When I think of heroes, I think of people that move beyond the fears of the mind and do extraordinary things with their lives. They can step outside of limitations in order to fulfill their purpose. They are not motivated by thought, but by spirit, and they respond to life in an inquisitive way that invokes mystery, faith and promise. I am inspired by these people.
Recently I was listening to one of my favorite audiocasts, PBS‘ Power of The Myth with Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers. Joseph Campbell talks about the spiritual hero as “someone that has found a mode of experiencing normal life and spiritual life and then come back to communicate and teach others what they have experienced.” This resonates deeply with me.
I know very quickly when I am in the company of a hero. They are brave in their actions. They help me find the hero that lives inside me and learn more about her. They give me something to aspire to, a path to follow and thread of hope to rely upon.
There is something supernatural about them. They move mountains of circumstance, not in the dramatic ways we think of a superhero on our movie screens, but in ways that are mindful, and considerate and, yes, filled with action. They move in ways that feel very different to those of us that get tangled up in past regrets and future concerns.
I think what’s special about heroes is that they seem to find no worth in living anywhere but the present moment. It’s their ability to realign themselves from a shift that doesn’t serve them. After all, they are human too, and sometimes need to change course. Whenever I witness someone do this with grace, I become stronger for their realignment, too.
We can’t change what the universe delivers to our lives, but we can always change and affect the way we respond to what shows up. This might sound like a huge feat, but all it takes is shifting out of old negative patterns of thinking and trying something different, something that feels more hopeful, and less discouraging. We all have the ability to be our own hero. We can live in ways that can transform not only our lives, but others’ too, through our example.
It’s occurred to me that I choose to be the hero in my own life and look at my challenges, not as obstacles, but as signposts for all the great learning still to come.