Writing and Life Series #2: You Are The Hero of Your Story

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I love hero stories. Though I did not read much as a child, and youth, I watched endless amounts of television series and movies; and, I was always drawn to stories where the hero found trouble, yet made it through and saved the day. Sound familiar? Yep, to me too. Why do you suppose we are so drawn to these stories? Not sure. Hm. Well, let’s take a look.

The Hero is Inspirational

The underdog, the downtrodden, the person in the story that seems least likely to win the day – then does. That is the hero, and they are inspirational. We like and want to be inspired. Who wouldn’t. It feels good to be inspired; to see someone that has everything to lose, and nothing at all to lose at the same time. Someone that couldn’t possibly defeat the odds, yet does, again, and again.

We are drawn to the hero because we can see ourselves in them. And, in fact, we are them. How is this so? Because we are all human, and these fictional characters are based on human emotions, needs, and desires. These stories, and the characters in them, resonate, because we see ourselves in all of them, including the villains. All of these characters resonate with us.

There are many aspects to being a human being, and those are the aspects that writers draw upon to create these characters. We are all of them. And, they are all of us. One.

We Are The Hero

If they are us, and we are them; and, if these characters are based on human emotions, needs, and desires, then we all have the potential to be heroes. The context differs, yet the pattern is the same.

“The usual hero adventure begins with someone from whom something has been taken, or who feels there is something lacking in the normal experience available or permitted to the members of society. The person then takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary, either to recover what has been lost or to discover some life-giving elixir. It’s usually a cycle, a coming and a returning.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

Can you think of a time in your life where you were acting the hero? No? Yes? There are so many heroes in everyday life. And, it is not just those that are in professions that are associated with heroism. Everyday people can be, and are heroes.

Being a hero is not solely about defeating something evil, although that is also possible. In the most basic sense, it is about being confronted with a challenge, or set of challenges that you deeply want to run from, yet don’t. Instead, you dig in, and move forward – you engage, and you commit yourself to your inner hero. Can you think of an example? No? Sure you can.

Think about the times that you have

  • Taken on more than you can handle
  • Committed to doing something that was outside of your comfort zone
  • Helped someone in need
  • Taken care of someone
  • Explained something to someone that was unable to fully understand
  • Given of yourself, when you were already depleted
  • Been there to listen to someone

Now can you more clearly see your inner hero? Yes. Good. That hero has always been there, and will always be there. Does that mean that we are heroes everyday? Maybe, however, probably not. It does mean, however, that we have the capacity to draw upon that inner hero. This distinction is an important one, as we all fall into times when the last thing we feel like is a hero. What can we do in these times?

Draw on Your Inner Hero

When we don’t feel like heroes, what can we do? We can intentionally move ourselves out of the inner space we are currently navigating, and draw upon that inner hero? How?

Here are a couple ways you can do so

  • Get outside of your comfort zone – do something you’ve avoided doing, or something that you know is needed, and do it.
  • Create something new – there are so many ways to create, and, correspondingly, so many ways to connect those creations to service. Find a need, create, and serve.
  • Lend a hand – there are tons of people on this planet that need support, and someone to rely on. You can be that person for someone.

Being the hero you already are is all about living a life of intention, instead of one of reaction. When you live a life of intention, you are creating something; and, that something, whatever it is, comes from within you, and is needed in the world.

You are already a hero, always have been, always will be.

Draw upon that inner hero. Let them out. They are needed in the world. The world needs more heroes, and you draw upon that hero more often than you probably realize. How? Continually creating the hero, again, and again. Creating the context for the hero to arise.

As we’ve discussed that context can be something as simple as being there for someone in need. That seems simple, yet can be a life-changing event for the person on the receiving end of your heroic actions. Remember, you are already the hero of your story, so keep creating that possibility, and let that hero out!

Originally published on the4catalysts.com

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