The Pressure of a Superhero

Perhaps you've heard this story before? The one of the superhero who can extend, expand, and alter time? No?

I don't remember a lunchbox with her picture on it, but somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to be this all star.

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My journey to conquer time began from a place of confidence and passion. I told myself that I'd been given this set of God-given talents, and with the 168 hours in the week, I needed to spend the vast majority of them working, volunteering, creating, cleaning, mothering... I could do it!! I was on my path to superhero status, so why not?

And underlying that notion...a thought of pride. I am better than. I can do more. Look at me. Watch me.

I can raise amazing children to whom I dedicate focused attention as I nurture their abilities, challenge their behaviors, and impart the wisdom I have acquired through this super special journey that I'm on. I can do this while I give just as much attention to my adoring husband, and just as much attention to making my home warm, welcoming, well decorated, and, of course, trendy. You better believe I'm incredibly successful at my job, giving more than expected and adding ideas only I could offer. Oh, and I can run that volunteer group at Church and come in for centers and help out with after school activities. Yes, yes, go ahead and sign me up to bring in that casserole. I'm running and staying fit - oh and did you see that I brought that great project from Pinterest to life. I am a superhero. Did I mention that? Yes, of course, I've read that 400-page book for bookclub.

But don't ask me to talk about it because I've only read the synopsis on line.

And my Pinterest project...well, don't turn it over because it's not actually usable.

I was distracted at centers and unfocused with my volunteers.

My laundry is unfolded, my dishes undone, dust is layering on my bookshelves.

I can't get to all the projects that keep coming my way at work.

And I yelled at my kids and my husband. It seems they don't see this superhero path, and they just want to distract me with new needs and wants.

Why can't they all just figure it out? I'm tired. I'm spent. I'm sick - again.

I have to expand time. Do they not understand? I am a superhero. I can fit it all in with a smile. I can accomplish more than you.

And underlying it all - I'm better than you.

And the kryptonite hits. Maybe this time it's the permission slip I forgot to submit. Or the event that goes sour because I didn't have enough energy to devote. Sometimes it's a simple as an off remark at work or a tone of voice from home and

It breaks. I crack.

The force field can't withstand this hit. And I cry. And I doubt.

Why are you not good enough to do all of this? You are a superhero, remember? You are better than...you should be able to do this. What's wrong with you?

And the soft, clear voice of reason or of God (or maybe both) can be heard, finally. Shhhhh. Listen to it now.

You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

You are meant to give your gifts freely and with joy.

And that is enough, THAT is more than. Not you. You, my friend, are not a superhero. That job has been taken by One, all-powerful and almighty. Stop trying to take over.

And let go. Drop the mask and the walls.

You are not better than. You are the same as, in totally different ways.

You are enough as you are. Be that. Do that.

And leave the superhero fantasies to your children and the youth of the world. You have deeper knowledge of friendship and compassion, equivalent to any Marvel power.

Be you. Gently. That's pretty super.

xoxo, MJ

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