Lance D. Smith
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” George Bernard Shaw
It is not an accident that we connect with the hero’s struggle written in books or played out movies. Just being human, we all are submersed into a quest, a life-quest that invites struggle in order for our own personal and spiritual growth.
When we are younger, we fight for power over the physical world. But hopefully, as we mature, we learn to live more fluidly, realizing our internal wisdom is aligned with who we truly are, is superior and a more sustaining power than any external source.
This journey invites each of us so we can gain wisdom and reveal internal strengths. This may sound simple, but can be brutal in terms of life experiences.
Think of all the fears and temptations, dragons and physical obstacles that the archetypal hero, the knight or warrior, must overcome and slay before proving him/herself, before returning home to his/her rightful place. This quest engages the main character to tap into the invisible or spirit world to attain wisdom or his/her real power. Similar to obstacles in our day-to-day life, addictions or anger may not fire-breathing dragons, but none the less, need slaying.
The big question is do we have faith in our ability to survive? Or, are we too afraid to face the challenges life throws at us? Every event is a spiritual challenge that literally tests the quality of our decisions. And where we seek guidance is often more important than the decision itself.
When we get to a point that our backs are against the wall, we want to know, can we make a conscious choice with integrity? Forget what everyone else thinks, can we be true to ourselves and do what is right without confliction? The only way to know is through experience. Some people seek recklessly for their answer, doing things destructive or detrimental, i.e.: drug use, abusive relationships. Others, life simply calls them out from time to time.
You may be struggling with a family problem, making a financial choice, or simply trying to help a stranger. Each “test” places your invisible spirit face to face with your fears about your ability to survive. In each situation, we must make a decision; do we turn inward and trust the inherent wisdom of our spirit or do we cave into fear and insecurities and run away?
We become wiser through each experience in our life. For instance, being betrayed can be emotionally devastating. But it can also teach you, in time, to let go of judgments and expectations. It can reveal that you may be emotionally dependent or are too controlling of others.
But you don’t have to go through one tragedy after another to grow. Yes, some people must learn the hard way and will have experiences over and over until they learn to choose wiser.
But tragically, mundane living is akin to a slow spiritual death, like never stepping onto the battlefield of life. Because of underlying fears, many people don’t rock the boat. Many don’t even get in! Their work is to keep life as uneventful as they can, rarely living or calling on their internal wisdom or being who they are capable of being. They never know the hero within. They ultimately feel like life passed them by and are disengaged with their true nature.
But life is rewarding inside and out! You are designed to make your own path to live life fully and find meaning through your daily activities and interactions with others. Trust yourself. Trust your heart. You can start today, and as Ram Dass put it, “Be here now.”
True security is a matter of spirit. Each of us will discover, through many or maybe just one experience, whether we have faith in our very existence, or whether we fear the journey of our life too much.
In closing, I often wonder how
soldiers adjust, returning from the battlefields to their small and solemn
hometowns. Can the hero in them ever be satisfied with a somber or uneventful
routine after living so bravely during battle, at the leading edge of life?
“If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes.” Mark Twain
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