Wow, you made it! The race has been run, the mountain climbed, the book finished. After all you’ve been through, just wow.
How many ordeals did you face? Some you mastered, some perhaps leaving tentacles to unravel another day. But you got through.
And in so doing, found out more about yourself than you thought was left to know! That’s what a quest will do—expose the broken or bent places within you, where you needed healing on whatever level.
Now, once more, you can breathe and take stock. Because in all good stories (which are, again, based on real-life characters and events) this is a time for denouement, which is just a fancy French word meaning “untying” or “unknotting.” It’s a letting go of all the emotions so that once the smoke clears, you can see clearly what you’ve learned. What you’ve done. And how you did.
But this is not a time for beating yourself up about any loose ends. And only in truly depressive cases do you feel like doing this anyway! Because even if you didn’t win the race, or perhaps the mountain beat you this time, or you know that book still needs more work, you did it.
You set your sights on a prize, a goal. Put your feet to it, kept your gaze focused, persisted against all odds. And that, my friend, is true success.
Even more important is, again, what you learned. A true quest teaches you something (or many things) new. New skills or knowledge that you can then pass on to those you love, and those you just know. It makes you a better person.
And that’s the point of this life, no? To become the best person you can be, no matter how that appears to the outside world. To master the beasts within you, to tame them so the energy they brought to bear against you can now be used by you.
One of my favorite cards in the Tarot is the Strength card, and I always think of it at this time. The picture is of a woman with one hand on the lion’s head, another under his chin, and he’s somewhat bowed beside her. She hasn’t forced him into submission, but rather, tamed his energies and he’s now at her service.
And we tame those beasts by facing them, dealing with them, understanding them, and finally, incorporating them into our personalities.
The whole point of any quest 🙂
So now you’ve caught your breath again. Have basked in your glory (and please—do! You’ve earned it). And are ready to return to your “real” world, whatever that means to you.
But, you come back changed. There’s no way around it. With all you’ve gone through and learned, you’re a different person now. A better one. One with something more to give.
Because that’s the whole point as well—to be able to give to others what you’ve learned. It’s what all the great myths teach. The Holy Grail in the King Arthur legends (and how long did it take them to find it? LOL) is the essence that heals the wounds of the land.
Every quest is, at its heart, a journey fraught with peril to find that magic potion that will heal something or someone—in addition to yourself.
Perhaps the young girl next door wants to know how you climbed your mountain. Perhaps the boy is impressed that you wrote a book, and wants some of that for himself. And you find years and years later that he’s become a recording artist . . .
And now you have something to teach them. Something that makes the world a better place. All because you committed to your own quest.
I’m fond of the Alice Walker quote that says: “Teach yourself Peace. Pass it on.”
And we teach ourselves peace by walking through trials—the ones that come when we follow our own hero’s quest.
Welcome to the world of the heroes. From the Joseph Campbell quote to begin this: “And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world.”