What is your superpower? It’s seems we are living in a time of larger-than-life heroes and villains (both in blockbuster movies and now in the news), and it’s gotten me thinking:
Do each and every one of us possess a special ability that we can share with the world?
I never thought I had one, but maybe I do.
All my life, I have felt things deeply and in a big way. I’ve taken those online studies that determine personality types. I rate very high (like off the charts, high) on the emotional/intuitive scale. Growing up, I would hear people tell me to “stop being so sensitive”, and I remember feeling bewildered. I had no idea how I could “stop” being something that felt so acutely part of me. It was like someone telling me to stop breathing. I used to think there was some kind of mental box that had an on/off switch, and if I only could find that switch, I’d turn “off” my sensitivity and that would be that.
I could never find the switch, and so, I’ve had to learn to live with this affliction.
But recently, I’ve come around to thinking differently about it. I think my sensitivity is actually my superpower. This superpower allows me to pick up on others’ feelings and needs. Like other people are tall or short or have brown eyes or blue, I’m the person who feels things deeply. This empathy on steroids has defined me and made me who I am as a wife, mother, sister, friend, writer, singer, performer and teacher.
I’m definitely a better songwriter because of it.
As an artist, I’m able to put myself in someone else’s shoes and walk around in them for a while. To get to know how the worn leather rubs, how the right heel squeaks, how the toes pinch and ache after a day on one’s feet. To have the ability to translate feeling and experience into a song (or a story) is a gift that I wouldn’t give up for anything. Even if it means that I feel the world in powerful and sometimes emotionally hard ways.
Speaking of deep feelings, I’ve been having a whole truckload of them this month, because my daughter is going to college. She’s the last one out of the nest. When we drop her off in two weeks, I can promise you, I’ll be enjoying feelings of loss, aging, nostalgia, the passage of time, fear of the future and the circle of life. Phew. But I also know that this is a new beginning not only for her, but for my husband and me. And after we’re done weeping and sitting vigil in her empty bedroom, we’ll leap into the great beyond that is life without kids.
I’m looking forward to seeing what is just around the corner. And sensitive or not, I’ll be ready for whatever comes. And chances are I’ll write about it. Look for new music to come!
Enjoy August, and while you’re sifting through these last few weeks of summer, see if you can find your superpower and embrace it for whatever it brings you. I know I am.
Note: This post was sent out as a newsletter in August 2019