One of the more prevalent themes of our current human story centers around the concept of struggle – the idea that we must overcome numerous and various challenges in life so that we may earn our place in the world. Our current social ideas of success and failure usually orbit around a number of trials that we must undertake and pass in order to achieve our goals, whatever these may be.
Starting from a young age, we are all faced with such ‘tests’ in some form or another. Our family, our culture and our environment all provide us with ‘stories of success’ in one form or another. Some we are explicitly aware of and others remain hidden in the background of our mental coping strategies. Our sense of integrity, honor, ethics and courage are honed and pitted against the modern ideologies of separation, power, money, social belonging and individuality.
Joseph Campbell talks about ‘the road of trials’. The part of our quest where we are given the opportunity to meet face to face with the forces of inner darkness and conquer our own fears. Will we bend to someone else’s story and sacrifice our own inner wisdom? Yes, undoubtedly we will – time and time again – until we learn how painful this process is. We must discover how to listen to the voice of our authentic story in order to transcend the self-imposed limitations of our ‘people pleaser’.
These tests can be intense. The real purpose of these periods in our life is to discover that we are the only ones directing our experiences and choosing the stories we live by. These inner & outer conflicts, teach us our gifts. They bring to the light our deepest convictions and individual values. When we feel discontent, we know we are facing an opportunity to change and grow. Our pain purifies us. It makes us stronger.
- Can you hear the voice that sits behind your current stories?
- What tests of character and truth are you facing?
- Where are you donning the mask of the people pleaser?
For this week’s storyhack, I offer the second in a 6-part video series diving into the Beyond Human Stories, Restory Cycle.
Dive into The Tests