There are three main kinds of hero myths found in cultures around the world. The first has the hero following something, an animal or light or wisp, and as time goes on, the hero finds themselves in an unfamiliar place. The wisp that they were following turns into a fairy queen or some other being that then demands some action in exchange for some benefit. The second hero’s story has the hero choosing to take on a heroic task. The hero knows that the journey will be long and difficult. They know that they may not win or even survive but they choose to travel that path anyway. The third common hero’s story is one where an average person is thrust into a situation suddenly and they must find the hero within themselves in order to survive.
I have been reading Joseph Campbell, a scholar of myths. He suggests that we look at our own lives through the lens of these archetypal stories. So if my life is a hero’s journey (as everyone’s is) I think I am the kind of hero that has chosen to fight the dragon. The dragon that I seem to continually be after is any adventure that starts with “I want to do this but I can’t because….”.
I find that thinking about my journey as a hero gives me more energy to deal with sleepless nights of two year old teething and crazy days of menopause hormone swings. Those are the rocky paths that I must travel to slay my chosen dragon, and that is the journey I am on. I offer this because for me, thinking this way has made this adventure of life grander and more interesting. Go live your hero’s journey. Slay the dragon, and be well on your quest whatever that might be.