What is the hero’s choice? Basically, the hero chooses to go where others dread. This is why we recognise acts of extraordinary courage in the face of danger as heroic deeds. Think of stories of people risking their own life to save others, whether in war or peace, it amounts to the same quality of action.
That said, I don’t want you to go around thinking that you need to attract burning houses into your path, just so you can be given the opportunity to save it’s occupants! And yet, metaphorically speaking, we are presented with this choice nearly every day in our ‘ordinary’ life.
When we think about the hero’s journey, in the early stages there are usually times when the hero is confronted with a challenge that arises ‘out of the blue’. The hero is not aware of the challenge in advance. Often the hero is wounded in this confrontation because they lack the internal resources to combat the force of darkness successfully. For the Star Wars fans, remember the first time Luke fights Darth Vadar in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke doesn’t know that he’s fallen into a trap, and he looses his hand in the fight at the end. Luke at this stage, is on the hero’s path, but he has not yet become the hero. However, this initial confrontation introduces the hero-in-waiting to the more dangerous dimensions of power that exist in the world. Wounded, they return to learn more, and develop their powers.
The wound puts the hero in their place, and will serve as a reminder of the need to grow if they are to succeed. Later though, a time will arise when the hero will be presented with a situation where the hero must choose to confront danger, in full knowledge of the risk that it presents. They are moved forward by the most powerful motivation or mission. It is often about saving someone, hence, the classic ‘damsel in distress’.
So my question to you is, what are you afraid to confront? It may be a particular person. It may be an aspect of your life – something traumatic in your past, or a problem in your life now – something that is out of control. It will always be that which you try ignore or push under the rug – maybe it’s a drinking problem, personal debt, declining physical health, or an unhappy relationship.
Of course, the first step the hero must take is to acknowledge the problem in the first place. The thing is we become incredibly good at deluding ourselves and hiding these problems from others, and most of all, hiding these problems from ourselves. That is until crunch time, when we are confronted with the truth, whether this is done by someone near us, or we are confronted with the accumulated effects of years of neglect. This is often expressed as disease, divorce, and debt – ‘the three D’s.’ Hopefully, we wake up before these things eventuate. We hear the warning bells – the first signs of declining health, a declining financial position, or our loved one’s fear of what we will do next!
The people who have the most impact in our lives, are those that confront us with this truth, whether we like it or not. This is the most honourable expression of friendship and humanity because they don’t tell us what we want to hear but what we must if we are to become who we are meant to be, to have the relationships we desire and deserve, the financial freedom, and total wellbeing of body, mind and soul – at the level of our individual existance, and in our life as part of an interconnected community.
This awareness is power.
This is so important it bears repeating. Awareness is power. Because it is only with this awareness that you can get to the root cause of what is not working in your life and make the choice to correct it, often just with small actions, but actions that are so precise that they have tremendous power. This, my friend, is the hero’s choice.
As the hero of your life’s adventure, what’s your next choice?