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Hero’s Journey – Step 3 – Refusing the Journey

Joseph Campbell calls this a the Refusal because that is the Hero’s first response. In the journey it is Yours and Mine as well, our first response to any type of change is not with open arm. Unless that the change is self-insinuated, such as Marriage, Going into a de facto relationship, entering further education or getting a new wanted job, likewise when a person is selling their unwanted items. However, if there is stress at your current job you and me, will be more than likely, stay in that job and hope that the situation changes.

What I deal with in my full-time job are people that predominantly are forced by another to take a journey that at first they do not wish to take. Uncertainty and the perception of stability drives us to desire to stay on the path that we are on.

Staying on a stable path in life is your comfort zone.  The comfort zone is really the wrong name to call it,  because even a place that is full of stress and abuse is a place of comfort.  We often put up with discomfort because the fear of the unknown is greater than the desire to leave the situation we are in. 

In drug and alcohol, the illusion of being in control and the belief that everyone else has a problem and I am fine,  keeps the person stuck in a slowly degrading life.  Also the life without drugs or alcohol is unimaginable.  Again the comfort zone is happening.  Substances are used as a form of emotional control.  Life was so bad that dealing with those memories is so difficult that being stoned is preferable.

Just like when somebody has just lost their job or has loss of a relationship, that sense of importance and instability can be lost, thus, turning to drugs and alcohol is preferable than continuing and dealing with the emotions. This is when the Hero’s journey is negated by finding a new comfort zone instead of following the Hero’s journey. This is delaying the problem instead of dealing with the problem.  The person may think that they are drowning their sorrows, when in fact they are irritating them.

We are creatures of habit. We like stability, we do not like change. The fear of change is the fear that stability is threatened and may be lost. But this is a fallacy because we can say top at almost any time. Unless you are forced to enact change by the legal system. If you start a business and you discover that it’s not all that you thought, you can stop, go back to what you were doing, or something like that. 

So if you look at any book, movie, stage play or TV show, the prospect of change comes about and the character does not want to go through the change. However, you will notice that people that go through change, even testing change, they will tell you that they are glad that they went through it, but wish that it was not so hard.

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