseph Campbell. In this particular episode, Kelle and Kathy were talking about how one of the main components of a hero’s journey is that after you are done with it, you are changed in some way. Whether it’s by killing the dragon or asking for a raise, the actions that one takes creates a fundamental change in a person just by doing it. We have all been stretched by experience that we have had when we’ve been out of our comfort zones.
One big problem that we are having now in our culture, and this was touched on my Kelle, is that we have a perpetuated victim culture. A large part of our media is perpetuating that we are all in danger of being attacked at any moment, and that is being trumpeted by politicians (I would say mostly by those currently in power, but it’s both). The goal of the powerful is for us to give up and give away our own power by not engaging. The goal that I have (and I hope for others) is to hold onto your own power, and see yourself as the hero of your own story. We can only do that if we hold a realistic, but optimistic view of our future, and know that our actions can create a better world. When there are forces aligned to rob you of that power, you need to summon up our own hero energy to face the challenge.
We are all facing challenging times, and in an economy that is doing good for some and bad for most, we need to think about what is within our own power to affect change, and what is outside of our control. Too often, I have been distraught because I have obsessed about things that are happening in the world that I would change if I could, but I don’t have that power. It’s a reverse but similar issue if I don’t do what I do have the ability to change. I’ve been taking a hard look at what is in my power, what I can be the hero for, and take the small steps that I can to make a small but hopefully meaningful change.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.Margaret Mead
So, where are you being the hero of your own life? What chances are you taking? Where are you getting out of your comfort zone? How are you changing? Are you Clark Kent or Diana Prince, and can you turn into Superman or Wonder Woman? What would that take?