Year of Living Heroically #2 – Refusing the Call
Today is especially fitting to write this post as it is currently 19 degrees in Dallas Texas. If there is anything that will make you refuse the call of an adventure, it is cold feet.
On a hero’s journey, refusing the call highlights what exactly the hero thinks about himself. They are not just saying, “No I don’t want to,” but more along the lines of “I’m afraid because of …” That dot-dot-dot is the real part of themselves that they will have to overcome in the adventure ahead.
My favorite case in point is our man Luke Skywalker, who refuses to go with Ben Ken-obi by saying, and I’m flagrantly misquoting, “No I can’t go with you. I have to stay on the farm with Uncle Owen.” He’s not really saying that he has to stay on the farm with his Uncle. What he is really saying is that he is afraid that he is not awesome like his father and he’s just a lowly farm boy. Once the farm is removed from the picture, literally, he spends the rest of the movie trying to become awesome like his father. Sort of.
In romances, this might look a little different. For Violet, in Diaries of an Urban Panther, her refusal highlighted her fear of getting close to someone, because all of her loved ones had died. So she refused to believe that the boy liked her at all. He was just saving her skin, over and over and over. Violet spends the entire book learning to open her heart to other people.
So to apply this to daily life, its simple: know why you are saying ‘no.’ No to life, no to helping someone move their couch, no to spending some time reading to the elderly. When you are called to do something, understanding why you are saying ‘no’ might help you find a fear you didn’t know you had. Perhaps you didn’t know you were afraid of loosing your toes to the cold weather (as I am facing today).
Understanding why you are refusing the call might even help you face your fears head on.
But that is another blog post for another time.