Until recently, I didn’t know that superheroes are real. But now I have proof.
You might pass by one and not realize the power they have within themselves. Even worse, you might have an assumption about, and possibly pre-judge their abilities before learning of their superpowers. This is sadly a common mistake many of us are guilty of.
Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes.
I believe one of the things that makes them so special, is that they can pass as regular people. They do not wear their hero clothing to the office, to the store, or to the laundry. This understatement of their abilities I find encouraging and uplifting.
The cool things about these superheroes are that they look like everyone else.
Their power is so extraordinary, yet they do not show it off. Like Wonder Woman, Superman, or the Black Panther, they have an outward identity that does not give away their abilities. They go about their lives looking like one of us.
When they are called to act, they ratchet up their courage and transform into heroes.
Their day to day roles may be mom, or retail clerk, long-distance truck driver, construction worker, cook, or general manager. They go about their daily lives not drawing attention to the amazing and life-changing power they possess.
It is possible some do not even realize they are heroes.
Many are just trying to make it through the day and be a little better at the end than they were at the beginning. This modesty hides their convictions about things that are important to them. They have learned to be superheroes in many cases with trial by fire.
Their struggles have made them stronger. The things they have faced have made them believe that change is possible. Their daily struggle is part of what makes them heroes. Yet most of them would say they are just doing what they must to survive. My path to this elite club is still a question mark.
When I am in the room where these superheroes gather, I am still struggling to see how I belong.
Yes, I too have faced challenges, but the stories of personal tragedy and ultimately triumph that get shared make me believe that I am in the company of greatness. My personal struggles have given way to personal growth. But the challenges I face, to me, seem minor when compared to my heroes.
When you think about it, everyone we meet has some sort of personal challenge that they face.
Some succumb to them, and never get the chance to resolve them and grow. Others, like myself, spend years hiding them, concealing them from even myself, in the hopes that they will just go away. My personal relationship with depression and it’s impulsive, destructive behaviors has been a challenge for me all my adult life.
And then there are my heroes.
They are facing their challenges. They are facing the very things that have had control over their lives. They are standing their ground and doing things to not back down, to not be the victim, to not allow life to beat them.
They have courage.
Courage to face their demons. The courage to say to their challenges, “you will not defeat me.” Some days they may not truly believe that, but they say it anyway. They present themselves in front of their challenges as if they believe in themselves. And doing this day after day makes it true.
And even when they are hungry, tired, lonely or sad, they show up.
They have seen the consequences of not being focused, of not being in control, and they say, “no more.” This is inspiring to me. These superheroes have shown me how powerful self-determination can be.
They are witness to how powerful believing in yourself can be.
These heroes are my inspiration and I thank them for their courage and the inspiration they give me to go forward and become courageous, too.