Holding Joy in your heart can be just as challenging as dealing with anger or fear. Your life needs one hero ~you!
By, Therese Bogan, MFT
Recently, I had the great opportunity to trifle through lots of old pictures from my family. We were organizing photos and sharing them, and got into this amazing memory sharing session. Soon, we were trading photos and memories and floating a sense of joy. I thought of the most frightening memories and how they could produce the same volume of emotion, and a totally different impact. We looked at the smiles and the good times, and wondered together how we got their through the trials. I often find myself wishing joy and bliss for clients that struggle with memories that scare them, make them angry, or derail their quest toward a happy, complete life.
One guiding force is Joseph Campbell. He was an author, teacher and most commonly know as the man who took the myths from cultures all over the world and translated them into a simple, basic journey ~ The Hero’s Journey. Inside the Hero’s Journey, we all go through similar steps or cycles of change and challenge, over and over, with the ultimate reward being our own, personal bliss. There’s no telling what that bliss might be and it’s sure to change, over our life span. What comes clear in Campbell’s journey are all the symbolic battles that represent states of fear, anger and personal doubt we might wrangle with before finding and really knowing our bliss.
In a new documentary, called Finding Joe, about the impact of Campbell’s ideas, Deepak Chopra explains the “getting rid of” process before the bliss:
Once the bliss is formed as an object of desire, much like a new love, we need to learn how to become the ultimate champion of that particular bliss. From here, what gives us joy could be a new child, a new project or a new place to live. We take the challenge as it comes and face all the doubts inside our self and from the outside world. We are the defender and heroes of our own bliss until we meet the ultimate demon-challenge to our bliss ~ the old version of our selves. Our old self fits with the new, emerging version until there is only respected recognition of change.
Holding out for bliss inside the change:
~ Face the parts of you that stand in the way
~ Meet the fear with honor and respect for its attempt to make you safe
~ Screw the fear, toss it aside, do what needs to be done anyway
~ Follow that sweet nectar, that taste that only the hero gets, as S/He returns from the journey, only to find the old house looks smaller, there are no more scary corners, and there is a clear sign that the hero is just another woman or man among many.
~ Know that your bliss is one of the few unique qualities to hold in your heart