Monday, June 9, 2014

Heroic Journey

In May of 2003, X2: X-Men United was released. I saw it at a matinee one Saturday ~ and later that same day, I picked up a friend and went to see it again. I recommended it to every person I knew ~ with caveats for those who have issues with violence. Was it the greatest movie I'd ever seen? No. Not even close. It was Wolverine's story arc that captured me: the Hero's Journey, a modern-day Hercules.

Like Hercules, Wolverine is massively strong, in a bull or elephant manner. Like Hercules, he is looking for a way to prove himself to, well, mostly to himself. He is a protector of the weak and a righter of wrongs. He takes on impossible feats to protect others, to right wrongs, to prove himself worthy of Olympus. Or in the case of Wolverine, worthy of Professor X and the X-Men.

What drew me to his story was its mythic quality. Wolverine is the consummate hero, yet racked by insecurities and even fears of his own strengths. Mythic stories always seem beyond us ~ except the Hero's Journey. In these stories we see a reflection of what is possible, of what we can do, of how our very weaknesses become integral to our strengths. We all walk that Hero's Journey. Not Wolverine's. Not Hercules's. Not each other's. Our own unique variation on the story. We are attracted to heroes because of their imperfections, their flaws. They make us recognize that we have strengths too, that we have the potential to be heroes.

To what Hero's Journey are you attracted? What positive characteristics do you have? What are your imperfections? How can or do you use these to make you stronger?

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