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Captain America embodies everything that is good about a superhero.
He was a runt, couldn’t join the army to fight in World War II, was bullied, and yet, he had all the qualities of a patriot and a good person.
His one desire in life was to be able to fight for his country and that wish came true after a freak accident in a laboratory. Not only did this lab experiment give him superhuman strength and abilities, but it also enhanced all of his virtuous qualities as well.
In the end, Captain America would not only defend the land that he loved so dearly, but he would go on to join other superheroes and fight for the universe!
Wow! Talk about “be careful what you wish for,” huh?
Deep down, there is a hero inside all of us. We all have a superpower that has yet to be unlocked.
In my journey as a single mother, several superpowers have been revealed. The irony is that I have never received any of what I was able to give my daughter or those around me. Sure, I have had a taste of love and acceptance, but that was about it—just a taste and not enough to fill the voids in this Swiss cheese heart of mine.
Now, you may wonder, “How can I unlock these superpowers which you speak of?”
The answer is simple: it’s not easy. You have to go through the valley.
Generally, we discover these unique traits that give that little bit of “extra to our ordinary” in times of stress and chaos.
Think about the X-Men. Their mutant capabilities manifested right around the time of puberty—one of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful periods in a human being’s life. There was nothing calm about their transformation.
The same goes for us in the ordinary world. In this age of spirituality, there is a strong desire for us to release the virtues of love, patience, kindness, and determination peacefully as everyone holds hands and sings “We Are the World.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Just like an olive needs to be pressed in order to extract the oil, so do our spirits need to be crushed—so to speak—when we are in a season of discovering our greatest virtues.
It has almost been a year since my breakup.
Upon reflecting on this relationship, I had to take deep responsibility for my own failings in the relationship without blaming my partner—and I had to release the excessive baggage along the way.
After doing this excruciating healing, which hurt like a you-know-what, I was able to look at the good things that came out of it. I discovered that I really do have amazing superpowers that actually make me a great, worthwhile person and partner, and those powers were extracted during this particular time.
Despite my partner’s failings and rejections, I decided that I am indeed a worthwhile person. I decided this for myself and owned this decision on my own terms. I discovered a treasure trove of inner gifts. I discovered that when the relationship breaks down, my commitment and dedication actually increase. In many cases, they decrease among individuals, which leads to infidelity, divorce/separation, and other issues.
When things got tough, I held my ground and worked to improve myself. It was messy and quite chaotic, but the fact of the matter was that I would not give up. In my mind, you do not give up on the person you love.
In this day and age, when it is so easy to discard someone for another, holding one’s ground when a relationship gets rocky is truly rare.
What makes this extraordinary in my eyes is that no one has ever held their ground for me out of love. I also learned that I have the ability to create and maintain a foundation for my daughter even though I have no real foundation for myself.
This separation completely uprooted my daughter and me geographically, but in the end, she still had me. I may have been a mess, but she never lost her friends, school, or her mother because I was the foundation and still am. Although the embers of my heart were cooling, there was enough of me left to continue to be the home fire for my beautiful family.
Giving what you have never received is truly a superpower in itself.
In a world where goodness is paid back with suffering, and evil is sometimes rewarded with friendships, romance, and money, one’s morale can tank without a doubt. It is easier to give what you have always received, but to do this when you have been only fed breadcrumbs or starved out by the world is quite another matter.
There are many superheroes out there right now who have no idea what they are because the response from the world is the exact opposite of what they give. To believe or even give without seeing is to be truly blessed beyond measure.
Those of us who have gotten to this point in our lives—even though this belief has yet to translate into the so-called 3D world—have had to endure abuse, isolation from community, betrayal from those who called us a friend at one time, and yet, we know that there is an unseen force who loves us beyond measure.
That is a superpower!
It is a superpower that gives us no physical evidence to reinforce our belief, yet we dare to believe and try again because our existence is enough to validate that unconditional love from the heavenly realms.
To the unsung heroes:
I know you don’t feel like you have what it takes to love or be loved. Rest assured you do, because you are the love this world needs. You wake up every day knowing the pain of isolation and fear because the world has proven to you over and over again that there is nothing out there. Yet, you get up and do your best.
You are not crazy. You are not delusional. You are strong. The beauty of your incredible, heartfelt strength radiates from your smile, kindness, unconditional love, and acceptance of those around you. You have survived countless battles, judged by those who could never even dream of joining the frontlines because, to them, you look like a mess, and you dare to fight.
You dare to dream. You dare to believe. That is heroism. That is what the saints endured day in and day out. Oftentimes, their reward from this world was death. You truly are a hero for opening your heart to a world that has simplified love into tiny little sound bites, hashtags, and memes. You truly are a hero for believing and giving beyond your reality.
When we are able to give what we have not received, we have indeed unlocked a tremendous superpower from within us. It is our innate virtues combined with a blessing from God, the Universe, or however you want to name it from above.
However, it is only when we decide for ourselves that we are worthwhile people that we’ll discover just how great we truly are.
You loved fiercely…be proud of that.
You loved unapologetically, made messy mistakes, and even repeated old behaviors—but you dared do better while others resisted you to try to keep you bound to your past.
Let them go, and you become free. You are the hero of your story because you dared, just like Captain America.