You’ve walked into the Innermost Cave to confront your worst fears once and for all, and you know there is no turning back; you either make it or break it.
The Supreme Ordeal
This is the final test to which your challenges and helpers have been helping you to grow stronger for, this is the final stage of your initiation from the inexperienced, inauthentic state you started out from into a true Hero.
Remember the saying ‘it is always darkest before the dawn?’ You’ll know when you’re at this stage in your journey when everything seems bleak. You’ve journeyed into your Innermost Cave to face down the Evil One and suddenly you realize that he, she or it is stronger than you thought.
All hope seems lost, your confidence is sinking, you’re afraid and trapped. There is nowhere to run, this is the deepest and darkest point in your Hero’s Journey.
We’ve all faced times like this. I know I have, how about you? When was the last time you felt this way, or are you facing a similar situation in your life right now?
And yet, there is something inside of you that won’t give in. It might be someone else you know who’s depending on you. It might be the knowledge that if you don’t stop the Evil One he will continue to wreck his evil on others. Or it might just be the fact that if you don’t do something now, you know you’ll never be able to live it down.
Whatever the case, you have no choice, for the greater good you know you cannot give up, you have to rise above your despair and go forward.
This is what begins to trigger The Change. Regardless of whatever dangers might befall you, you’re determined to move forward and end the Evil One’s hold over you, no matter the cost. And that commitment triggers a rush of positive resources that have been dwelling and growing within you from the moment you started out on your Hero’s Journey.
With this decision, you have proven that despite the very real danger of failure, and despite facing your worst demons and fears, you have chosen to see through your Hero’s Journey until the very end. In some stories, this part of the Hero’s Journey is also called The Sacrifice.
What is the greater cause for which you’re willing to overcome your limitations and push on? What are the resources you’ll need which would help you do that?
You take up arms against the Evil One and begin your final assault. For good or evil, this is the turning point. With the rush of new resources strengthening you, you rise up against despair and overwhelming odds, you face your biggest challenge, your most difficult test of all.
And, stretching yourself past your limits, calling every skill, strength and talent in you, you do what you once thought impossible: you triumph over the Evil One.
It could be an argument you finally win, a decision finally made, someone agreeing to leave you in peace, or a deal secured. It might be a rule changed, or a rule made. It might be a limiting belief you finally break, a moment of hard-won clarity you gain about your own life.
When you finally defeat the Evil One, who represents the worst of the negative energies you face in your Hero’s Journey towards your treasure, it also means that you’ve become the master of these negative energies. You’ve stretched yourself so far beyond your old self from the Ordinary World that you will no longer return back to that state, your initiation is complete and you are now a true Hero.