The Hero's Journey is not to be distinguished from The Spiritual Journey, or from Growing Up. It's all the same thing. And it is as simple as knowing what your interests are and serving them with your life. Which isn't simple at all. Our interests are the first things to go. When we are on a Career Path, nothing is allowed to interfere with The Career. Except, of course, drug and alcohol addiction and job searches, and divorce, and... The list is rather long, but. Our interests are not to be found they. Interests are persona non grata when it comes to the important things. If we speak of them at all, we call them "hobbies," in a disparaging, apologetic, kind of way, and quickly change the subject. Our interests have no place in our life, which makes our life a dull and uninteresting place to be. To be truthful, our life is completely meaningless, except for the Career which pays the bills, but doesn't mean much to us at all. Nothing does. Because we don't allow our interests in the door, and, consequently, don't do anything that means anything to us. So, of course, our life is meaningless. And the adventure is right here, right now, waiting for us to open the door, saddle up, and go for a ride. The ride of our life, in the company of our interests that have been there from the beginning. When Carl Jung asked himself what myth he was serving with his life, he realized that he had no idea. So, he reflected on what had held his interest when he was a child, and he remembered he liked to play with stones, building forts and castles and the like. In his middle age, he took up playing with stones, and built a stone house with four towers at Bollingen, and everything fell into place around that. Everything falls into place around our interests. The things that our heart loves to do. We forsake them to our peril, to our despair and ennui. We have to find/remember our interests and allow them to be for us The Hero's Journey, bringing us back to life and directing our life, even against our will. Trusting ourselves to our interests, and doing as they request, allowing the Adventure to unfold, and the path to open, before us, with one surprise after another.
I do so hope that trees know they are magnificent, and speak to one another of their deep satisfaction with themselves as they are, admiring each other for doing all they do, and for the splendor of their appearance, even if we would consider them to be of no significance whatsoever. I do so hope that trees have a different way of according value, and appreciating each other for the joy of their presence, and the quality of their company filled with compassion and grace for every tree in the forest-- in every forest of every land. I do so hope that trees relish and enjoy the civility of trees, and delight in its wonder all the days of their lives.
We all gravitate to what attracts us, and shake out according to our tastes and interests. We are reflected in who we hang with, and in what we do. Being true to ourselves is saying yes to the things that "are us," and no to the things that "are not us." Given complete freedom of choice, where would you spend your time? What would you do in a day? How much of what you actually do in a day, in a week, is "you" and how much is "not you"? What determines/restricts how much time you spend with "you things," and how much time you spend with "not-you things"? How often are you aware of the "you/not-you" divide? How well do you manage/make your peace with it? How do you compensate "you" for all the "not-you" things you have to do? Honoring our "you side" for what it is, helps maintain a healthy balance with our "not-you side," and keeps things from going straight into drugs and alcohol, or some other addictive escape, from the reality of not enough "you" in our life.