The Hero's Journey

What is a Warrior, Hero, and Champion? 

 A warrior is someone who shows great courage, vigor, and bravery. A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities. A champion is someone who argues or fights for a cause, and often on behalf of someone else. They all show bravery and courage, and that means being ready to face and endure danger, hardship, or pain. 

You Have It In You

The key is to take it personally and run with it, to dig down deep if necessary to find the noble qualities of courage, strength, and bravery to stand up and fight for what is right and true even in the face of great hardship and difficulties. We believe everyone has it in them, perhaps dormant, but ready to come to life when we or circumstances call it forth. Imagine Rosa Parks, a sweet little old lady who simply said No! I will not submit to racial injustice one more day, and became a hero and icon of the civil rights movement

Why is Heroism Important and Necessary? 

Because life is often very difficult, painful, and unfair. That doesn't mean it isn't also wonderful, beautiful, and amazing, but it is hard, and often damn hard. We must also  acknowledge that recovery isn't quick, easy, or painless, but it is worth it, YOU are worth it, and your family and friends, such as they are, are worth it. What is recovery? One definition is to recover what was lost or stolen, another is to return to a state of full health.

The hard times are particularly difficult when we were children, and the problems can leave deep scars on our minds and hearts. We needed help then, and we need it now as life throws many challenges our way. As adults our problems can multiply and overwhelm us, particularly if we have poor life skills and little help from family or others. It can feel claustrophobic, as if we are trapped and alone. We need help. We need a hero, and why not a super powered super hero!? That might sound crazy, but read on, and not just with your head, but with your heart. 

What is the Source of Our Super Powers? 

The first and most important step is to build an intimate relationship with a Higher Power of our own understanding. Why? Because all the power, presence, beauty, intelligence, and wisdom of the universe is waiting to help us, to help YOU. We all are the children of this vast presence and power, so heirs to all that it is if we use prayer, meditation, and other paths to access it. It is too much to cover here at length so we urge you to check out the Higher Power Sanity File.

What are Our Super Powers? 

For the full story take a look at the Super Powers Sanity File, but one short list fifteen hundred years old from "The Path of Purification" is "The Immeasurables" of loving kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. Consider the alternatives of hatred, heartlessness, sorrow, and chaos and how they drain the life out of us, and the power of these higher principles and virtues becomes obvious. My personal four favorites are love, peace, joy, and beauty.

What Happened to My Super Powers? 

For many of us the loss of our power started very early on as we were actively or passively abused and/or neglected as a child, some even in the womb through parental alcohol, drug, or other abuses. As a child the stages of development were corrupted and arrested through-out our youth, and may hinder us the rest of our lives. These losses were sometimes profound and extreme, so very deserving of attention and healing. For much more on this please see the Inner Child Sanity File.

A healthy child has many fine qualities (and super powers) such as curiosity, imagination, joy, and love, but also consider how children can be adventurous, passionate, truthful, and daring just like a super hero! It is only natural they have an attraction to these examples of living boldly. Too often these attributes are squashed in favor of parents and others wishes, so this is an important part of our quest: to recover the inner child.

For many of us the inner child has been locked away for years, perhaps decades to avoid being abandoned, abused, hurt, and shamed as mentioned above. This is a necessary step for it is the doorway from Higher Power to our heart, our truth, and on to our adult and inner parent. Inner parent? Yes, we all need someone to take care of us, to nurture us, and be there for us.

Your Inner Super Heroes

The Adult State Sanity File shows the rational, reasonable, and responsible part of us that is a good student, employee, family member or friend. We consider the inner parent not only a wise adult, but a step above as responsible for others like a manager, teacher, or leader. A really excellent parent can easily be considered a super hero, and this is what we are trying to create here, for ourselves and others in our lives. For more information check out the Inner Parent Sanity File.

When we think of Super Heroes today our minds naturally jump to the comic book, cartoon, and movie figures of Super Man, Wonder Woman, Spider Man, and many others. The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the definition as "a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also: an exceptionally skillful or successful person."

