• Courtney Moore

July 13 Meditation - On Being a Hero

Your own Self-realization is the greatest service you can render the world. -Ramana Maharshi

In my career, throughout the various modalities I’ve used, I’ve witnessed a pattern in which I see waves of the same kinds of cases over a period of time. As a massage therapist it might have been a few weeks of hip pain clients followed by a round of carpal tunnel issues; as an acupuncturist it might have been several patients with menstrual issues and then several constipation cases; and now working as an intuitive I’ve seen my first big wave which was: heroes. That is to say, individuals who have taken it upon themselves to save the world.

This manifests physically in interesting and somewhat inconsistent ways. There could be weight gain, as people take on the problems of the world and hold that energy for everyone around them. There could be shoulder tension, as people shoulder the burdens of everyone they meet. There could be a hollowness energetically, as every exchange is about giving and sacrificing, with no thought about replenishment.

In any and all cases, there’s a deep frustration and dissatisfaction, because at the end of the day we can’t save other people. We can’t save the world. We can only save ourselves.

I am intimately familiar with this conundrum. At multiple points in my career I’ve had to learn and then remind myself that I can’t fix anyone, or change anyone, or in fact heal anyone. We heal ourselves. I can be a midwife, a witness, and a catalyst, but at the end of the day every human being has agency and choice, which is both beautiful and liberating and also maddening and confounding. I’ve found it very tempting to play the savior, where I swoop in and renovate someone’s life or body or belief system, and make it all better, but time and time again that’s proven to be a falsehood—an illusion. I don’t actually know what’s best for anyone else. I know when something is off, but the path to healing is between the patient and the Creator, or Source. On my best days I am a tool for that work to transpire, but mainly by getting out of the way.

So I’ve been working with all these heroes who are saving the world, holding it together at the seams lest they let go and everything falls apart. And it’s reminded me to look at where I’m doing that in my professional or personal life. In many ways being the hero is about control. Trying to steer the ship, and row the boat, and wear all the hats all at the same time. There is very little surrender, acceptance, and humility when you’re in hero mode. Instead, there’s a lot of ego and a lot of pride, often veiled as martyrdom and sacrifice. I don’t say this judgmentally, because I’ve acted from this place myself many times. We are human, we fall prey to the demands of ego over and over again. I meditate to notice that impulse and to give myself a chance to make a different choice.

Ultimately, we have to choose to show up for ourselves, and to heal ourselves rather than trying to heal anyone around us. As Tom Robbins said, “We are our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and sometimes we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.” Saving ourselves might look less glamorous, less righteous, less praise-worthy than playing the hero. Saving ourselves is more humbling. It’s also much more rewarding. I find that it’s actually much easier to show up for others, and also easier to get resentful when others don’t show up for us in the ways we expect.

So this is my growth edge: to continually look at where I am trying to fix someone else’s life when there’s a part of me that’s asking for attention, validation, and healing, and then to give myself all of that rather that redirecting it outwards.

My homework for myself, and for you if you’d like to play, is to stop playing hero to others and instead deepen my relationship with self.

Energetically, tonight, I’m going to invite you to clear out all that illusory hero energy and begin the true hero's journey. Let’s begin.

Mary Oliver

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice --

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

"Mend my life!"

each voice cried.

But you didn't stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voice behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do --

determined to save

the only life that you could save.

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