Discover the Archetypes Shaping Your Life

Discovering Your Hero’s Journey

Kesstan Blandin
Kesstan Blandin, PhD is the Vice President of Research and Development at the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type in Gainesville, FL. Previous to this, Dr. Blandin was a research psychologist specializing in dementia at the Dartmouth Centers for Health & Aging at Dartmouth College.
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What is it like to see your life as a Hero's Journey for the first time? Think of a story or a film where you recognized yourself in a character. When we are identified with a character, we feel their feelings, we are moved by their pain, and through the character's revelations of themselves, we receive insights into ourselves we didn't have before.

The space between our inner reality and the character's expressed reality is perfect for private self-realization of ourselves. We are identified enough with the character who we bridge to emotionally, yet we are not confused that the character is literally us.

When I was seven years old, my second-grade teacher, Mrs.Cook, read aloud to the class each afternoon. One day she read a story about a young Pilgrim girl who lived on a farm. This girl was always spilling the milk after milking the cows, forgetting the ribbon in her hair, making her clothes dirty in the garden, or some other mistake. The story revealed her inner life, of how she felt that she was really good inside, but this didn't get expressed outside of her. What the adults saw, and scolded her for, were her repetitive, absent-minded mistakes because she was often caught up in her imagination.

I'll never forget the feeling I had sitting in that classroom. I felt an intense burst of energy inside my chest — I recognized myself, my own feelings, and my own goodness through this fictional character! On that day, I came into consciousness of my own struggle with not feeling seen and understood for who I really was through the power of identifying with a character, with realizing that I was living out this story.

The Hero's Journey is this symbolic expression of the eternal coming into consciousness of human beings. It is a journey of self-discovery that generates a meaningful life, because a meaningful life is built on who one really is, what we care about, and what our contribution to the world is. Each person experiences this quest of self-awareness for the first time, every time.

We can experience fulfillment, personal meaning, and the vitality of being alive and important when we bridge our inner worlds in the outer world in conscious realization of the stories we're living, be that through the love we share in relationships, our imagination in creative projects,our authority and daring in our work, or the simple but profound engagement of life just as it is through just who we are.

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