Today’s AoM Journaling Challenge:
Take a look at the hero’s journey, and identify where you are in that journey. Doing so can help you better understand where you are in life, and help you figure out where to go next. You can take it in the context of your entire life, or you can take it in the context of a certain phase of your life. Either way, you can be sure that you’re part of a greater journey, and knowing what comes next can help guide you along.
The Hero’s Journey refers to a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world’s mythic traditions from Sumeria to Mesoamerica and through time into the present. In 1949, Joseph Campbell, a professor at Sara Lawrence College, wrote The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Since its publishing, the book has influenced millions of readers taking concepts from psychology, anthropology, and sociology and combining that with Campbell’s use of comparative mythology, where he looked at what myths from different cultures had in common. He also explored the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction- think Ragnarök, the five suns mythos of the Aztec and Nahua peoples, or the story of the Deluge.
Pulling out my own copy of The Hero with a Thousand Faces and taking a look at my greatest concerns lately I figured out a place for myself in the monomyth cycle in respect to the birth of my son. (Christine is going to get a kick out of my particular claiming of the monomyth.) With less than two weeks left until his due date the stage that fits me best is Approach.
Approach, is the point in the story where the hero prepares for the final showdown. (Yes, I’m referring to labor as a showdown while Christine sits next to me and watches American Idol on Hulu. Yes, I know she’s reading this as soon as it posts.) This part of the hero’s journey is where the real transformation begins. It’s the preparation stage which usually includes an imposing destination, like a labor/delivery room, for example. I’ve gone to prenatal classes, I’m finishing putting finishing touches on my son’s room, I’ve taken inventory of the number of diapers received from the baby shower. I’ve washed all of his and our clothes so we can pack our hospital bags.
I’m well on my way to becoming a hero in this tale. I’ve left my ordinary world, begun the journey, and ultimately will come out a newer, better me complete with an understanding of two worlds and having grabbed the prize, or in this story, the baby and fatherhood.