5. Heroes Don't Go Alone

Few (if any) of the heroes that do truly cross the threshold have to face the trials and tests alone, although the heroic journey is ultimately an individual one. On almost all journeys there are helpers of various sorts who can provide direction, tools, nourishment of various types, encouragement, and coaching in coping in the new environment.

There will also be healers to help overcome the inevitable injuries that happen to us on our journeys. The help and healing, like the tests, might be physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual. The nature of the roles of helpers and healers and their importance will vary widely, but they will almost always be present in some form. Whether they are seen and used by us is, of course, one of the challenges.

These supporters come in many forms from family members and peers to other adults who are veterans of the heroic journey who share their wisdom and encouragement. Sometimes support comes from individuals and sometimes it comes from organizations or communities 

If alert, we can also often find companions with whom we can travel for parts of our journey. Other characters, such as tricksters, jokers, allies, enemies, opponents, and such can also be encountered.


People Encountered on the Journey

Many people will be encountered along the way and it is important to understand what roles they may play and how to influence those roles. It is also important, although usually overlooked, to ask what role you play for them.

  • Companions or friends for parts of the journey
  • Helpers
  • Healers
  • Wise men/women
  • Tricksters and jokers
  • Opponents
  • Enemies (not the same as opponents - win/lose - enemy intends harm)
  • Allies
  • Saboteurs
  • Teachers
  • Guides
  • Role Models
  • Rivals
  • Mentors
  • Coaches
  • Victims
  • Protector
  • Those who inspire
  • Those who have gone before (veterans of the journey)
  • Bystanders

There are some natural questions that arise regarding these figures:

  • Who have I met and who might I meet?
  • Who do I want to meet and how might they help me?
  • Who do I need to avoid or deal with?
  • Who are the figures I’m involved with that I need to move away from?
  • How can I create the relationships I need and get out of the relationships that are not good for me. Yes, this is easier said than done.

In influencing the interaction with these figures, particularly the adults, sometimes it is as simple as letting them know what you would like or need. That can be very informal or it can take more of a "contract" form. It may or may not require something of you. Often people who are ready and willing to help, support, guide, teach, challenge, heal, etc. do not do so because they are not sure exactly how to do it or even if they are welcome.

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