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Hero or Heroic?

Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!

I’ve had quite a week at school with the magnificent and legendary Jean Houston.  In focusing on the story of Odysseus as a metaphor for life I began thinking about the life of the caregiver.  Trying to do your best in  what is an honor gesture of love and support you are sucked into a story that was beyond your control.  You are thrust into a story that is mythic in proportion whether you realize it or not.  The important thing to consider is, are you trying to be a hero or are you living heroically.

You may be wondering what the difference is but I assure you there is a huge difference.  As a hero you are always there to save the day.  Your sacrifices are done with mixed intentions.  As a hero you own a lot of control of the situation.  We see this in a lot of corporations, nonprofit organization and families.  Living heroically means embarking on a journey that is larger than life.  You are meeting the dragons and sirens along the way who are trying to detract you from your mission.  What’s the mission?  To live your best life and sharing that best life with those you’re caring for in the process.

I assure you that you will be tempted off your course and the first few times that will be disconcerting.  Trust me, it will be a learning experience.  You will learn more about yourself in the process and that’s worth its weight in gold.  Can you imagine anything better or more fulfilling than stepping into your true essence and offering your help and support as a caregiver/wellness partner from that world, emotional, and spiritual view.

It’s an amazing process to go on the odyssey because it substitutes the gloom and doom that may accompany caregiving and gives it a new sense of hope and adventure.  It provides you with an opportunity to explore the depths of your soul and you’ll need that for the long  journey because when the journey ends you’ll have that wisdom to rely on.  Live heroically and let me know what you learn along the way!

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Are you living a mythic life?

Stories have been a part of our lives since our childhood.  I’m sure you have a favorite story that was either told to you verbally or was a favorite bedtime story read to you over and over again.  How big was the story?  Not the number of pages, but the characters in the book, were they larger than life?

Myths are great parts of every culture because they embody who we are as humans.  They take into account universal themes and that makes them accepted throughout the culture.  It’s the universality that allows buy-in from the masses and once the story is adopted people begin to use it as part of their personal history.

Following your diagnosis did you begin to have thoughts or dreams of Atlas or Hercules?  Are there other mythic stories that represent your journey to wellness?  Your diagnosis was your initiation to the underworld.  Following the diagnosis your energy is focused on ascending the ladder to health.  Knights slew dragons, Harry Potter fights evil energy, and you are taking on your illness.

Once the shock of the diagnosis wears off you come to a place of understanding and determination to overcome the challenge.  You begin to call in all your knowledge and support to conquer your dragon.  Obviously it’s not an easy task.  If you ask those who have reached a place of acceptance, whether or not they were cured, you will hear them speak of their personal transformation.  This transformation is the culmination of winning the battles along the way.

What story does your life tell?  Is it of mythic proportion?  Would you like it to be?  If so how will you make it so?  Myths are rooted in our soul connecting us all to one big story.  I hope you’ll tell your story because we don’t want any gaps in the bigger story.