I have been writing about Myth, Hope and Life for more than 45 consecutive days. The experience has been humbling to say the least. I’ve noticed changes in my thinking, my behaviour and I’ve seen life patterns start to emerge. By no means do I believe that I’ve arrived as an enlightened, fully engaged hero of my own life. However, signals or nuances are playing out in my life, and I’d like to share them with you now.
There are some things I’ve learned about myself, and others that I’m starting to perceive; the nuances I mentioned above. Over the past few days, I’ve pulled together a list of changes. I’ve summarized them here in the hopes that they will continue to help me focus on becoming all I can be, and to also, hopefully, offer some useful info to other heroes seeking to find their way in the world.
I’m a Hero (and you are, too)
I can now confidently say that I am a hero in my own life. I would have been reluctant to state that publicly before, but no longer. We’re all heroes, every single one of us. The trick is to believe it, and then do something to help make the world better – on any level. I’ve decided to start with my own life, so that I can do as Ghandi suggests: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”.
I’ve also learned that being a hero is not so much knowing that I am one, but it’s about knowing that the Quest or Call is right – even if it is refused. We can turn away from our Call, but we cannot deny its validity for our lives.
Stress and fear are part of the process
I cannot say that I’ve had more stress, or more fear since embarking on this journey. I’ve been living with both for many years in my life, and I don’t really expect that to change any time soon. However, they seem to have a part to play in this process, as they are letting me know that I’m stretching, and going beyond my comfort zone.
Some of my stress comes from the frustration that my current direction in life is not on a path that aligns with my Call. I just know that I’m not there yet. Another element of stress comes from the realization & excitement of change – good change.
Fear is an equal partner in this process, and I find it the most challenging to deal with on a day-to-day basis. But – a big but – I have learned (in the past 45 days) that action, ANY action, can reduce or eliminate the fear immediately. I cannot stress this enough. If you find yourself paralyzed by fear, then take the smallest step in the direction of goodness – a goal, finding gratitude in your life, or even just getting up and moving – and you’ll see fear subside, or leave completely. Just keep moving!
Being a Hero is a solo journey
You have to leave part of your old life behind when you become a Hero. I’m not talking about physical departure, although that may be necessary. It’s a metaphysical departure, and for this reason your journey, your Call must be taken alone. I can’t really explain it well in words, but I think differently now. I’ve put part of my old life down, and moved beyond it.
It has to be a solo journey, as it’s the only way I’ll learn who I really am as a person. I’ve also realized that the people who know me may find it hard to let go of my past, just as I’m trying to let go of parts of it, too. They continue to judge me by my past, and I’ve had to grapple with that these past number of days and weeks.
Is it right and fair that they continue to see me as the person I was? My knee-jerk reaction to that question is of course, to say: “No!”. But, the wisdom in me says they have a right to say: “Yes.” Why?
My outer world does not yet, in more than small ways, reflect my inner world and reality. To the world outside, I’m the same person I was 45 days ago. Until my outer world has had a chance to catch up – however long that takes – I have to be patient, and give those around me the right to doubt that I’m different. However, on my solo journey, I also need to ensure I don’t let those thoughts and criticisms derail the progress I’m making each day.
I’m still angrier than I’d like to be, as a person. When I feel anger, I’m aware of it a bit sooner now. It’s still there, and I do wish there was less of it, but I’m hopeful that it’ll diminish through this awareness of it. A small win, but more work to do on this one.
Yesterday, I became aware of a strong feeling of regret. I was walking the dog, and was passed by a young man in his 20’s. I had a flashback to my 20’s, and immediately thought about how I had squandered decades of time. There was a moment of pretty extreme sadness. Then, I took a step forward, and put the thought into my head that it’s never too late to change, and never too late to be all I can be, and it helped. The awareness of the regret to begin with, and then the need to move forward helped.
