This Spring we are going to pick up a theme during our weekend together we weren’t able to live into due to the COVID pandemic. One thing I can say about this experience over the past two years is that it has been hard for everyone, in some way, and really hard for many people. For me, I’ve struggled at times, and gotten lost in just trying to escape from life, run away, not deal with things. Life, however, calls you back. As I’ve started to get my feet on the ground, engage more fully, and face what I need to face – my emotions, my responsibilities, my weaknesses and my strengths – I’ve begun to feel more heartened, and that I’m entering something new, undergoing some sort of transformation. Visiting this theme of the hero’s journey has helped me to find a language for this process.
What does it mean to be a hero? This is your weekend to ponder this question. Traditionally, the hero’s journey is about going on a quest, encountering crisis, and coming home transformed. Who of us, in this world today, has not encountered great crisis? There are so many challenges, so many problems to overcome. Bring your heart to this gathering. Bring your crises. Bring your wish to find home. Move through, and be transformed.
Some may think that hero is a word that describes some lone person, out in the wilderness. It could be. Life, however, is its own wilderness, and we are all living within these difficult times, with the capacity to be transformed, the capacity to rise to the occasion, the capacity to be opened, the capacity to respond to the challenge that greets us in this moment.
Perhaps the challenge is a difficult relationship. Perhaps the challenge is to let go of a destructive habit and hold on to a higher vision for life. Perhaps the challenge is to hold together a group, or hold down a job. Perhaps the challenge is to meet a personal illness with tender love. Perhaps the challenge is to walk away.
Come to the COMEGA weekend to discover the hero within you, the part of you that meets life with your heart open. Come to the weekend to struggle along with others, instead of alone. Come to this weekend to love and be loved, and to adventure within yourself and with others.
During the weekend, notice the trials you face, or reflect on the trials you have recently faced. These challenges can be an initiation, a deepening, if they are held with caring and thoughtfulness in the presence of other caring thoughtful men.
Return back to the world renewed, having opened into something new, having grown, having deepened, having learned, having loved. Return with more to give. Return with something new to give. What does it mean to be a hero? By the end of the weekend you will have the beginnings of your own answers to this question.
I don’t know what I will receive from our Spring time together. But I look forward to exploring, opening, and perhaps healing a bit, with you men. In this time in our world, finding our inner hero seems deeply relevant, and important, and I feel inspired to dig deeper within, to face my challenges, and to transform.
- Louie Forouhar-Graff, OC Member