Real Life Super Heroes

Now consider some Super Heroes we all know, admire, and can relate to, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Gandi, and Nelson Mandela. These people rose to the challenge of their time and place and did what needed to be done. We don't know how much they depended on their Higher Power, favorite songs and sayings, and True Selves, but chances are they did, as their words immortalize:

“If any earthly institution or custom conflicts with God's will, it is your duty to oppose it. You must never allow the transitory, evanescent demands of man-made institutions to take precedence over the eternal demands of the Almighty God” Dr. Martin Luther King. "God has no religion. God is love. It is the only truth I fully accept" Mahatma Gandi.

Super Heroes Dare Greatly!

Teddy Roosevelt also said it well; “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

It's Time to Save the World

Any one of us can follow in their footsteps and become just as great. We all have the same (Super) power and potential. The way things are going it seems everything will have to change, and to change everything will take everyone. It is no small task, for yes, our task is to save the world, each and every one of us, starting with our smaller personal worlds, and working outward from there like ripples in a pond as far as we can.

Being Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented, and Fabulous!

An important aspect is our fear of the Hero's Journey as described by Maryanne Williamson; “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

True Self is Naturally Heroic

It is a hard a hard road, and one that often requires a heroic effort. We all have that warrior, that hero within us. Realizing, accessing, and empowering that hero to return to our True Self is the heart of our quest. What is the True Self? It is the sum total of all the parts of us that make up our whole, such as Nature, Higher Power, Inner Child, and Inner Parent. Together they are an even more powerful force. Learn more in the True Self Sanity File, and a longer more detailed look here.

To make this dangerous and difficult journey we are going to need all the help we can get. There is help, there is hope, healing, and happiness waiting on the other side. We need access to our inner warrior. Not to fight against others, but against the dysfunction, injustice, and insanity in the world, ourselves, and others. How do we summon the courage to face and overcome uncertainty, intimidation, pain, and fear? Through our Inner Super Hero, which is another of the many aspects of our True Self.

The True Self is the ideal of all we could be, can be, and already are deep in our heart and soul. This part of us is brave, daring, and ferocious when times get tough. This is the warrior, hopefully a peaceful warrior, but one who can become fiercely courageous when evil and injustice threaten or attack. Perhaps you have never thought of yourself in this way, but when the situation demands it this fighter is waiting for you within, and ready to do what is needed.

Super Heroes Through-out History and the World  

The world and history are filled with ordinary people who rose to the occasion to make a big difference in the world. Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joan of Arc are other good examples, and now we have Greta Thunberg, Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama as living examples of greatness. For some raw inspiration to help you find your own Inner Warrior, Champion, and Super Hero click here. For the Twelve Step version, click here

Super Powered Songs

We like to conclude each Sanity File with a musical and motivational experience, so here are a few of our favorites. I am a Warrior Be a Revolution! You Call Me to be Brave! I Want to See You Be Brave! Anthem for the Underdog We Can Be Who We Are! I'm Not a Survivor, I AM A WARRIOR!

Finding Your Super Powers

P.S. Personally, I occasionally do a share at Twelve Step meetings and retreats were I remind everyone we are encouraged to have fun, so I whip off my jacket to expose a Super Man shirt and cape hidden underneath. I then explain that I am not Superman, but "Surrender Man", as acceptance and surrender are some of my super powers inherited from my Higher Power. This allows me to accept things as they are and then work from there to make significant change.

People enjoyed this so much that one year the theme of a retreat became "A Twelve Step Guide to Becoming Your Own Super Hero". Each participant could receive a cape as part of the registration and workshops focused on various healing "Super Powers" we could develop as part of our recovery such as humility, integrity, and love. Now I have a Viking, knight, king, jester, wizard, magician, and other costumes I sometimes wear to remind me of the great powers I have within. I also bring the costumes to retreats for everyone to wear at inner child meetings, drum circles, and dance parties so they too can try on and try out their Super Hero! 😄