Heroes to me are people that see a need and fill it. The first person I think of is my friend Sher. She has an uncanny ability to see the invisible people. She inspires me to slow down and realize that a lot of the fuzzy blurry obstacles in my life are actually people who may spend a great deal of their lives unseen.
Do you know how it is to be actually seen?
I love the greeting*, can’t remember what it was specifically or where it came from but it was the equivalent of “I see you.” I don’t know about you, but that’s something really powerful. Spending time with someone and being seen. Acknowledged. Heard. Accepted.
So, my heroes are those who my achieve greatness in some way, but who actually “see” the people around them. I think that’s why so many people are falling in love with Pope Francis. He is removing the walls between himself and the people he interacts with.
That, to me, is real heroism. Someone brave enough to not have walls between themselves and those around them.
Last night on FB, someone posed a video collection of military personnel homecomings. That makes me think of other heroes. Not just those who leave to serve (they are automatic heroes to me) but also their families. They hold the fort for those who protect, giving them a place to return, to be seen, to be welcomed, to be loved.
There was an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that I have always loved, “The Perfect Mate”.
The Enterprise is unwittingly used to present a unique gift to an alien race: a beautiful empath whose sole purpose is to please her mate. Problems arise when coming out of stasis early in the voyage she imprints herself in many ways on [Captain Picard].
– Written by Moviedude1 on IMDB.com
Kamala to Picard:
“I will never truly love him.”
“You’ve not even met him.”
“It no longer matters. I wish I could convey to you what it’s like to be a metamorph; to feel the inner strength of someone; to realize that being with him is opening your mind and heart to endless new possibilities; to hear yourself say “I like myself when I’m with him”.”
“For a metamorph, there’s no greater pleasure, and no greater wish, than to bond with that kind of mate at the end of the finis’raal as I have bonded with you.”
“Who I am today, I will be forever.”
– (Memory Alpha Wiki)
At the end of the episode, though she had bonded with Picard and had an opened mind and heart, she went on to marry the person she was originally intended for, in order to keep peace between the worlds. She had been set free to choose her own path.
This year, this season, whatever you want to call it (since I’m not thinking of this in terms of resolutions, but as in eras in my life), I’m entering an era of discovering what I want, what I like, who I am. I am going against all my anti-selfishness resistance that comes with traditional and/or distorted Christian rhetoric. I’m discarding the idea that anything that examines my own value must be inherently selfish. I think that perspective has been damaging me. All of my strengths, all of my value, all of my uniqueness…all of it has been buried underneath a blanket of “forced selflessness”, which after a while ended in feelings of worthlessness and resentment. How is it that worthlessness became a desirable goal, a virtue?
I have reached a point in my life where I no longer want to look to others for my identity. I do have a few close friends (including, thankfully, my husband) who I am able to connect with on a deeper level, that I can exchange ideas with, bounce thoughts around and off of, but no longer do I want to extract my identity as a copy of theirs.
Just as different body types cannot wear the exact same clothes successfully, neither can different people with their unique spirits, minds, and hearts travel exactly the same journey successfully. Being different, even opposite, does not mean one invalidates the other. In an age where we’re inundated with sound bites of polarizing and “other”-ising information, it can be hard to recognize the absolute beauty in all of the different-ness out there.
There’s something that my best friend used to say all the time, with great joy — that Jesus was bringing “freedom for freedom’s sake”. I’m honestly not sure where that saying came from, and for the longest time just saw it as something she said that brought her happiness. I sensed it was much more deeply significant in her path than it was in mine, but it sounded nice.
Lately, though, I think I’m starting to get a feel for just how awesome freedom can be.
I can be free to be me.
[Oh goodness! Here’s another long-ago memory being unearthed!
I’m ready to dedicate some time to exploration and familiarization with my brain, my heart, my soul, my thoughts, my desires and allowing my motivations to be my own. On one hand, it sounds all me-me-me selfish, but now I see that there is this “other hand” that I’m opting to explore. It’s my responsibility to be uniquely me. Whether I subscribe to divine design or not, the truth is, no one else can be me the way I can. It’s time for me to figure out what works for me, and start to discard the things that don’t.
My uniqueness, my custom identity, it deserves to be explored and not shoved through a mold that doesn’t fit in order to attain…what? Conformity? Lifeless existence? Standardization?
Me. This year I’m dedicating to sitting back and taking a look at what makes me, me.
You know, I always wondered what happened to Kamala after she left the Enterprise and went on with her own life. That’s kind of what I feel like right now. I’m excited to see where it goes!