Dorothy comes back home to Kansas with a view on life totally changed from the frightened, angry little girl who was blown to Oz. The space between included lions and tigers and bears (oh my), not to mention a wicked witch or two and flying monkeys.
Hercules, Odysseus, Jason and Aeneas all known classical heroes, spent much of their stories in storms, battling monsters, making huge mistakes and traveling into the Underworld.
Jesus was the object of religious and political rejection, betrayed by some of his closest friends, and horribly tortured in death by his oppressors even as he stood with the humble, the poor and the least.
Martin Luther King, Jr, the leader of civil rights in our country spent days and nights in jail, threatened by both authorities and local thugs, maligned by academics and bishops and died at the hands of a sniper.
And these are the famous stories of those transformed by the darkness they traverse. We recognize their stories, the historical, the mythological and the legendary as those of shining lights and beacons of humanity.
But, I have my dark places to journey through. You have your dark places to journey through. Most human beings do. What takes time is the understanding that those are the very journeys that bring us to our best places. Our best places may not win us recognition as heroes or saviors or leaders, but they result from a deep, inner change that happens precisely because of the dark places we have traveled through.
These are our labors. My labors. Your labors. Take time today and allow yourself to own the dark places that you have been through. Allow time and insight into the better you that you have become because you made the journey.
Very often, we wouldn’t wish these dark places on anyone, and yet we know. They have changed us, and we own a wisdom that is ours as a result. Ours to share with the world. Know, today, that the world is a better place for your journey.