What is your super power?
Nikki talks about her own super powers and encourages others to think about their own.
Someone asked me today what my Super Hero Powers are. It was a serious question, and it threw me. My first thought was “I don’t have any Super Powers,” and my first urge was to list all the ways in which I am not super or powerful… I thought only of my frailties and weaknesses.
Then I really thought about it… For context, this is a hard question for me; I have fought a tendency toward depression for 20 years, and I’ve often needed to coach myself to believe that I’m good enough, at best. I have strategies for doing this – eg, only having people in my life who show me love and bring me joy. So, I’m cool and all, but I’m not one to go around proclaiming myself to be ‘super’ or ‘powerful.’
But I thought hard: What ‘power’ do I use to help others, which I believe more people in the world should exercise? What is it that I give out, that I wish the general population (including some people I know) would gift more generously?
I narrowed my Super Powers down to three… (Three, because I analysed the Super Powers of modern-day Superheroes, and they each have three).
1. I love unconditionally. I love the good in people and I love the hell in them. Who wants to be half-loved? Half love is not love at all. I’m honoured when people trust me enough to show me their flaws, insecurities and vulnerabilities – I find those fascinating, beautiful, and endearing. Should those people become toxic, and I have to remove them from my life, I don’t stop loving them – they simply cease to have an impact on me… Most people love others with conditions attached, so loving unconditionally is a genuine Super Power.
2. I know how you feel before you do, and I know what you need before you know you need it. If you struggle to explain your thoughts, I can articulate them to you, and you’ll say - “yes, how did you know that?” If you’re trying to write a eulogy, and in your grief you are struggling with the speech’s structure, I’ll give your words a foundation.
If you walk into a room and your face says, ‘I could do with a hug,’ I’ll make the offer. If your face says, ‘I don’t want to talk,” I’ll leave you in front of the TV and go make you a drink.
If I’m at your house and you’ve got a cheeseboard, but you don’t have a cheese knife, then you’ll probably get a cheese knife for your next birthday. I notice those things; I try to make your life easier.
Now, you might say, that stuff is just empathy and intuition and thoughtfulness. But those qualities are far less common than they should be - empathy, in particular, is a learned trait, it is not inherent. So it’s a Super Power for sure.
3. Nothing shocks me. I am open, with an open mind. Your deepest, darkest fear is ok with me; I won’t judge you. I appreciate all views, opinions, experiences, good times, and hard lessons. I can have a conversation about anything. Many people are easily shocked, they have taboo subjects; they judge others harshly because they can’t accept themselves. The problem with judgement is that it causes conflict, and conflict ruins beautiful things. If you want to be accepted by others, you must accept them, and you must accept yourself… That doesn’t mean you accept bad behaviour (see 1, above). But abundant, enthusiastic acceptance of self and others … Well, that’s a Mega Super Power.
Here’s the thing: my Super Powers make up for any flaw, any inadequacy, any insecurity, any failure or mistake I’ve ever made. They make up for anything I may lack, because they have the power to change people’s lives. And at the end the day, people – and our relationships with them - are the only things that really matter.
Dear Reader, I ask you to carefully consider: What are your Super Powers? It is an uncomfortable question. Think carefully. No matter what you’ve done, your Super Powers can make all that is wrong, right.
PS - you have way more than three.
Please share yours below.
Please feel free to read Nikki's other blog about Depression also.