Who, or what, is your (current) Threshold Guardian?


In the genre of myth, there is always a Threshold Guardian. The Threshold Guardian is a person or set of circumstances that the hero or heroine must face and overcome if he or she is to accomplish the dream, win the prize or actualize potential. Have you noticed that, as you walk deeper into creative action, there are always thresholds that challenge you? These thresholds are frustrating because they seem counterproductive to the pursuit. They block us with sometimes gut-wrenching obstacles. However, on the other side of the guardian, we often see the immense value the guardian brought to the moment–and to our lives.


In my life, I’ve had so many Threshold Guardians:


  • An editor who kept sending my drafts back again and again.
  • A Dean that challenged why “anyone would study the topic of your dissertation”
  • The many requirements I’ve had to meet to  enter a new realm of study, work or life.
  • A resistant client or family member.
  • The aftermaths of tragedy
  • The consequences that emerged as a result of my own poor choices
  • A life-narrative (about myself) I’ve had to overcome in order to move forward


On I could go. How about you?


Threshold Guardians can be big or small, human or situational. But no matter the size, each one presents us with vexing challenges to overcome. Though they can be frustrating indeed, those guardians might be exactly what we need. They evoke in us the energy to overcome. Additionally, the  give us a most coveted gift: greater life-capacity and resilience on the other side.


What Threshold Guardians are you facing today? Engage them and find something better on the other side.