Sunday, July 26, 2015


Superheros is one of my favorite songs from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I can't say I'm really a fan of the film itself, but the songs are really interesting. I used this one because it fits the theme I want to talk about.

It's been a recent realization that everything I've thought of as "bad" emotion or a personal flaw in thinking, might actually be a super hero power that I lack instructions on how to use properly.

The idea of a caped crusader not knowing how to use their powers isn't new. And every one of the Guardians of the Galaxy has their own kryptonite and personal failings. None of us are alone in that.

They even produced an entire TV series featuring Ralph, a teacher, who receives a super hero suit complete with cape. Leaving the alien encounter with the box with the suit inside, the instruction book falls to the ground. Ralph then has to figure out the suit all on his own. I especially like one scene where a boy sees him trying to fly and tells him he's not doing it right. "Ya gotta take three steps and put your arms out." It works and Ralph becomes the Greatest American Hero.

We wont be as lucky as Ralph to find an observant kid to guide us. Often the lessons take painful experiences repeated over sometimes generations.

Though I wish it had been a better relationship lesson for her own sake, I did learn from my mother how to use my romantic relationship super power. It comes in a variety of flavors, but goes something like this: Don't marry drunks, don't let anyone beat on you and don't look in places where people do the things you don't like. Mom taught me the lesson by repeating this pattern.

I guess my mother is a great example of a person who never realized her own personal abilities. I'm grateful, I wish she had taught me more so I didn't have to figure a few things on my own. Like I knew to avoid abusive drunks, but it never occurred to me that there were sober assholes out there. That would have been useful information. I'm doubtful she knew that.

So some flaws are fairly easy to see as a power. They even make comic books out of some of them. The Incredible Hulk gets angry and though he ruins his clothes and smashes random things, he usually helps others with his rage.

I feel feelings of my own anger let me know something around me is wrong. Now that wrongness may or may not be solvable, but it's rarely random or arbitrary.

I count my general sense of emotion as one of my super hero powers. That ability to see, emulate and respond to others saved my life. Growing up with erratic caregivers means THEIR emotional state can make my life hellish. I learned to read them enough to avoid them when they were dealing with their own wounds. Such powers are not always effective, but they can be embraced for what they can do.

Take your biggest flaw, the thing that you are afraid people will find out about you. The one that when someone points it out you apologize for. Could it be an untapped ability?

Is there a chance that it exists for a reason and you just haven't figured it out as yet? Think on it, get back to me. I'm going to get a copy of the Greatest American Hero series and have a look at how Ralph sorted his awesomeness.

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