So, if you’ve spoken with me over the last few years you may have heard my super power joke.
This is the joke where I recount all of the wonderful effects of sudden and severe trauma: sleeplessness, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, memory loss…wait, did I say that one already? OK, never mind.
The joke concludes with the observation that sadly none of the effects of trauma include any noticeable super powers.
Well I guess the joke is on me.
Before I go any further let me be clear I really only want to speak to those of you who have experienced trauma. The rest of you go do something that requires memory and concentration. Good for you. Go have fun.
OK trauma victims, now that were alone let’s talk.
See…what I’ve learned is that although this path is painful, it leads you to a place that take some people a lifetime. Yes! And some people never get there.
Yes dear friends, you have a weird and wonderful super power. And it’s much more incredible than X-Ray vision. I’ll call it Empathic Vision.
You have the ability to feel the pain of others. You have an ability to see the world as a survivor. When you walk through a crowd, you don’t see the meaningless outward signs of success. You don’t see the brand names, the job titles. You see the walking wounded. And they’re everywhere!
Because of this ability to see the world as it is, you have the ability to create much more meaningful and deeper relationships with others. And with the universe. And with yourself. See it really is super! And it can be overwhelming. So like Superman you may occasionally need to retreat to your Crystal Fortress and recharge. There’s nothing wrong with that.
And like all super heroes, you have come to understand that this power is special and it cannot be shared with just anyone.
Let me ask you an obvious question: Why is it that super heroes remain masked? Isn’t it because they know that what they have is special (even if they never asked for it) and it is not to be shared with everyone? Always remember, there are people who hate empathetic beings. To them, you are a reminder of something they will never have. These are people who, through no fault of their own, will never have access to the world you see, feel the way you feel, or be able to create and sustain meaningful relationships the way you do. You will learn to recognize these people and stay away from them.
So, dear trauma victims, embrace the gifts you have received. Dive into your superpower. Find like-minded souls, and take off your mask. For what you offer is precisely what the world needs today.