Today’s song is “Powa,” by the tUnE-yarDs on their album, WHOKILL, whom I had the pleasure of seeing in Charleston, South Carolina. Merrill has a powerful voice and presence.
Someone whom I cared deeply used to say I was like Doomsday, (if you don’t know who Doomsday is, he is a monstrous villain from DC Comics). Doomsday died painfully thousands of times, only to be cloned to repeat the same process over and over. He was an experiment to become the strongest creature in the universe. Eventually, he became a somewhat unstoppable force, leading to the death of Superman.
So, am I a murderous comic book character who suffered a thousand deaths? Not quite, though I am not a fan of Superman, either.
The point this person was ever-so-eloquently trying to make was I suffered needlessly by others’ cruelty, only to become stronger and stronger. After all the setbacks that I endured, I survived and emerged a new person—an older version with a new superpower of sorts. Ironic that this person would be a part of another figurative death, which he said, “If I told you the truth, it would destroy you.”
It easily could have, if I let it. I suffered the loss of long-term partner, friends, and lastly lost a job opportunity that I was hoping to be the last of glue to hold me together. On top of that, the world of hatred has been smacking us in the face more than ever. I wonder if I am hopeless? Promises broken again and again, I tortured myself with all the stages of grief in some cyclical order: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. There is still some residual anger with an acceptance chaser, though I am thankful for what I have left. I am Doomsday, remember? Also, it’s not all about me. We don’t always have to accept everything that happens to us: we can fight it!
My friend of many wise words had said that when sometimes when awful things occur, this allows the universe an opportunity for something better to come. This is difficult to process, but I believe it’s true. These past couple of days I had a deep moment of clarity: I am ready to be destroyed again, to become better. I can in turn help others survive the destruction around them, when their world crumbles to pieces like mine and lots of others did a thousand times over.
Now that I am living as a newly cloned version of myself, what do I do? Instead of destroying the world, I am slowly coming out of my healing cocoon. To make another DC character comparison (you can see where my free time goes), I feel like Killer Frost (villain from the Flash, who absorbs heat and projects cold and ice) regaining control of her powers and fighting the psychological demons within her or is that how that goes? Do I become a part of the evil in this world or do I try to make it better? Do I dwell on the negative past or work to create a positive future? Do I become Caitlin Snow again (Killer Frost before she became a villain) if that is even possible? How do we survive our dark sides?
We all have powers within us, waiting to be awakened. We have the strength within us to be these amazing forces for good, yet some of us waste our potential or use our strengths for evil. We mire ourselves in the daily grinds, worry too much what people think, and mostly, embody fear. What if we achieved every goal we wanted and it still was not enough? What if we never achieve anything? What if we do more harm than good? What if we have no control over what happens to us? Fear keeps us divided within ourselves and from the world, which turns to hatred. You know how the Yoda quote goes. On that note:
“Take your broken heart, make it into art.”—Carrie Fisher
The late and profound Carrie Fisher is an inspiration to us all. I heed her advice as if it were my path to healing, to regaining spiritual power. Art can be defined as any form of imaginative self-expression: painting, dancing, singing, writing. But I also take “art” a step further. It can represent a power within us to communicate, to teach, to understand deeply. Our “powers” can be an artform. We need to express our powers instead of hiding in the dark, fighting our darkness within.
How do we unleash our powers within ourselves for the greater good?
1. Find our “artistic expression” and share it with the world.
Artistic expression can be writing songs or painting like Bob Ross (I own the Joy of Painting by the way). I once stumbled upon my father painting a Bob Ross like painting, which he acted embarrassed as if I discovered his porn stash. You should not be ashamed of your talents, but embrace them, especially if they are impactful. Painting made him happy and it made me happy to know that my parents weren’t mindless robots. I embraced my artistic abilities and learned from his challenges with self-acceptance. I promised I would not be afraid to express myself, because I had nothing to lose giving to others, especially if it made people feel and think positively.
2. Give others a space to share their powers, too.
One of the major reasons why I created this site was to give others a space to express themselves, to share their powers with the world. I do not need to be the center of attention all the time. Give others praise, teach them with your powers to accept or find theirs, too. Sometimes we let the villain within us control how we feel about others sharing the spotlight or having a certain power we want and feel we cannot have. As a six-year-old might sing, Let it Go!
3. Start action: use your powers for the greater good.
You may have a gift of gab, you may be popular, or you may be able to influence people easily. Instead of blasting Trump in angry memes on Facebook every chance you get, stop feeding the hate machine. Do something about it. If you feel your powers won’t reach the White House, find a way to be a positive force. Create petitions, start a movement, use your voice to do something, except simply complain. If politics are not your thing, volunteer. Donate to women’s shelters (they are always in need of hygiene products) or adopt a puppy from a shelter (I plan on doing both very soon). Please, whatever you do, stop judging people for not saving the world in the exact way you do: this mindset isolates and diminishes everything you stand for. Everyone has their own power and they can use it how it works for them. They may share their powers to inspire people with music. Or they may be a grandmother taking care of her grandchildren while her daughter, a single mother, goes to work to provide for her family. They may buy a lot of sheetcakes from a local business. No one else can tell you who to be, but yourself. No one could tell you the exact right way to use your powers, but we need to take action somehow that is constructive. If we sit idly by, evil wins. Empathy may be one of our greatest strengths in our time of need right now.
Do not lose yourself to fear. People can get scared and lash out on the world, give into their dark sides. Remember, villains are not born, they are made. Even if people want to make you into a villain, you don’t have to become one. I can be Killer Frost/Caitlin snow, saving the world with my powers instead of destroying it. When I forget who I am, I look at my tattoo. The magpie is symbolic of myself, which my surname, Pica means “magpie” in Italian.
I designed this several years ago as I reminder to myself that I am in control of my life, that I write my own path. Write your own path as you are the only one who knows how to use your powers for good. If you don’t know how, be open to learn.
If you’d like to listen to our playlist, you can find it here and on Spotify: thirtythirdwheel