Recently I saw the movie “The Wolverine” starring Hugh Jackman. While the movie had its share of action and adventure, it was also a very character-driven piece, as it told the story of a man seeking redemption for the actions taken in his past, and questioning his very existence.
It was this latter part of the film that got me to thinking after the credits rolled (for those of you planning to see the film, please sit through the credits at the end of the film—there is an important set-up for a future film—and that is all I’m going to say).
A fun fact about me that many people may not know is that I love superhero comic books, and have since I was a kid. I still remember the day when my mother placed my very first comic book in my hands; it was twenty-five cents of wonderment. What I loved about the superheroes was that they were people who had lives of great angst as they took on the responsibilities of using their powers to protect the world from those that would seek to harm or destroy it.
It was this love of comic books that fueled my own passion for becoming a comic book artist. In a post for my business blog, I briefly shared my intention to become one of the next great action adventure artists working for the Big Two (Marvel and DC). In high school, I was part of the comic book club, a group of students who shared both the enthusiasm for the genre, and worked on their own comic book projects, either independently or in collaboration. I would eat, breathe, and sleep both the comic books being published as well as my own creative endeavors.
My own creative endeavors would take me on a journey within the underground and small press comic book worlds (I discovered an important Life Theme then that continually showed up later in various forms, which may be the subject of a future post). I would create my own heroes and tell their stories. It was a cathartic process, as each of the lead characters were parts of me, and their stories came from some of my own experiences, which I believe is where most creative writers write from. My favorite characters to create would be the telepaths, the mutants, and the aliens. The telepaths represented the part of me that was interested in the powers of the mind; the mutants and the aliens represented the part of me that felt different and struggled to fit into a world that seemingly didn’t accept me.
In that other post I mentioned earlier, an interesting dilemma happened, when I moved from my native New Jersey to South Carolina: the interest in creating comic books slowly faded out of my life, much like a movie fades to black after the ending credits roll. I didn’t give it much thought at the time, as I had started a full-time job and started going to college part-time. In addition, an interest in metaphysics, thanks to taking philosophy in college, was becoming more prominent in my life.
Seeing “The Wolverine” got me in touch with what my love for the superheroes was really all about, and why I let the creative work of comic books slowly go out of my life. Superheroes, at their very core, are individuals who use their talents and abilities to serve the world in a big and powerful way.
During that time, I got in touch with my own intuitive ability, which began with experiencing precognitive dreams, which are dreams that foretell future events; this was much like the psychics I would read about (Charles Xavier and Jean Grey of the X-Men) and create of my own. Getting in touch with this part of myself also brought out the alien part, the part of me that felt like I didn’t belong (my favorite alien, the Martian Manhunter, was a psychic and shapeshifter, which allowed him to disguise himself among humans in order to assimilate into the world) and I had to find where I fit in. The two parts actually connected to one another: my intuitive ability allowed me to experience interactions with angels and spirit guides, beings who are “not of this world.”
I no longer needed to write about superheroes and their struggles with the use of their powers in the world and how they fit into the larger scheme of things, because I was now having that experience myself. I believe the passion for the comic books and for superheroes was priming the pump for when I would take on a similar mantle for myself, when I was ready to use my innate talents and abilities to serve my world in a big way.
In the X-Men mythology, this recognition is the moment when the mutant’s x-factor is activated, and his or her powers are awakened from their state of dormancy. In metaphysics, we call it when a person becomes “awake” and “conscious.”
So, now I work to help others become conscious of their own talents and abilities, and how they can use them to serve the world in a big and powerful way—as only they can. It makes me smile, as I get to be just like my favorite X-Man: Charles Xavier.
So, I end with this question for you: What are your powers–your unique talents and abilities–and how are you using them to serve the world in a big and powerful way?