Calls to Adventure

Many Forms
Calls to Adventure come in many forms. In fact, we constantly run up against them, big and small, all day long. Someone gives you a shopping list, your tire goes flat, your mother invites you to dinner on Sunday, the baby starts crying, the trash still sits there not taken out, a meal needs cooking, dirty dishes sit in the sink, and so on. These all represent Calls to Adventure and we may choose to respond or refuse to respond. Most of the time we can handle this level of Call.

If you think you are enlightened,

go spend a week with your parents.

Ram Dass

But, sometimes, we notice something going on, or someone close to us mentions something they’ve noticed, that goes beyond the usual, day-to-day stuff of life. A doctor or a therapist might refer to these as “symptoms” of a potentially deeper issue. We can, if we allow ourselves to feel optimistic, think of these symptoms as true Calls to Adventure toward a Hero’s Journey. If something like this happens to you, I would be happy to talk it over with you and together we can figure out whether it needs further attention. Just contact me.

It is more important to know what sort

of person has a disease than to know

what sort of disease a person has.


An Incomplete List of Calls to Adventure
The list below contains real examples from real people who have had human experiences that set them on a Hero’s Journey toward a better place in life. Some of these examples, especially the ones later down the list, may seem scary to you. You don’t need to read those if you don’t want to. Just read until you have found something that sounds familiar, maybe not exactly your situation, but something like it. Once you have found something, contact me to talk things over.

You have a strong feeling of sadness: someone close to you, a person or a pet, gets seriously ill, moves away, leaves you, or even dies; or you lose a job, get a demotion, or do not get a raise you expected; or you get bad grades in school; or you lose some level of functionality mentally or physically; or you lose your home or job or are afraid that might happen; or you find yourself crying for no good reason; and so on.

Photo by Rostyslav Savchyn on Unsplash

You feel very tense or anxious about the future: you have a big presentation to make; or you’ve been in a car accident lately and feel anxious about driving; or you’ve been invited to a party and feel unsure about going; or you feel the need to tell someone something and feel afraid of how they might react; or you’re not sure you can handle even venturing outside your house; or you aren’t even sure why you feel anxious, you just do; and so on.

You feel regrets about the past: you did something about which you feel shame or guilt; or you feel as though you failed at something or failed someone; or you wish you had made a different decision in the past; or you feel afraid you hurt someone; or you find yourself in legal trouble for something you did but did not mean to do; and so on.

You struggle with a close relationship: every interaction with the person ends in an argument; or you feel afraid the person might hurt themselves or do something bad; or you feel unclear about whether you love them any more, or whether they love you; or you used to love them a lot, but now you can’t stand them; or they do things that you just do not understand; and so on.

You feel lost and confused: you feel lost in life, unable to find direction any more; or your world seems meaningless all of a sudden; or you have lost faith, in God, in life, in yourself; or the words “dark night of the soul” resonate well with how you feel; and so on.

Something very strange and distressing happens: you have physical feelings or emotions that come out of nowhere, for no good reason; or you suddenly find yourself re-living some terrible event in your past, as if you had traveled back in time; or you have very realistic and terrifying nightmares; or you lose blocks of time, like a “blackout;” or you hear voices, either inside your head or outside your head, that others cannot hear; or you see things that others cannot see; or you look in the mirror and do not recognize yourself; and so on.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest

souls; the most massive characters are

seared with scars.

Kahlil Gibran

If any of these sound even remotely like you, contact me.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Dr. Dan is no longer taking new clients, but remains available to current and former clients.

To find a therapist with openings in their schedule, you may wish to search the Psychology Today Therapist Directory. It enables you to search for people who take your insurance, have relevant specialties, and more.