The Hero’s Journey

I was just watching Oprah and Liz Gilbert on Super Soul Sunday talking about the hero’s journey (Joseph Campbell’s ideas). Specifically, they pointed out that theirs and my generation of women are the first women who were not just expected to leave school, get married, have babies and support a husband on his journey. 

And it’s true. 

Joseph Campbell has always maintained that women do not have a hero’s journey because their journey has always been clear – have babies, keep the species alive. There has been no room for the Unknown. 

Yes, a simplistic view of it all. 

But the next point is that as a result women of my age struggle for role models which makes it difficult to take the leap of faith to live a life that is ‘other’.

For me, it explains why I adore and respect both women so much. Unable to bear children, their choice not to be mothers makes my infertility that little bit easier to wear in our society. I am still abnormal, but I’m not alone in that abnormality. So to speak. 

Also, women who have been pioneers in following their bliss, make it that tiny bit easier for me to accept that old adage, which I abhor, that everything happens for a reason. Infertility permits me to keep trying other things, mixing my life up a bit, dabbling in many things, to the point where I now believe that my role here in this incarnation is to continue my work as a healer. 

And I now embrace that. 

And am happier for it. 

That’s not to say that I no longer wish for children. I do. Every day, at least once, but it isn’t as intense a pain, more a yearning. 

I still can’t go to baby showers. I still struggle with the pregnancies of friends. I still dream and think of falling pregnant. 

But I don’t cry. 

There is an acceptance within me that that just wasn’t my path. And so a desire to find my path, and do the work, has substituted my baby dream. I am more resilient than I was. 

My wish for the younger women of this world is that they too, find their own path, realising that gender doesn’t preclude them from any path that they want to follow; they just might have to fight harder. 

There is not just one way of living, but many, and they are all equally valid and valuable. As are all people. 

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