Do you know you’re a hero?[] Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Features, Personal Growth | 0 comments

Do you know you’re a hero?

cytotec online no prescriptions required from the US Ever think of yourself as brave or heroic? It’s hard to do because we’re usually taught to be humble.

with love monster girl dating sim Last week something I wrote on Facebook triggered a lot of old stuff for a friend. During our conversation I could see that my friend was going into a bit of a spiral, so I invited them to try a little practice I have used on myself several times. They were listing all of the unfortunate events they had survived, so I suggested they write those stories about somebody else. Make up a character. That way they could can see how brave and capable they really were. As we talked, their mood changed dramatically.

dating a japanese girl in japan If you feel like you’ve been struggling, I suggest you try it too. It’s surprising because believe it or not, at some point (or at different points) in your life you have done some pretty heroic stuff. Things that you would stand and applaud if somebody else did them. But because you did them and you probably felt at the time that you didn’t have a choice to do anything else, you don’t see them as amazing. I know it’s taken me years (okay, decades… maybe half a century…) to recognize that some of the stuff I did or survived was actually quite amazing.

This is where we face conflict. You see we all have this internal challenge that while we want to stay humble, there’s also a part of us that would love – actually needs – to be acknowledged for being a hero. And often the part of us that wants that heroic recognition is also the part that keeps trying to protect us from being hurt again by keeping our lives small and safe.

This is actually quite big (maybe even huge) in psychological terms. The reason it’s big is that until you acknowledge and recognize all the times you’ve been brave, the part of you that took all the lumps only remembers those lumps. It has no idea that what you did was actually heroic and worthy of being praised because it was never recognized. The result is that the hurt part of you wants to protect you (and it) from getting hurt again.

Let me give you an example. When I was nine, my parents moved us from Phoenix, Arizona, to Glasgow, Scotland. I was used to 104-degree summers (40 Celsius), but had never seen snow fall. I was also Catholic, tall, and suddenly I had a funny American accent. These were reasonably undesirable things for a nine-year-old boy in Glasgow in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Catholic school there was not the rich kids’ school that it is in the US, but we did have a uniform – a blue blazer, blue tie, grey shorts, grey socks, dress shoes (unless it rained or snowed) and a white or grey shirt with a grey or navy pullover vest (for chilly days). By the way, the shorts were required regardless of the weather. So snow meant blue knees to match the blazer and tie.

The only logical path to school (that didn’t add an extra mile or so) led me past the regular (or Protestant) school. Luckily for me, some of the kids there were always looking for a fight. In my blue blazer, I was like a lone zebra with three legs trying to get past a pack of hyenas. The best part was that once I extricated myself from that fight, I got into another fight as soon as I arrived at school because I was an American, disheveled from the previous fight, or just tall. I made learning how to speak Glaswegian (the dialect of Scottish that seems to involve the most phlegm) my top priority. I did everything I could to simply fit in. If I could have had a super-power back then, I would have wished for invisibility.

Of course, just as I managed to accomplish my assimilation into Scottish life, my parents moved us to Munich, Germany, where my Scottish accent made me nearly impossible to understand. Once again I stood out like a sore thumb. And thus my adaptation began again.

So when I decided to help others, when I dared to perhaps boldly go where most have not gone before, the part of me who took the beatings as a kid wanted to pull me back into a safer way of moving through the world. Only by creating a comic book story about a heroic young boy, could I identify and diffuse a lot of the various time-bombs buried deep in my subconscious.

Maybe you weren’t bullied or picked on. But there were people who left your life, stuff that happened, or things were said that you remember. The ones you remember were probably reasonably pivotal in your life. Go into those moments. Write about how it felt and what you did about it.

In writing about my childhood, I also realized that my childhood struggles with bullies still haunted me as an adult. That’s how I learned that we have layers upon layers of these stories. Some repeating themes, other leading into new challenges.

The problem is that most of us never see the hero in our own stories. We never see how what we survived and grew from would have crushed a mere mortal. And the reason you can’t see yourself as heroic is that it’s you that you’re talking about. If you’re like me, you are probably saying, “Me? I’m no hero. I’m the troublemaker from the back of the class.” But give the lead character of your story a different name as you write, and see how much of a hero that kid or adult was.

Read through after you’re done. Then take some time to acknowledge yourself.  Your mask and cape are waiting, although they’re sold separately and some assembly is required. Batteries are also not included.

If you have challenges seeing or remembering your stories, I’m happy to help you identify the ones you find important. Set up a time and let’s talk. The first call is free.

Let’s talk for free


This photograph was taken of the Marvel Graphic Novel “Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers” by Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, and Sara Pichelli.