The older I get, the more I believe in superpowers. Not the seeing through walls or spider-sense ones we see in the MCU or in within the local comic shop. Rather, I believe in super powers that are innate to humanity. I see superhuman feats so regularly that they cannot be denied. Fortunately, these powers are not bestowed at birth to only a few with a special lineage or granted because of freak science-related accidents. Real human super powers can only be developed and honed over years of careful attention. Certainly, some of us are better at them than others, but it is only through practice, support, and commitment that we can truly wield them.
I believe there are six core Super Powers. I am not claiming to have perfected these powers. Rather, I only hope to better appreciate them within others, as I think they are the glue that holds us all together.
First is the power of Vulnerability, of opening yourself to others meaningfully and powerfully. It is the power to feel all of your feelings, not just the ones you allow yourself because the others are too painful. It is the raw nerve that seeks out touch, the awareness of an open eye knowing the truth of all it can see. Vulnerability is the power to make room for others in your life, flaws and all. It is not pleasure seeking, but passion seeking, going to where your deepest dreams can crash into others who are willing to share theirs. It is most commonly felt in late night text messages, bedroom conversations, or in the car with your relatives on the way to or from the airport.
The Power of Belonging or Collective Effervescence. It is the power to join with others and lose yourself in something greater. It is the ability to connect without without expectation, a transaction-free moment of shared humanity. Most commonly felt in music performance, deep conversations, or working together toward a common goal.
The power of Empathy, of deep knowledge for what another is feeling or going through. It is the power to carry emotions for others, amplifying their catharsis or lessening the blow. Empathy is the eternal sounding board, the mirror that brings experience into focus because no one has to face the world alone. This power is most commonly felt in moments of true listening and opening yourself up to another’s story.
The power of Authenticity, of a snark-free appreciation of your own existence. It is the power to be you in any situation, without apology or self-effacing performance. Authenticity is being genuine about your passions and your contributions to others, it is about taking up the exact space you deserve, no more and no less. It is in knowing your inherent worth and having that same value for others. It is most commonly felt in moments of true appreciation or self-expression.
The power of Inspired Creativity, of making something out of nothing even when it seems impossible. It is the power to build out of raw materials, to mold with your bare hands, to make an impact on what was to make a difference for what will be. Creativity is not frivolous or superficial vanity, it is a core element of what makes us human, in instinct to find solutions and to tap into the inspiration of untraveled avenues of thought. It is most commonly felt when making art, collectively solving problems, and asking really good questions that lead to new discoveries.
The power of Hope, of believing in something when all other signs point to failure. It is the power to yearn for more, to want a more just world or to simply connect with one other you human that you care for. Hope is opening a door without knowing if you will walk through, and then pushing forward and fully embracing the reality on the other side. It is most commonly felt in times of great personal change, when making important decisions, and in moments of authentic learning.
These are the V-BEACH Super Powers: Vulnerability, Belonging, Empathy, Authenticity, Creativity, and Hope. They are the ones that I try to embrace as The Detoxing Man. They are overly sincere and cringe, and I hope you start seeing them everywhere.