In a previous post, I said that you don’t have to leave home to complete a Hero’s Journey. While this is true, you do always have to leave something behind to be a Hero.
Last week, I was watching a TV show that focuses on designing items very quickly. In one of the talking head/confessional segments, a contestant described how she felt she was growing and that she was tired of always being quiet and going along with what was expected and being the good girl.
You could see she was right in the middle of an epiphany when she said next that, in order for her to grow, she had to leave behind the place where she was comfortable, and that hurt.
Whether it’s your first step over the threshold onto the Journey or the last stage when you decide whether or not to bring your magic back to the village, you have to leave something behind.
I think knowing you have to leave someone behind is far more difficult than leaving any place. Leaving an old you behind is the hardest of all.
There’s a moment you realize that your Journey is requiring you to abandon an old surety of being likable and accepted by current family and friends. Now you see that you have to leave behind the comfort of always knowing you fit in, leave behind the belief that you will always be accepted, that you won’t “ruffle any feathers,” that you’ll stay the same to keep everyone happy.
Like Roseanne Cash sings, in Everyone but Me:
“I gave up my name for you,
gave up my edge; it made me bleed.
And I pleased everyone.
I mean, everyone but me.
There behind the closing door, I’m not enough
and then too much.”
But you just can’t anymore. The Call is too powerful.