2015 – A Year to Relish in Who You Are
As I ponder this 2015 New Year and what to write about, I reflect back on 2014. 2014 was a year that was full of lessons for me. It wasn’t one of those years I would want to “replay”, as 2014 had moment after moment of difficulty. Throughout the year, I found myself saying that 2014 was a tough year, a hard year, a year that I would be ready to close the chapter on and start a new chapter with 2015. As I reflect on it now, I have to wonder if my judgment were correct. 2014 was a year of changes for sure. And some of those changes were not anticipated. In fact, some of the changes were abrupt. Some of the changes were uncomfortable. Some of the changes required me to reach into the depths of myself and find inner strength to stand strong in a different way, using different emotional and perhaps spiritual muscles. That is a true fact about 2014. But perhaps it isn’t true that it was a “bad” year. Sometimes change coming into our lives, when we haven’t called for it, and we aren’t seeing a need for change, really unbalances things. So in the essence of not being prepared for change, 2014 was a year of surprises for me.
I can say that the changes that came as a result of 2014 may have been difficult for me, but certainly were not anything to label with a negative. For example, in every instance where I thought that I was experiencing a loss in my life, something or someone filled the empty space in a new and different way that was very nourishing and so much better than before and greater than anything I could have envisioned. Sometimes, it was something from within me that filled the void. So it ended up not being a loss – just a change that I didn’t know I needed or wanted or had access to within myself.
I think the real question is how did I respond or show up for the call to change?
I am reminded of Joseph Campbell’s writing of a Hero with a Thousand Faces. Elizabeth Gilbert also speaks of this in her own journey when she talks of finding the hero (or heroine) within. Gilbert believes that each of us has a calling in our life and opportunity to take the lead in our own story and be the hero of our own story and that when we answer the call, it might not necessarily be easy. On the contrary, when we accept the call, we expect to transform and change. The work begins when we answer the call. The pattern of the hero’s journey then comes into play. It is then that we can expect to be challenged, have times of despair, moments of second-guessing ourselves and feel lost, hurt and alone.
The stages as Joseph Campbell states them are intense and difficult. Becoming your own hero, the hero of your own life, is not an easy journey. It is you embarking on a Vision Quest to find the Divine within yourself. I relate to these stages as they fit into my experience of what I wrote about with my own journey in my book, Finding the Peace. After answering the call to take the lead in our own story, our own life, comes these stages of the hero:
- · The refusal.
- · The roads of trial.
- · The characters who show up and who you have to figure out how to navigate – the friends who look like enemies, the enemies who look like friends, the wise older woman who is the trickster; these are the people who show up and you take what you need from them.
- · The dark night of the soul when you are at the lowest moment and lose all faith and consider quitting and maybe even dying. You feel broken and call upon the Divine Assistance. Through Divine Assistance you are helped.
· And lastly, through that recovery from the rock bottom, you learn your own talents and strengths and that you have everything within you for battle. And in the battle, the hero (you) loses your fear of death and then you can face anything. (Campbell 1949).
The climax is the battle of finding yourself and coming out as the hero. The final part of the journey is coming home to share with others what you have learned.
2014, for me, was not a “big Vision Quest” although for some of you, it may have been a year of finding the hero within yourself which may have been a tough year for you. But for me, it was answering the call again and again and times of “mini Vision Quests”. It was a year of being reminded that I had it within myself to stand tall and strong, with my answers coming from within connected to the Divine. It was a year of being faced with trials and obstacles, feeling alone, arriving home a different person, being reminded, once again, of who I am after facing the dragons and realizing that there is really nothing to fear as all has been faced.
Take the time this New Year to reflect on 2014. Anchor those moments of facing your dragons and finding the strength of your own wisdom and inner knowing to move forward. Take those moments when you felt most alone and look at the gemstones you found within. If it were a year of building spiritual, emotional and mental muscles, take the time to relish in the aftermath of your new-found form before embarking into 2015. May 2015 be a year of relishing in who you are and how you are already enough.
Campbell, J. (1949). The hero with a thousand faces. New York City: Pantheon Books.
Gilbert, E. (2014, October 7). The ugly truth about following your passion, Retrieved from Huffingtonpost. com
Watson, J. (2011). Finding the peace. Createspace Independent PublishingTags: becoming your own hero, finding the divine within yourself
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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