What’s your super power? I love to ask that question. Not, What do you wish your super power was, but what IS yours? The one you were born with (or pretty much…nature/nurture…oh you know). Mine is Butting In. I inherited it from my dad. Like him, I try to be helpful, not bossy (although I do joke, “I’m not an expert, just a know-it-all”).
Anyway, that one came pretty naturally. In recent years I have developed another that’s more self-serving: I can sort of feel what The Terminator sort of sees. You know, that readout thing? Let me back up.
I’ve been known to, okay, have the potential to get super angry, which I don’t do anymore, or as much…or so often, and I’ve also been known to break things (or nearly break things, which sometimes requires an emergency room visit to find out). Well over the years that gets expensive, annoying, embarrassing*, and ultimately very humbling. Something eventually clicked (or maybe it was that we used the last spare windowpane), and I wanted to get better. I believe that from my change of intention, the super power gods bestowed on me a kind of pause button for during the fewer-but-still-occurring-because-who-are-we-kidding anger spells. This pause button (with sort of Terminator readout) directs me to safety when I’m holding that hot cup of tea, or wielding something not safe to be wielding. And yes, sometimes safety is still something you can throw at. I’m a grown up, I can judge if it was worth it and yes, sometimes it is damn it. So it’s not a super power of patience, but of (more) correctly directed um, outpourings of energy. And when you look at it that way, it’s pretty powerful.
But I wouldn’t recommend it. Too many scars.
The point is, that made me think we can grow our own super powers. I’m working on one right now and it seems to have good early results. May I share? It’s the Dig Down One More Layer thing I mentioned earlier. Like an onion, can you peel away another layer? Or shallot, or artichoke, hell I don’t care. Anyway, try starting on a physical level. Close your eyes and think about relaxing your shoulders. Take a deep breath, then exhale. Now, think just a little more about relaxing them. Maybe you exhale a little deeper and can feel yourself sink just a little more. That’s all I mean. It’s a baby step, but it’s really cool and gives a clue about pausing and sinking deeper.
Next, well for me it was dealing with angry outbursts (ya think?). I decided to sink a little deeper. In addition to learning how to be safer when I’m angry, I wanted to face my anger and find out what the heck was going on. I wanted that layer to be peeled off. When I started looking at this anger it exposed a more tender part, and it was so much sweeter. It gave me the power of pause (and awesome metaphysical Terminator safety readout, hello?!) and prepared me for something else. Dealing with Anger makes you ready to take on Sadness. Sadness is no pushover, and it gives Compassion easier admittance.
Just let yourself peel away one more layer. Drill one thought deeper. It can lead to that next super power. It’s called Bravery. When we start facing ourselves we gain the bravery to live more deeply.
That’s a pretty cool Super Power.
*Don’t worry, I still have plenty of embarrassing actions at which I excel.