Boring Return Journey

The title of this post is taken directly from TV Tropes. It describes a story where, after a long, dangerous, difficult quest, the characters’ trip back home is just glossed over. No one wants to hear about how equally long, terribly boring, and/or arduous in different ways that return journey was. We just want to see the heroes get back from their adventure and celebrate their accomplishment.

This makes sense in the realm of Story, but the fact is that in reality, you still have to endure that trek back, with all its potential challenges, even after you’ve won the prize. Or, in spiritual terms (since obviously that’s where I’m going with this) – even after you have the big revelation or the transformative experience, it doesn’t mean you’re just “done” and can rest on your laurels now. There may still be more ordeal ahead, or you may have to ride things out for an uncomfortably long time. Integration after initiation can be just as difficult in its own way. Not to mention the fact that often all you’ve done is won yourself more Work to do, more expectations for your new role. Many times, a singular epiphany, however earth-shattering, takes months or even years to fully grok, and to move from something you just know to something you can actually use in practice.

None of that is the fun or glamorous part. The hardships involved aren’t ones we want to boast about, or even commiserate about (in other words, not part of the Story we will tell others). It’s usually a painfully slow process that might look like nothing at all from the outside, even if it is consuming all of your energy. And yet, if you try to skip it, then at best you’re going to end up with a much more shallow gnosis or metamorphosis.

Stick with it. See that return journey to its end, and take the same care with it as you did when you were preparing for the big ritual or courting the divine presence or making the life-altering oath. Because if you really want your life to be altered, it takes more than just a peak experience, it takes all the follow-up work afterwards. That’s the mark of a real commitment to the path, and to the gods. It’s not enough to slay the dragon and grab its gold, you have to bring that gold safely back to your community and do some good with it. You’ve got to figure out how to use what you’ve been given to better worship Them, or to bring others to Them, or to bring Their blessings into the world.

Those moments or periods of hard-won, long-sought, true divine connection and deep change are wonderful to be sure. But they are only the beginning.

~ by Dver on July 18, 2022.

4 Responses to “Boring Return Journey”

  1. Ha ha, as always you put your finger RIGHT on it!

  2. Thank you for talking about something important but not often talked about!

  3. […] Boring Return Journey — A Forest Door […]

  4. This post comes at a crucial time in my own Work, as you know. You speak words of truth that fortify me for the road that I will be walking in coming days. I give thanks that you write them now. Χαῖρε Θεοί και Δαιμόνες πάντες.

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