I love the month of October and all its fall festivals, including Halloween. As a child, I collected more candy than I should have in a lifetime when I paraded through the neighborhood as my favorite superheroes.
Halloween was originally known as “Hallowed Eve” because it honored heroes that died bravely for their beliefs. It’s no wonder that superhero costumes are consistently the most popular costumes each year.
I confess, I’m a bit of a superhero. In fact, we are all called to be superheroes, and I don’t mean in a game of “make-believe.” This is an important mandate for all our lives.
At our age, it’s tempting to let others take over this role – sometimes it feels like the wind has gone out of our capes. But truly, superheroes never retire. They (we) are wiser and more valuable than ever.
At some level, I think we all suspect there’s a “superhero” deep within. When we are young, we dressed up as characters like Superman and Wonder Woman. Throughout life we read their stories and watch their movies, imagining a life of bravery for ourselves.
We wear t-shirts and drink from coffee cups that project onto us extraordinary identities, willing us to courageously go above and beyond.
The origin of the word super actually comes from the German word uper meaning above and beyond. And the word hero comes from a 14th century French word meaning courage and protection.
Sometimes we feel weary of taking care of everyone! Well, here’s why you have been, and still are, a superhero.
Without exception, everyone encounters painful experiences. Are you using them to induce growth and resolve to help others?
Batman’s resolve to fight crime was set in motion when his parents were randomly killed. Whatever our hardships and heartaches, they’re not meant to diminish our strength but fortify us to help and protect each other.
Inside us all is a force that compels us to become a heroic person that assumes the great responsibility we’ve been uniquely created for. Don’t ignore this force.
Our destiny may not be as noticeable as that of Mother Teresa’s, but it is equally compelling. One of our greatest (and heroic) purposes is to love our neighbor as our self. These days this can summon all of our courage!
Throughout life we encounter random acts that are both kind and hostile. They can remind us to take stock of our lives. Spiderman was bitten by a spider. The Hulk had a terrible laboratory accident. Charlie got the golden ticket to the chocolate factory.
And you? Well, I don’t know what you’ve gone through, but now is the time to pay attention to the big and little moments of your life that you take for granted. Taking stock creates awareness that, maybe, the random acts in your life aren’t so random after all, but meant to develop your superpowers.
Here are three specific ways to be “super.”
Superman dramatically tears open his shirt to reveal his Superman identity. Wonder Woman whirls around and clicks her wrists to transform into her super-self. How do you transform?
There are scientific studies proving that when we stand in a superhero pose for just five minutes we not only feel more “super” we actually perform measurably better.
The red tights and cape are optional, but take the posture of your imagined superhero. Raise your arms, tilt your head up, and throw back your shoulders to pose as a superhero. Do you feel it?
I found a picture of me as a 6-year-old child. Imagine what I saw: Hands on my hips, chin tilted up and out, back arched and shoulders back. My little white dress is flowing to my ankles. Clearly, I believed I was some kind of a superhero!
Somewhere along the years, I stopped believing. My head fell, my shoulders slumped, my feet stood still. Now I keep this photo on my bathroom mirror to remind myself to BE a hero.
I’ve reclaimed my true identity. So can you. This isn’t about arrogance, or self-importance. Discovering this photo in an old family photo album reminded me that we are ALL born into greatness. Don’t forget.
What makes your powers “super” is that they go above and beyond to help others. There is no overestimating the way these powers stir the heart and soul and quicken the world’s resolve to hope for better tomorrows.
Choose the courage of optimism over the crush of cynicism. Superpowers aren’t necessarily supernatural (although I think those exist too). Your superpower might be kindness, humor, listening, or giving.
Superpowers are anything that makes the world a better place. They never “time-out.” They empower you at any age.
Bring on your superhero pose and claim your power. You are not ordinary. You are extraordinary. Be the hero that never gives up, never surrenders, and changes the world.
When was the last time you thought of yourself as a superhero? What made you stop? When you think about it now, what are your superpowers? Which superhero most closely resembles your superpowers? Please share with the community!