3. Refusal of the Call
As it turns out, calls aren’t always easy to answer. The hero might consider The Call too much to handle or out of her wheelhouse. The comfort of home could turn into a trap and keep her from taking the perilous road, even if it is the right road. We can relate to that point in time where the right decision seems like the wrong one. Even if the hero is eager to take the journey, she will have to confront her fears. These can look like doubts or even second thoughts. When the hero faces her fears and decides to refuse the call which may cause her to suffer as a result, we bond more with the hero.
How does Doris refuse the call?
“And in their teeny tiny voices, they said, “We’re afraid of the outside world! We don’t want to live alone anymore. We all want to live together here with you!”
“Well, whatever made you feel this way?” Doris said. “The sun is still shining, and the wood is still as it always was. Nothing has changed.”
“We heard there are fairy-catchers out there that are looking for the funniest fairies in all the land,” a fairy said.
Doris dropped her honey cake.
“What? Why would they want to trap funny fairies? There must be some kind of misunderstanding,” Doris said.
“No, it gets worse! There’s people who are harvesting the wings of fairies to use in special potions….I forget what they call these creatures….” another fairy said.
“I think they called them witches…” a fairy chimed in.
A collective buzz of fear went through the air. The fairies trembled. Doris felt their fear, which almost knocked down one of her not-up-to-date paintings off the wall.
So the fairies abandoned their practice of living alone in their own teensy lairs with the most up-to-date artwork and the best kitchen appliances because they became afraid of the outside world. They believed there was strength in numbers.
Doris’s cavernous lair became a home for all the fairies, and life became like one gigantic sleepover party. Since Doris didn’t like housekeeping very much, her lair was messier than the lairs of the other fairies, and she didn’t have the most up-to-date artwork or the latest in kitchen appliances. But those things didn’t matter to the fairies anymore. They were happy to be together in their refuge from the outside world where strange happenings occurred. Inexplicable things like disappearances of fellow fairies and even the clipping of their wings.”
As you can see, Doris is a reluctant hero. She didn’t believe that there were such terrible creatures in the world and that the bad things that the fairies talked about could actually occur. She doubts and doesn’t want to be the one to do something about it because that meant the small fairies living in her huge home would discover it was messier than most, and that her kitchen appliances and artwork were out of date.
Were you ever called to take action or do something out of your comfort zone, but felt compelled to refuse the call? Isn’t it incredible that this is what heroes do? They face their fears and it isn’t easy. What fear or doubt impeded you answering your call? Write down the time when you refused the call — When the right decision seemed like the wrong decision.
PS Have you read my story about Doris-In-The-Green, from my forthcoming book, 21 Olive Trees: A Dedication to the Hero’s Journey? You can download the story HERE.