A Hero's Journey in Ordinary Life
I signed away the rights to my own damn treasure, and gave up on my hero dreams.
Most days I'm too tired to figure out how it happened.
I'm the first to champion those I love, and will go to bat defending them before an army, employer, judge, or husband. But I serve myself doubt for breakfast. I jot down my list of failures on my napkin. At every start, I sketch out flaws, in body and in word.
I'm terrified to disappoint. Scared to be here. Like so many, quaking in my world-saving boots.
To muster courage, I imagine what I'd say to someone else questioning their inner worth or purpose. This is what I'd tell them:
I know you don't feel ready, and think you can't possibly have the energy for this. I know you are heartbroken, and that your grief is detailed and specific. I know sometimes you've cried every day. I know you got stuck in impossible places, where all the world seemed made of rocks, and you longed for the softness of running water. I know sometimes you're out there alone, with nothing but your wits in the trenches, and that you've been brought down to sacred levels of humility.
I know you feel like you have, in fact, done everything wrong.
Nothing looks like people say it should. You haven't lost the baby weight, your closets are a nightmare. Your roots need to be done. Somehow you have entered, one accidental letter at a time, into a contract with Culture that says you don't deserve love, voice, or beauty unless you already have them, and that credibility only comes after the glam squad and the book deal. Somehow, you signed off on being nobody. Your deepest heart knows that this collusion is dead wrong. And the uneasy guilt that haunts you when you're sitting in traffic with nothing on the radio to distract you, is over this, your only real crime.
My dearest, here is the truth I see: that your muddled, bankrupt world only looks like this because you have so freely and endlessly given your love away, writing checks drawn on your own sweet Self, handing them out to anyone who asks, like Mother Theresa would if she won the Powerball.
You bring love everywhere. Always right now, always no matter what. This is your secret superpower. And though you may feel like the walking definition of humble, right now the universe is lighting up your Bat Signal, and handing you your cape.