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  • Writer's pictureErika Murphy

The life that awaits

We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. ~ Joseph Campbell

The new year is traditionally a time when we take stock of our lives and consider what we might change going forward. Mythologist Joseph Campbell, in the quote above, encourages us to take up the life that "is waiting for us." But how do we embark on this new life? The "life we planned" consists partly of our conscious plans, but is also formed by the unconscious beliefs, habits, and behaviors that we have accrued since birth. The rich life that awaits us lies on the other side of our mind's assumed limitations and patterns.

How do we let go of the "planned" life? Joseph Campbell's model of the Hero's Journey points to the great risks that the hero must take in order to successfully complete the spiritual journey. The life that awaits requires risking our sense of identity and foundation. We discover our new path through spiritual practices, dream work, therapy, spiritual direction, and other tools of personal growth. First and foremost, we must let go of the idea that we know who we are and that we understand the world around us. The life that awaits is imbued with God's eternal mystery.

Let 2022 be the year you deepen your spiritual journey, allowing wonder and curiosity to be your guides as you explore the path, find your mentors, and enter those caves that you most fear. Joseph Campbell -- as well as all mystic traditions -- promise that, in the end, you will discover your true nature and find your bliss!

It's Rigged It's rigged - everything, in your favor. So there is nothing to worry about. Is there some position you want, some office, some acclaim, some award, some con, some lover, maybe two, maybe three, maybe four -- all at once, maybe a relationship with God? I know there is a goldmine in you, when you find it the wonderment of the earth's gifts will lay aside as naturally as does a child a doll.

But, dear, how sweet you look to me kissing the unreal; comfort, fulfill yourself in any way possible -- do that until you ache, until you ache, then come to me again.

~ Rumi, trans. Daniel Ladinsky

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