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How to Become a Modern Hero

Who is your favorite hero?

When I was a child, my favorite hero was Scaramouche, the hero in a movie that played during the French revolution. He has some love affairs with women who just weren’t a great match before he falls in love with the right woman for his live. The last scene showed him driving away in a coach just married to a beautiful noblewoman while people cheer to him.

What do you have in common with a hero or heroine?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a hero? I thought that it was something that only happened in movies. However, every one of us can be a modern hero. Maybe you are a survivor of childhood abuse and you feel as if you are broken. Maybe you are in an unhealthy relationship and feel is if the world is against you. Maybe you struggle with depression and stigma. Unfortunately, life isn’t fair or perfect, we all face struggles and obstacles but how we handle them makes a difference. And maybe the beginning of our hero’s journey.

Nobody is born as a hero, but we can become one

Don’t worry if you don’t have to feel like a hero today. When a hero starts their journey, they never feel like a hero. They are thrown into an adventure. They feel weak or unprepared. And with all this, they fights dragons and overcomes obstacles. They learn new skills and develops powerful resources. They find allies and defeats enemies. They get wounded, are reborn and now shine with a new, brilliant light. Suddenly, they feel like the hero we have already seen them at the beginning of the movie. The hero’s archetype resides within all of us. It is your choice to activate it.

What is your challenge?

I was a survivor of childhood abuse and started my healing journey many years ago. Your challenge might be completely different. Maybe you struggle with an unhealthy relationship or the loss of your lifetime partner. You may be single for far too long. You may have lost hope for your future.  You may be the outcast of your family or society. Whatever your challenge is, it is also a calling to start your hero’s journey. The merit is to transform yourself, become your true, genuine self and create the life you want to live. And, isn’t that worth it?

A modern hero’s journey – of what does it consist?

Accept your calling

Your journey starts when you sense a calling. It is likely to speak in a very low voice. If you read this article you have it: this inner knowing that the place where you are at doesn’t feel right, that you should seek for something else. Maybe it is a healthy relationship, maybe it is healing your childhood wounds. Whatever it is, it may scare you. You may want to look away. Your mind tells you that your goal is not possible. You fear your calling and its message. It urges you to change. You don’t feel ready, but you have a gnawing sense that it’s time to walk on a new path. Take a deep breath and accept your calling. It is a loving invitation to become whole again. You have all what it takes to get there. You are more courageous than you believe you are.

Enter an unknown world

On your hero’s journey, you have to leave behind the world you know. Whatever kind of relationship you experienced in the past, it’s time to learn something new. Now is the appointed time to become courageous, compassionate and conscious. This will lead you into a new direction.  You will make steps into a new direction, a direction towards being whole, and explore things you never did before. Follow this path, leave behind the old and explore the new.

Heal your shadow

For many years, I feared my shadow. Finally, I looked at it and it lost its power over me. I actually found wonderful treasures in it. Your shadow is different, your treasures will be different. However, if you don’t dare to look at it, it will subconsciously control you. As adults, it is our responsibility to heal and to become whole. Your shadows may seem overwhelming and deeply frightening, but you are stronger and more powerful than they are. Dare greatly, and illuminate them. The treasures you will find are worth the effort. Enter the unknown world of self-discovery and healing and become whole again. Dare greatly and you’ll realize a profound transformation you never believed possible.

Let go of your masks

My favorite mask was being “nice.” It was comfortable because it is socially well accepted.  It also protected me from harm and conflict. However, it also led me to abandon myself and hindered myself to show up.The masks you put on to relate with other people may seem comfortable, but they impede you to experience belonging. With your masks you can only fit in. Fitting in is not belonging. Behind your masks, there is a brilliant, genuine version of yourself that wants to show up. It is perfectly imperfect, and that’s great. Only you can uncover it. What are the masks you are using? Get to know them and explore them. Then, tear them off, bit-by-bit, and connect with your feelings, needs and boundaries. Show up and speak your truth. Each time you do so, you move forward on your hero’s journey.

Find your allies

My most powerful allies are nature, the sea, silence, breathing and my counselling groups. I met fascinating people, inspiring teachers, cheerful companions, great coaches and complete strangers who gave me the right hint during a short encounter. Who are your allies? Find them. Ask them for help. Connect with them. Listen to them. Evaluate whether their words correspond with your truth. If your gut feeling tells you that it is right, then take action.

Release your dragons

Your dragons are everything that hinders you from choosing what is best for you. Your dragons aren’t in the outside world. They are within yourself. My dragons were the wrong truth I learned about love in my family, low self-worth and self-compassion, shame and guilt. They also consisted of resisting the temptation to stay with the wrong partner out of convenience and fear. Not every person you fall in love with will be a good match for a healthy relationship. What are you dragons? Write them down. Observe them. Liberate them. Question the truth of their words. Learn tactics how you can let go of them. Don’t give in to them. Change focus and listen to their anti-pole. Become a motivational speaker for yourself. Ask your allies for help. Conquer your dragons gracefully, one after the other.

What merits will you gain?

You will become the most authentic self you can be. You will look at the world with new, bright eyes. You will see the beauty of life. Even if something deeply painful happened to you, its darkness will transform into light during your journey. This is likely to happen in stages, just like a spiral. You will re-visit some themes throughout your life. Each time you do so, you will gain more understanding, wisdom and freedom. You can’t save the world, but you can save yourself. And by doing this, you will save the world. You will become courageous, compassionate and conscious, and you’ll be greater version of yourself.  As a result, you will experience a deep connection with your partner, friends and the world. And aren’t healthy relationships all what life is about?

So, when do you start your hero’s journey?

Find out about my program “Break Free From Toxic Relationships.”

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

Natalie Jovanic

Natalie Jovanic is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor and Shiatsu Therapist. As a counsellor, they pass on what they believe in, but it isn’t just knowledge, theory, and professional experience. It is also their wisdom gained through their own transformative journey of healing abuse. Natalie is trained in trauma-informed practice and EMDR. They are the author of A Brave, True Story.