When it comes to Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, I am very much living for the hope of it all. But I think it’s because this relationship is about more than a love story.
It’s about A Heroine’s Journey.
Taylor Swift’s Heroine’s Journey.
And the culmination is unfolding right before our eyes.
What is A Heroine’s Journey?
The Heroine’s Journey is an expansion of The Hero’s Journey – a storytelling pattern that appears across cultures throughout history. We see this pattern repeated in movies, folklore, even the bible.
There are a few key stages, but to put it simply:
The hero/protagonist goes on an adventure. He faces challenges, gains allies along the way, and then comes home transformed.
The Heroine’s journey came about more recently thanks to Maureen Murdock. It is a pattern of storytelling with key stages that are from a women’s point of view.
The Heroine’s Journey acknowledges the unique challenges and opportunities that women face on their own journeys. There’s an emphasis on self-connection, transformation, and inner strength.
The Heroine’s Journey is often motivated by a “threat to oneself,” rather than a “call to adventure,” like the hero’s journey. And it culminates with the heroine accepting her whole self by integrating her masculine and feminine qualities.
And we have been witnessing Taylor Swift navigate her own Heroine’s Journey for years.
The Heroine’s Journey – Taylor’s Version
These are some of the key stages in the Heroine’s Journey. And I include “Taylor’s Version,” as examples of how those stages have played out in her own life.
Step 1: Separation from the Feminine
The heroine starts in a conventional feminine environment that limits her authentic expression.
Taylor’s Version: We can assume that Taylor Swift grew up like many girls in the 80s and 90s – heavily influenced by stories of princesses rescued by princes, and an emphasis on outer beauty and thinness as the most valuable qualities a woman can possess. Yet she is still called to explore her more “masculine” qualities of leadership and strength while pursuing her music career.
Step 2: Identification and Initiation of the Feminine
The heroine explores the nurturing, intuitive, and collaborative aspects of herself. This stage often involves reconnecting with traditional feminine energy.
Taylor’s Version: Taylor Swift writes songs about topics that are typically associated with feminine themes – crushes on boys, weddings and getting married, broken hearts. Her music resonates with young women and girls, but she is also widely criticized for her use of traditional feminine ideas in her music.
Step 3: Road of Trials
The heroine faces challenges and trials that push her beyond her comfort zone, encouraging self-discovery and the recognition of inner strengths.
Taylor’s Version: We have watched Taylor Swift endure many public challenges – from the Kanye fiasco to being shamed by the media for dating throughout her 20s, to losing the rights to own her music. She tries to navigate these situations with assertiveness and strength, but is often criticized for embodying these more “masculine” qualities.
Step 4: Meeting the Goddess
The heroine encounters mentors, guides, symbols, or friends who represent the feminine divine and foster a deeper understanding of her own inherent worth.
Taylor’s Version: Taylor Swift is known for building close relationships with other women who inspire her, collaborate with her on her music, and influence her personal beliefs. We have watched her embrace her own power and shift her understanding of the world through her lyrics and actions.
Step 5: Integration of the Feminine and Masculine:
The heroine balances traditionally feminine and masculine qualities so she can embrace her full spectrum of abilities and characteristics.
Taylor’s Version: Taylor Swift acknowledges double standards women face in “The Man.” She stands up for herself in legal battles, and in the fight to own her music. She is recognized for being smart and savvy in the business world, which is typically a more “masculine” quality. In more recent years, the public is applauding her for her leadership in the music industry, but it hasn’t always been that way.
Step 6: Self-Love and Empowerment:
The heroine develops a profound sense of self-love, acknowledging her worth, embracing her uniqueness, and cultivating a deep connection with herself.
Taylor’s Version: Choosing to re-record her albums is one way in which Taylor Swift is empowering herself after facing the obstacle of losing the rights to own her original masters. She also demonstrates the qualities of self-love, self-compassion, and empowerment through her music, by challenging herself artistically, and the way she carries herself in interviews.
Step 7: Return to the Feminine:
The heroine returns to her community and contributes her newfound understanding of herself, her wisdom, and the lessons of self-love to benefit others. By sharing her journey, she becomes an inspiration for others to embark on their own paths of self-discovery and self-love.
Taylor’s Version: Swifties are inspired by Taylor Swift’s ability to endure hardships and setbacks, fight for what she believes in, and express herself authentically through her art. Now with The Eras Tour, the public is more openly acknowledging her career success, a typically “masculine quality.” And her budding romance with Travis Kelce is creating a full circle moment. Those traditional “feminine” qualities of wanting to love and be loved are not hidden. They aren’t criticized. They are embraced and celebrated.
Why Is Taylor Swift’s Heroine’s Journey Significant?
1. Stories Are Healing
It is in our nature as humans to use stories to reflect on our inner worlds. The act of storytelling has been going on for over 30,000 years and is present in every culture.
Stories can influence you to view your personal narrative in a more positive light, and help you feel less alone in what you’re going through. Which is why, it is essential to hear stories that resonate with your own experiences, values, and the diversity of gender expressions.
What makes Taylor Swift’s Heroine’s Journey so powerful is that it isn’t a myth or a movie. She is a real person, who experiences her trials and tribulations in real time, for all of us to witness and learn from.
2. Her Story Integrates The Masculine and Feminine
After years of repeated heartbreak, humiliation, and growth, Taylor Swift is currently living out a chapter in her Heroine’s Journey that so many of us yearn for ourselves – the happy ending.
Of course, none of us know if Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce will end up living happily ever after.
What’s more important about this stage in her journey is that our Heroine is giving her community of Swifties (and the world at large) a newfound sense of hope and empowerment. But not just by falling in love.
By recognizing her own worth in love. Having a sense of agency in love. And practicing self-love by being unapologetically herself in love. All very important qualities to embrace on your own Heroine’s Journey.
We see this in the enthusiasm and joy on her face. Through the playful and public acknowledgment of her new relationship. And in the ways her new partner displays his respect and deep affection for her.
Right now, we are experiencing a Taylor Swift that integrates the masculine (leadership, strength, assertiveness) and feminine (loving, compassionate, soul-searching) aspects of her nature.
3. Her Journey Is A Metaphor For Your Own Story
For years, Taylor Swift has been inspiring Swifties to connect more deeply to themselves and process their emotions through her music. And you can use her journey as inspiration to help you navigate the trials and tribulations you encounter.
Because you too are the hero/heroine of your own story. You play a profound role in shaping the narrative of your life. And you are capable of navigating each chapter with strength, resiliency, and grace.
So take a deeper look at the stages I listed above. Use them to gain more insight into who you truly are. Let them reveal what you need to cope. And may they serve as a reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Here are some questions to reflect on, or journal about:
- What challenges have you faced in your life, and how have they contributed to your self-growth?
- Who are the mentors or friends that influence your understanding of yourself and your self-worth?
- In what ways can you integrate your masculine and feminine qualities to practice more self-love?
You have what it takes to overcome the obstacles thrown in your path and embrace the different parts of yourself. And you deserve to experience real love along the way.
And when all else fails, you can tap into both your masculine and feminine qualities. Ask yourself, “What Would Taylor Do?” while reminding yourself “If Taylor Struggled With This, It’s Okay If I Do Too.”
If you enjoyed this article, please like it below! And share with anyone else who may benefit. You can also check out A List of Taylor Swift Songs To Process Emotions, and What Taylor Swift’s Best Breakup Song Teaches You About Heartbreak.
And leave a comment – how has Taylor Swift’s story inspired your own Heroine’s Journey?