I’m now more aware of pockets of selfishness in my being. It’s obviously something I do need to work on more, as I’m brutally aware of it when it manifests. I’d love to better tame my selfishness when it comes to my personal relationships. However, I’d also like to leverage it more in my professional life specifically around my time, attention, focus and results. I’ve learned we have to be more selfish at times, too. That was an interesting bit of insight, as I grew up thinking that a selfish person was a bad person. Now that I know it’s not true, I can say “No” more easily to requests that don’t make sense, and not feel bad about it. If we don’t honour our time, which is our life, then who will?
Kindness and gratitude are values that mean more to me now. And, I’m catching myself more and more finding ways to make them real in my life. These are signals now, but I’m keen to turn up and amplify them more and more. I know that I’ll be a vastly different person as a result.
Flexibility and adaptability are opening up for me, albeit slowly. I can be a very rigid person, when it suits me. Now, I’m aware that it’s not always helpful, especially in my personal relationships. There’s more work needed here, but I’m seeing a signal that the ice is thawing.
The need to be real, to live with integrity and to follow the path of my personal truth has become a stronger signal of late. It’s not that I lacked these attributes before. The need for them is just becoming really strong now. I seem to see these at every corner I turn, and they provide me with a constant test of my authenticity: “Am I being the Hero I desire to be?” Clarity on that question is really, really important these days! When I’m off, I can feel it in my gut.
I’m becoming more, not less
I don’t feel “less” around other people any longer. I’m often overwhelmed by their accomplishments, intelligence and wisdom, but I don’t feel less.
Abundance as a value is becoming more important. I grew up with a lack mentality, and it has negatively impacted my life for decades. It hurts to write that sentence and own it, but it’s true. I can feel abundance as a signal, a nuance in my being. And, I want to live more of it. Abundance is a gift given to all of us – in all areas of life – and I strive to open my heart and let it out each and every day. This is work for me, no doubt about it, but it’s good work.
Mission and meaning are becoming more important than money. This is something I’ve struggled with my entire life. I’ve talked about the need to be on mission and to have deep meaning in my life, but I’ve rarely made decisions based on those values. Now, it seems they are playing a bigger role in my decision-making process. And, I like it.
Answering – submitting – to the Call feels more and more like an obligation
My personal Myth – and the Quest to follow – feels like an obligation, and one that I find harder to ignore each day. How can I share my gifts, and make the world a better place, if I hold back?
Years ago, I read a book, and there was a true story in it about an off-duty policeman who saved a woman who was going to jump into a canyon. (Sorry, but I cannot recall the book.) In order to save the woman from jumping, he put himself into harms way, as he could have been pulled in with her, and would have perished, as well. When he was interviewed later, and was asked why he knowingly saved her, his reply went something like this: “If I had not tried to save her, I could not have lived with myself any longer.”
Now, I’m not trying to be dramatic about my own story, nor am I saying I have the same strong feelings about my Call, as he did about saving this woman’s life. But, what I am saying is that it feels the same. The obligation to be authentic, and to live my life as a Hero is becoming very strong – it feels like an obligation.
And, to be honest, that scares me a bit. I know that it’s a trip into the unknown. To scary places. And, there are no guarantees that I’ll make my life better. The only guarantee is that I’ll truly feel alive. That’s what helps me move forward. That’s what matters most.
No more excuses – action is what’s needed. The journey seems to be becoming more important than the destination.
Sometimes Hope is all we have and that’s enough
I know that it would be extremely easy to maintain the status quo with my life. Really easy, for it’s the devil I know. It’s where my comfort zone lies, and I’m in the middle of it.
I honestly don’t have any idea where all of this will take me. And, for whatever reason, that’s OK, too.
Sometimes the Hope we have for a more fully alive life is all we have. And, that’s enough.
I want to finish by saying that there’s a whole lot of living and learning left to do. Most of what I’ve written about and discovered above is based on very small changes or signals I’ve started to see and feel in my life.
I’m still ruled by fears, and the pull to keep doing what I’ve done my whole life is still pretty strong.
But, the desire to be fully alive, and to answer the Call is becoming stronger every day.