If we want to apply the “Hero’s Journey” model to relationships, it is valuable to be specific, so let’s start with the first step.
- The hero is confronted with a challenge. “Come with me, Luke, learn the ways of the Force” was the call to adventure in the original Star Wars film.
What is it with relationships? The urge to model Mommy and Daddy? Loneliness? Sexual hunger? The urge to reproduce or maintain social standards?
In the most famous love story in all of western fiction, ROMEO AND JULIET, Romeo is apparently a bit of a cad, who woos and wins and tosses women away like disposable napkins. He speaks of Rosiline’s chastity and beauty, but we sense it is a childish thing, a “starter” relationship. He’s playing at it.
But it is when he meets Juliette that he is fully engaged, struck with “the challenge” of forming a mature (well…MORE mature, anyway) relationship. Not just for sex or social position, but because his heart has been turned inside-out, struck by “the Thunderbolt” as the saying goes.
This urge hits us on the sexual and emotional levels. It has biologically reproductive as well as socially conditioned aspects. It hits HARD, and it would probably be reasonable to say that about 99.9% of people, deep down, crave it at some point in their lives.
We do so much as a culture preparing our children for this “Thunderbolt”. We know it will happen one day just like it did to Bambi and Thumper: you’re going to get “twitterpated”.
Do YOU remember the first crush? How about the first time your crush looked at you and “crushed” back? That sense of Oh My God, when you realized that someone who was beautiful to you found you attractive? That can be one of the most intoxicating feelings in the world, and if your values are clear and your self-respect high, it can be one of the most valuable and transformative feeliings of your life.
In the classic self-help book “Think And Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill says that the combined emotions of love, faith, and sex combine to create extraordinary drive and clarity of mind, and have lifted countless people to highest of genius and accomplishment. THAT, as Huey Lewis once sang, is The Power of Love.
So the very first step is to tell the truth: you want it. Crave it. And are willing to begin the journey to have it. Without that admission, you cannot have mind and heart in alignment. And that can be dangerous, because, as the saying goes…the heart wants what it wants.
Better to figure out which way the river is going, and then get yourself a boat. Swimming upstream can be exhausting.
Although salmon seem to dig it…
Love yourself…and share the love!