Imagining Myself as a Superhero


Or, What I’ve Been Doing, and What We All Can Do in these Difficult Times to Affect Change

It’s been quite an interesting mosaic of scenes and moments in my life, of late. On the good side, I turned 61 last Thursday, and celebrated nine amazing years with my sweetie the same weekend; we met two days before my birthday, nine years ago in January. So many memories flooded my mind as my birthday approached, some recent (like memories of identifying as female, and some of the awful relationships I suffered through, and also from childhood, watching the civil rights movement play out on my grandparents’ television, at age 11, after my family moved in with them, after leaving my abusive father, and also my own beginning activism as I became an adult).

I found, as I looked back, so many reasons to celebrate, as well as reasons to be frustrated. I mean, I’ve been in marches that are fighting some of the same issues I marched against at 24, when I was four months pregnant with my daughter and went with a group of feminist friends to the state capitol in Illinois to try and persuade senators to give a positive vote for the Equal Rights Amendment (it failed, unfortunately, and we still don’t have this amendment). We are also still marching against racism and hate. It feels endless sometimes, but as I’m now an “elder,” I can have some hope. I know how to survive – I survived breast cancer and am thriving now – and I know how to fight, with others, against bad government policies, like the recent Muslim ban put forth by Donald Trump.

I guess, sometimes it’s good to imagine myself as a Marvel superhero, maybe like Storm, (who has been my favorite, every since I read my first X-Men comic, brought to me, with other comic books by my uncle, my mom’s brother, who knew I needed something to survive what was an awful childhood, living in the house with my tyrannical father).  I also like to think that if only Donald Trump were able to, like me, have reached a place, as a soul, where he wasn’t interested in ruling over other people, but in working with others and helping to make the world, the planet better, we’d all be better off.

So, not being Storm, or any other superhero (like my other favorite, Spiderman), I do reiki for him, during my daily reiki session, when I’m sending out positive energy to loved ones and the planet. I guess I can think of reiki as my superpower, and that does feel good, to think that. It makes me feel like I’m doing something that matters, when I send, instead of anger, light, to a man so bent on hatred and acting like a spoiled brat who’s never heard that others’ lives matter, or that we share what we have, not hoard for ourselves, everything. Or, he acts like this, to me. Call it an old soul thing, as I believe I’ve incarnated not hundreds, but millions of times, and have not always been human either.

Yeah, I guess some folks would call this kind of woo woo, but to me it’s a very real and positive experience, that I feel adds to a growing resistance to a kind of darkness enveloping our world right now. At least it feels good and makes me feel good, and I think, in the long run, that’s what matters. Sort of like the words of Kate Bush’s song (one of my favorites by her) Running Up That Hill, that if I could I would “make a deal with God” and maybe change places, or barring that, get Trump to see some kind of light and change his heart. Change his narrow-minded view of life and the world.

In the meantime, to me, sending light helps, and we can all do that, I think, even if it’s hard. More light, less hate, more light, less violence, more light, less intolerance, more light, more love in the world. That’s how I roll, as the colloquialism goes, and to me, that’s part of being a member of the resistance, and to me, it’s better than doing nothing. Blessed be.


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James Stansberry lives and writes in Seattle and can be reached at .

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