Updated: Aug 2, 2021
“The relief, understanding and joy it brings us as we begin to clear the path to love ourselves, and as we share that love with others, is the catalyst that changes our dirty little secrets into our greatest powers. "
Dear brothers and sisters who have never been sexually abused, fought a debilitating disease, tragically lost a loved one, or have never felt the back hand of a partner’s mental illness, I am going to tell you about the rest of us. Going through a trauma develops senses and abilities that involuntarily turn a person into someone they never asked to be. No, not a victim. A superhero. Real superheroes don’t fly or lift cars off people or see through walls and we don’t get a key to the city or much praise or adulation. In fact, because we think, act and especially feel things strongly and differently we often get criticized or ostracized. Many of us become creative artists - painters, poets, dancers, photographers, writers - and I would include teachers, health and social workers - to detoxify our hearts, minds and bodies from the affects of our real life nightmares and, hopefully, inspire, awaken, or literally touch other people in an attempt to turn something bad into something good. Most of us are finally able to call ourselves artists when we are strong enough to take the hit for it. The relief, understanding and joy it brings us as we begin to clear the path to love ourselves, and as we share that love with others, is the catalyst that changes our dirty little secrets into our greatest powers. Our process that seems so odd to others literally converts pain to love. There are those who try to silence us, shame us, or control us because so much raw emotion makes them uncomfortable. Here is what they need to know: A superhero will tell the truth, no matter from what darkness it comes because it heals everyone who hears it, so let them. A superhero can discover and harness the source of their power, but sometimes that takes years, so give them the space to do it. A superhero sometimes wants a cape or a mask, so if they paint one on to look out from, or build one at the gym, remember it may give them that little extra confidence they need to let go. They may seem very busy on themselves, but it is likely to be the first time they have ever led that team, so they mostly need your love, support and cheers. Because if you have ever been beaten to the floor, the one thing you pray for, more than anything, is not to be told “stand up,” but to feel the silent kindness of a firm hand reaching down to help you stand again.