The Perilous Realm

It’s part of every fairytale that ever existed—and not just a part, but the defining factor. The Perilous Realm is the place where all the adventures happen. Without it, there would be no story. No journey. If it weren’t for the Perilous Realm, there would be no need for a hero.

The Perilous Realm

Perilous Realms fascinate us, and we are inspired by the heroes who journey through them. A hobbit who makes the trek to Mordor; a girl who steps through a wardrobe. We long for a taste of that adventure and we dream of a chance to be that hero. In fact, we spend so much time dreaming that most of us forget that the Perilous Realm isn’t just a story.

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey may be the most widely impactful story of all time. There is a deep part of all of us that identifies with the struggle to be a hero; the struggle to enter the Perilous Realm.

With so many things competing for our time in this world, and so many voices telling us what to do and who to become, it’s easy to succumb to the pressure to live the easy life. The expected life.

And yet there is something that draws us to return to the Hero’s Journey. Something prompts us to pick up those books or watch those movies that enter the Perilous Realm. There’s a voice inside you telling you that there’s something in there for you. Something grander and much more powerful.

Inside the Perilous Realm we see courage. Truth. Joy in the midst of peril. We see what Gandalf saw: that it is not great power that holds evil at bay, but the everyday acts of ordinary folk; acts of kindness and love.

I think that the reason we continue to return to the Perilous Realm in stories is because what we see there is the life that many of us truly desire.

Entering the Perilous Realm

Life in the Perilous Realm is never easy. It’s as Samwise Gamgee states in The Two Towers:

It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened?

I think many of us find ourselves wondering the same thing in the midst of some of our own struggles. Because the truth is that Life is a Perilous Realm. Each day you wake up is a new adventure. There will be new joys and new pains with each dawning of the sun.

When you’re in a low place, it’s easy to feel like the end will never be happy, just like Frodo. But when you feel like Frodo, remember what Sam said next:

[…] in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even the darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something. Even when you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances for turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding onto something.

We need heroes like Frodo and Sam to enter the Perilous Realm in stories, because if they don’t, we never will. Part of the power of story is the ability to connect us to a world that we have not yet stepped into. Let that world inspire you.

Inside Your Perilous Realm

What is your Perilous Realm? Look around you. What do you struggle with? What frightens you? For most of us, the biggest danger in the Perilous Realm is not realizing that we are there. fortune favors

We find ourselves searching—or worse—waiting for adventure to come to us, and we don’t realize that life is a journey. Your journey. You enter new Perilous Realms every day; at work, at school, in relationships.

The problem is that we’re waiting to feel like a hero. But here’s the thing: heroes never really feel like heroes. If they did, they wouldn’t really be heroes. Because being a hero means standing up when others back down. It means being brave when you feel scared. It means pressing on when you don’t feel like a hero at all. To be a hero is to hold onto something much greater than yourself.

You were created for adventure. Are you willing to open your wardrobe and step out into the Perilous Realm?

What Perilous Realm do you find yourself in, and what are you holding onto?

 If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment and share it with a friend, or reply on Facebook or Twitter. Also, if you would like to learn more about what it means to step out into the Perilous Realm, subscribe to my email list for a free download of my e-book, Open the Door: The Key to Beginning Your Incandescent Life.

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12 thoughts on “The Perilous Realm

    • Amen, Victoria! I think you are definitely right. Half the time, I think it just takes realizing that there is a wardrobe to be stepped through.

  1. I think what stood out to me the most is the part about not feeling like a hero. I have, since the moment that I could understand what stories were, dreamed of being a hero. I think even more intensely than many around me, I have longed to be a hero in an adventure.

    But going through one more summer with poor or no AC doesn’t feel heroic. Doing school through the summer, or for months after your peers have all graduated doesn’t feel heroic. Trying to calm down a panic attack and remind yourself that you are OK does not feel heroic.

    You are so right, the Perilous Realm is life. It is the big moments, and the small ones. It is the pleasant people, and the people that force you to either cling to Christ, or have to ask forgiveness for sinning against them. It is doing the dishes, or adopting an orphan from Africa. It is being Corrie Ten Boom at home when she served her mother hand and foot while her mother was paralyzed and mute in a bed, and Corrie Ten Boom in a Nazi concentration camp.

    Thank you for sharing, this post really meant a lot to me.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Grace! That is so true. Small things rarely feel heroic, but the truth is that it’s the buildup of small things that makes a person a true hero. It’s what you do when nobody is watching.

      I’m so glad this post was encouraging to you. Your comment made my day!

  2. Love love love the LotR quotes. When people say that those movies are boring it gets me me so mad? How can someone say a movie with as much depth and heart and not to mention battles as they have be boring? Anyway … this was a really encouraging post. Loved it. ^ ^ I suppose my perilous realm right now is breaking into the publishing world. It’s a very daunting task indeed. XD

    • Who in their right mind could think LotR is boring? Like are you even a human? 😛

      Thanks so much, Victoria! I really appreciate the comments. (:

      Oh, indeed. I can only imagine that the publishing world is a very perilous realm. Good luck with your book!

  3. This was inspirational in many ways. 😀 It’s good to stop and realise that we are on a journey through a perilous realm and we have opportunities to be heroes every day.

    • Yes! And it’s the everyday things that make a true hero. It’s the person you are when nobody is watching.