What’s with The Hero’s Journey?
You may, as I have, noticed lately lots and lots of people connecting what they do with the “Hero’s Journey,” that famous archetypal story structure made famous by Joseph Campbell. In the past week alone, I’ve seen people hooking the Hero’s Journey up with everything from leadership training to how to network to strategies for getting through the pandemic.
The Hero’s Journey has become the foundation of Hollywood films.
But that’s only because it already replicates what’s been happening in the human experience — way before films were a twinkle in anyone’s eye.
The Hero’s Journey gives a name to an eternal structure for how our folk stories become satisfying to listen to as well as to live.
But today let’s get small.
Why is that word used so da– much?
There’s the the grief journey, the customer journey, the band named Journey, the Journey shoe brand, the Dodge Journey, the mental health journey, the parenting journey, even the Girl Scouts Journey.
The word is plum everywhere. And why?
Here’s my stab at it: It’s one of our root metaphors for what it is to “go” through life. To experience something in time. To be in one “place” at one point and at a different “place” at another.
The image of the journey gives spatial reference points to the fact that we feel we’re different after something momentous has happened or after we’ve “gone” through a key process or after our consciousness has “shifted” in some way.
“I’m in a different place now.”
“He’s in a better place.” (whether mentally or when some people respond to news of someone’s death)
Calling something a journey is a way of giving placefulness to time-based events that seem linked.
It’s a way of making real.
When I use the word “journey,” I’m always reminded of high-school French, where I learned we inherited the word in English from “journée,” that distance one could travel in a day’s time.
That linking of time and space. A way to see and regard the invisible that one feels. A way to make the living one does a thing.
Pretty good for one word.
Lindsay Braman’s example can open your mind about what sorts of both joy and utility you can create, simply by letting your own gifts out of the closet and using them in your work, in recognizing that, if a therapist/doodler can connect two passions, so can you.
When you’re in pain, it’s hard to think of anything else. But even in the midst of being laid up with a bad back or during that excruciating moment after surgery when you realize that, no, it isn’t that the operation was a breeze, it’s just that you had really good painkillers, there are almost always parts of you that do feel well: they’re just a bit harder to access. Even when everything is going smoothly.
What the lorgnette is to glasses, THE HUMAN JOURNEY is to listening. Not only do we help families listen to each other at a moments of intense change due to serious illness, end of life, bereavement, or other major life transition, but we help family members perceive that they are being heard.
We’re ready for ya. All handy in its front pocket, THE HUMAN JOURNEY® has all the ways to meet family members right where they are. We have a way to meet people who don’t want to talk about feelings. We have a way to meet people who would rather express something silently, with a facial expression, a gesture, or a stance, than with telling or sharing.
So, Who’s the Father?” isn’t exactly what a person who’s expecting wants to hear. It can feel like an accusation, like an invasion of privacy, or like a completely irrelevant question, depending on one’s method of conception, key relationships, or plan for childrearing. Even in days when there were fewer methods for conceiving a child or for avenues for getting one to adulthood, Emily Post might have advised just to stick with a hearty congratulations.