Finding the True Self

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“I appreciate the absolute candor and honesty. My child is held accountable for all her actions and clearly knows the consequences for any act or thought process. As a result, her behavior and thinking have changed dramatically for the better. 

Also, she has the opportunity to practice new behaviors in a controlled and safe environment. Such practice in the outside world would be difficult or non-existent.”

meditationShe stops to spend some quiet reflective time taking stock.  She takes a long hard honest look at herself.  She confronts the negative aspects of her personality, faces her fears, raises questions, and experiences the depths of despair and depression that the answers bring.  She admits to herself and to her companions that she must change if the quest is to be successful.  She perseveres and finds hidden resources deep within herself.

This is the turning point; she invests her heart and soul in the quest. She connects with her companions.  She listens to her mentors.  She trusts in and draws upon her newly discovered resources.  She begins to change.  She practices and develops her problem solving skills as she overcomes increasingly more difficult and arduous obstacles encountered in the journey.  She finds new confidence in her strengths and learns how to compensate for her weaknesses. 

"I like the metaphors. They really help the girls see and own their problems."

Each trial becomes more difficult and requires her to surpass her sense of limitations in order to succeed.  In spite of this, she faces each new challenge with increasing confidence in herself and her capacity to rise to the demands of any situation.

After many difficulties and challenges she finally reaches the focal point of her quest.  She is ready to face the dragon.  She has to do this alone without her companions.  She gathers her courage and resolve, conquers her fears, meets the dragon and emerges victorious.  Her victory changes her irrevocably in ways she does not yet understand.  She is growing up.  Her victory in facing the dragon gives her a reward, the dragon’s treasure.  The real true treasure is, of course, her growing understanding of who she is and the beginning of wisdom and compassion.  Through the exercise of her talents and gifts to overcome the dragon she acquires great strength and knowledge.

log drawingsMost modern movies and popular books that follow this story line often stop at this point.  But for the developing child, the story cannot end there, or the child will never really become an adult.  In the old mythology, the story never ends with the hero or heroine keeping the treasure.  In both mythology and real life the story continues.

In the full mythic form of the heroic quest, the person accomplishes the return home willing to face the struggle for emotional growth once again.  She makes a courageous decision to reenter her society, which in some ways rejected her.  She finds to her surprise, that at the point of her return, her society is at a crux of terrible dilemma.  She returns with her treasure bringing new ideas, a new maturity and a new sense of humanity.  This is exactly what the culture needs in order to survive and flourish.

So this simple myth tells us several very important and critical truths.  Our children must undertake a profound journey of personal discovery in order to find themselves. The more out of touch with society they are, the more necessary the journey is.  Even the least promising child may have great undiscovered gifts.  The longer and more arduous the journey, the greater the gifts the child finds.

The journey can’t end with the discovery of personal gifts.  The child has to return as a young adult.  She has to give back what she has learned, in order to find her true self. Society desperately needs the gift of her true self in order to continue to grow and thrive. With her return comes the final healing and reconciliation.  The alienated shallow girl becomes a powerful productive adult member of her society.  One day perhaps she will become a mentor for a frightened, confused young person that needs to find herself.  And so the cycle continues generation after generation on into time.

 

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