Usually a Superpower refers to a state that has a dominant position in international relations and is characterized by its unparalleled ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. Thank you once again Wikipedia. But there is an emerging, at least in my little universe, group of women that are bantering the term about regularly. These women are a decade…eh hem or more…younger than I but I love the way they think.
Andrea Scher, Karen Walrond, Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert: You have superpowers! they say.
Yes, I do. Apparently I’ve been developing and honing them for years. But I’ve never referred to them as such, it would never occur to me to refer to them as such because…who the hell knows why. Here’s how I see it:
Writing. In a straight forward, tell me what you want to say and I’ll help you say it way. Bring me your voice and your thoughts and I’ll translate for you. I can do that.
Listening. Tell me your story, tell me your pain, tell me your troubles, tell me your predicament, God forbid you tell me your joy. People talk to me, not just my people but a lot of people. Total strangers on a line somewhere who are uncomfortable will talk to me. Any one in any situation will gravitate to me and begin a conversation. Kids will talk to me even dogs will talk to me. It’s the face my best friend keeps telling me.
Exhaling. After hearing and translating and offering I have finally learned that my job is not to fix. My job, the reason I’m here, what I can do, is give. And then exhale. Do NOT make the offer, do NOT volunteer, do NOT deprive yet another individual of the satisfaction of bringing themselves into their own. Even if that means falling down, come to find out the getting up is the reward, the character builder, the friend of resourcefulness. This superpower was hard earned and it’s still in its initial stages but oh it is going to be big big big.
Process. It’s that interesting balance of common sense, pragmatism and foresight that somehow eludes others. Here’s the secret, it’s not a superpower it’s the ability to look one minute, I mean just one minute, beyond what YOU are doing. If you can master that you will see how, wait for it, others are being effected. A smooth process is about flow, knowing where the flow is being crimped makes you a superhero. There you go, please, get started on this one yourself.
Today is Mother’s Day and usually I struggle through this holiday as a Father’s Daughter. My sister and I spend every Sunday morning with our Mother so to gain perspective in this struggle I came to the conclusion that every Sunday is Mother’s Day but today had cards, and hot bakery rolls and my best behavior. The live and let live, let it go already superpower is still a work in progress. I’m hoping once you recognize a superpower it’s much easier to develop.
I know like I know that these women are on to something when they profess that we all have superpowers. But it’s not about bending steel with your bear hands or xray vision. As Superheroes themselves, they possess that most invaluable superpower of them all; generosity.