Updated: Dec 17, 2020
In some way, shape or form we’ve heard the name “Superman” used as a direct reference to the ‘Man of Steel’ himself or simply as a reference to a personality trait of someone who is attempting to “save the day”. For me, Superman wasn’t just a name or characteristic, he was my all time favorite superhero!
The man who was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to jump over tall buildings with a single leap, the last son of krypton. Look!!! Up in the sky, its a bird, its a plane.... NO... its... your pseudo-identity... plagiarizing the stanzas of fiction to promote the pseudo-realities of what you think is the “real you”.
If you’re anything like me or how I used to be, you are or at least at one point were, slowly living a miserable death all while forfeiting life just to...exist... primarily for the sake of others.
- Aimlessly walking around saving others while needing to be rescued yourself...
- Allowing the praises of those who cheer(ed) your name (until you’re no longer needed) to validate your existence but exacerbate your insecurities and delay the discovery of who you truly are.
Trust is a commodity too expensive to barter so you keep everyone at arms length to the point where you even question your own motives and logic. These are tragic realities of a broken identity complex. Be never fear! Help is here!
We must start with identifying where we are so that we can accurately navigate through the “mind”-fields of truth to expose the bedrock of certainties that will become the foundation of who you truly are and will truly become. Let’s start by identifying the 1st of the 3 stages of what I call the Superman Identity Complex.
Stage 1: Superman
Like the famed superhero, this is the stage where our identity is all about helping others and while that seems benevolent and honorable, if not managed and done from the correct heart posture, what was noble quickly turns into a nightmare. WHAT you do for others becomes the focal point.
What seemed like a relationship between you and those you “love”, really begins to expose itself as an “as needed” service where people only call you and value you to the extent that they need you. By this point you’ve become so dependent on the praises of those you've sustained, that you identify yourself by what you do, not who you are. One of the many dangers of this identity complex is that when your efforts are discredited (even if done so unintentionally), you’re left feeling personally attacked, unsupported and grasping for purpose.
Believe me, I know this all too well. For years I equated who I was with what I did. As long as I was needed, I was happy. I found my identity in my works, not in who I was, not even in God. I was so in need of validation, that I manufactured scenarios where i'd be needed just so I could feel important and let the “S” on my chest get some shine while my cape blew in the wind...smh.
I needed to be the golden child, the one, the answer, at all costs. I had to be the Superman for everyone! It turned into a silent and subconscious obsession to the point where I began to hide anything that could & would make me look like a mere human being.
I HAD TO BE A SUPERHERO. I HAD TO SAVE THE DAY. I HAD TO because if not, then i’d be forced to deal with... ME and that was a no no. Life already proved that I wasn’t important, that I didn’t matter, only my efforts did. If my efforts brought me love, then I wanted it even if it was conditional becasue at least I had something... right?!..or did I?
It took me years to learn and believe that this was NOT an identity that I needed or wanted. Coming into that truth began the process of change that eventually granted me the freedom and awareness I have today, but before i could begin to heal, I still had to deal with second stage, "The Clark Kent Complex... which i'll talk about in part 2 of this blog.