I am a total fantasy, magic and science fiction movie and television buff.
Some of my favorite TV shows are Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly and The Magicians, and the films I tend to watch over and over again are things like The Matrix, Star Wars, the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings and The Incredibles.
Just recently I was re-watching the movie X-Men, which for those of you who are NOT as addicted to the fantasy genre as I am, is a story about human beings who are also mutants. And being a mutant means that they are endowed with these incredible powers, like having the capacity to walk through walls, heal any wound they have incurred within minutes, shape shifting, manipulating the weather and shooting laser beams out of their eyes.
But even though they want to use these abilities in a positive way to help those folks who are less well endowed in the superpower department, they mostly end up being demonized, feared, ostracized and denigrated for what are essentially pretty cool talents.
Instead of being valued and celebrated they are made to feel ashamed about who and what they are. And to make matters worse, they are also encouraged to hide and if at all possible get rid of the power that makes them the most special.
In addition to running an expressive arts and intuitive painting business I am also an evolutionary astrologer. Which means that I spend a fair amount of my work life being privileged to look under the hood of people’s psyches through the medium of an astrological birth chart.
A birth chart is a blueprint for your souls essential development and unfolding. A lesson plan for who you are here to become. And it spells out pretty clearly what superpowers are available to you.
One of the most common and surprising experiences I have as an astrologer is how often those superpowers and particular flavors of genius that are so clearly evident in someone’s chart go unclaimed and unused.
Sometimes the gift is something that the person isn’t even aware of. But more often, they have a sense that this gift might be something that actually belongs to them but they have a lot of conflict around fully owning and embracing it.
And the reason these characteristics are covered with an invisibility cloak is because there is a boatload of shame and fear associated with these most remarkable traits and abilities. It’s a sad and familiar story for many of us.
What is most valuable about who we are is often what we are the most cut off from.
Many of us are in the same position as the mutants, having been made to feel like the things that make us special and unique are the same things that somehow got us into trouble. Or led to us feeling rejected and unacceptable.
Once Upon a Time…..
When I was a freshman in high school, to my great surprise, I was elected to be president of my class. I was thrilled at the honor and threw myself into my role with great gusto. During my tenure as Commanderess In Chief we had a suggestion box that lived in the classroom which was there to encourage students to voice complaints that they might have difficulty expressing directly. A few months after I had been “in office” some people wrote in saying that I should be impeached.
This was totally devastating to me.
I was trying hard to be a good class president and didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing wrong. And there wasn’t any system of communication set up between me and the other students where I could address the issue. I talked to the teacher of my class about it and she gave me some vague advice about how she knew I had it in me to do a better job but she never gave me any concrete guidance around what a “better job” looked like.
I spent the rest of my tenure kind of hiding out and only doing the minimum required of me and during the rest of my time in high school made a point of steering clear of any leadership opportunities.
I suspect that what led to these complaints was related to my being the eldest of eight children. What I knew about leadership at that time was based on being a big sister to a bunch of unruly kids and the way that I dealt with that position in my family was to become incredibly bossy. Something that obviously did not sit too well with my 13 year old peers.
Now I make my living being incredibly bossy and people love me for it.
But there was a long period of time where I purposefully toned down this part of myself because I thought there was something wrong with me. I felt bad about who I was based on the threatened impeachment as well as getting the message from other people later my life that I was “too much” , “too big” or “too intense”.
In other words, I often felt like a freaky mutant.
In addition to my fascination with shows that feature supernatural themes I love getting messages about my life from the intuitive realm through things like Tarot, astrology, numerology and psychic readings. And of course, I’m an astrologer myself.
These readings allow me to access my own inner guidance in a way that can be clearer and more compassionate than just doing it on my own, because the information I get through another person is not being filtered through my own fear and judgment.
Plus I just love the sweet nurturance of getting attention that is simply focused on me.
But those communiques have also been incredibly helpful in allowing me to reclaim this aspect of myself, because every reading I have ever gotten has always said pretty much the same thing.
Which is that one of my main superpowers is that of leadership.
I’m designed to be in the position of a pioneer who forges new trails, comes up with the bold idea and inspires people through my creative adventures. I am also particularly well suited to run groups and lead workshops where I cajole and seduce and boss people into being fully themselves.
Leadership is my destiny, my karma and my gift. And it also feels like the most natural, effortless thing in the world because it IS my superpower.
Looking back I realize now that I have always told that story as ” There was a movement to impeach me.” When what was true was that a couple of people placed those suggestions in the box.
Because I wasn’t really getting supported, guided or celebrated from anyplace else in my life around my nascent leadership capabilities those two or three notes had a huge impact on my sense of myself. So this particular superpower of mine went underground for a while.
Luckily, my soul was not going to stay content with keeping myself under wraps for too long. So with time, the great good fortune in finding people who could actually see me and love me for my true self and lots of therapy I was able to get out of my own way enough to let this natural power of mine shine through.
So if you are in the position of feeling like you don’t have a superpower or suspecting that you do, but having no idea what it might be, you might try looking inside the cave in your psyche that is being guarded by the dragon of shame.
You can start by asking yourself the question, “Around what qualities, interests or capabilities were you given the message that you were weird or wrong or defective?”
If that doesn’t ring a bell, the other way that the shame dragon can be identified is by asking “What is the thing that you want to do or be but think that you can’t because you believe you aren’t good enough or are convinced that you are unworthy or inadequate in some way?”
That desire is often the place where your superpower is hiding out.
Luckily, The goddess doesn’t fill our hearts with a longing for something that we can never have, so you can be sure that if you are relentlessly drawn to a quality or talent it is part of who you already are.
Now that you know where to look and can identify what your superpower truly is can you take the risk to love yourself enough to allow your weirdly wonderful self to shine? Are you hungry to let your freak flag fly? Are you ready to unleash your superpower into the arms of a waiting world?
I’m dying to know! And since we are all mutants in one way or another, every time one of us takes that step towards mutant liberation, it paves the way for the rest of us to come out of hiding where we can joyfully celebrate together the force of good that our mutant superpowers were meant to be!