Some say we don't have anymore heroes but I say we do. Let's take a look at what a hero is and decide if you are one.
A hero travels the hero's journey. That's when regular people such as you or me are asked to leave our routine life because something serious has occurred and we are asked to do something about it. We are "called to help." We are called to save our king, our country, our friend, or ourself. And because the task is arduous, we really don't want to accept it.
Medieval stories call the journey a "quest" because the hero faces not only a serious challenge but sometimes a life or death circumstance to boot. Examples of a modern day hero's journey are leaving for war, battling a cancer, caring for a parent stricken with Alzheimer's, the grief of burying a beloved child or mate, or going through a painful divorce. The challenge we meet on the hero's journey might mean facing an enemy within such as a dependence on alcohol, drugs or a compulsive behavior.
Once we fully face the seriousness of our challenge, we realize that nothing in our life will ever be the same. And while we may feel very much alone with this realization, rest assured, fellow traveler, that you are not alone if you are on the hero's journey because a spiritual guide always emerges with the sole purpose of reminding us of our strengths, offering us encouragement, and providing us with much appreciated hope. Think now about your own life. Did an angel of mercy in the form of a rabbi, a pastor, a counselor, a teacher, or a sagacious friend appear just when you needed the help? Did your spouse, or sibling, or parents' faith and prayers pull you through and keep you believing? Did God or Spirit fortify your resolve and strengthen your courage?
More problems confront us on the hero's journey. And even while feeling battle weary, the hero not only stays riveted on the original goal but he or she manages additional strength to confront the fear which really holds power over him or her. Nothing stops the hero who pushes through to complete the mission and return home victorious where friends, neighbors and family shout, "Welcome home!" This is biblical, archetypal and transcendent.
So, what do you think? Are you a hero? If you have walked the hero's journey then maybe you are. And if you are a hero you probably had a helping hand from someone when you lost your way. We all need support in our descents, quests, and pilgrimages whether a hero's journey or not. I love the idea of reflecting on life, particularly our trials, because it affords an opportunity to give thanks to the people whose grace kept our souls believing when we thought we could bear no more.
My friends, whether we have fought the unbeatable foe, whether we have walked the hero's journey or not, remember it's never too late to be grateful for another chance to make our life, our dreams and Every Day Matter.
Mary Jane Hurley Brant is a practicing psychotherapist & group psychotherapist with a specialty in hope & grief counseling. She is the author of When Every Day Matters: A Mother's Memoir on Love, Loss and Life (Simple Abundance Press).
“In her moving book on what matters most in life, When Every Day Matters, MJ Hurley Brant confronts the unthinkable with courage, compassion and candor. This book is an exquisite evocation of life after loss.” Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy and Publisher of Simple Abundance Press.
“This is a book that will break your heart and put it back together again. This is the story of a daughter who wouldn’t give up and a mother who never lost faith. The reader can’t help but be inspired by the indomitable human spirit that resides within Mary Jane Brant.” Larry Kirshbaum - Founder LJK Literary Management and Publishers Weekly Person of the Year
“A stunningly moving tribute to the love shared by an exceptional mother and daughter.” Caryn Karmatz Rudy, Executive Editor, Grand Central Publishing
Mary Jane has been a guest on National Public Radio and Healing the Broken Heart Internet. She has been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Suburban and Wayne Times, The Catholic Standard and Times, The Collegeville Way, The Spring/Summer 2009 Villanova Magazine, The Group Circle of the American Group Psychothrapy Asso. Her newest article is in TAPS Magazine for families who sons and daughters were killed serving their country.
MJ looks forward to talking with you in person or by phone. Please contact her through her e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org See her websites for further information www.WhenEveryDayMatters.com or www.MJHB.net