Whose Hero Are You?

Bonnie Tyler’s song, “I Need a Hero,” was made popular as part of the soundtrack for the original “Footloose” movie. It also was blaring in every bar and disco I frequented at a time in my life that I was awake more at night than in the daytime. Or, if you’re younger than me you might remember the wicked stepmother singing an altered version of it in “Shrek II.” Here’s the first part of the original song:
Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the Gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn
And I dream of what I need
Many of us have grown up believing in a God or power of some kind (even if it was a guardian angel or fairy godmother) that can swoop down and make everything better. That entity would give us exactly what we wanted and perhaps, just for added measure, even make a few people who had stood in our way pay for getting in our way.
Ah – sigh – the ignorant bliss of thinking that someone else is in charge of our lives! We make our ministers, our politicians, our entertainers and our sports celebrities into our heroes. These are usually people whom we think have gone beyond where we are in spirituality, celebrity, wealth, happiness or have a smokin’ bod. We put these people up on pedestals, often not as a goal to attain or exceed, but as a status unattainable to us. For the smokin’ bod types we also forget their jobs are to be in the gym six hours a day, seven days a week, along with a personal trainer and chef to be able to maintain cut arms and chiseled abs. Minor detail.
There are no white knights swooping into to slay our dragons and rescue us like we are some helpless damsel in distress. Speaking on behalf of myself – and a few other gay men I know – I have been both white knight (on far too many occasions) and damsel in distress (a pathetic state of being if you ask me). Neither is terribly gratifying. Oh sure, it’s a tremendous ego boost to solve someone else’s problems, make things all better and kiss their boo-boos, until you realize you’ve created a co-dependent slug who expects you to do everything for them.
The damsel in distress role isn’t what it’s cracked up to be either. Who wants to be dependent on another person for everything? If we give someone the power to make us happy we also give them the power to make us sad. Even Disney has finally figured out that the princess is no longer helpless, though for the most part the female lead eventually hooks up with a male counterpart. That’s partly because of the antiquated idea in our society that you have to be in a relationship to be happy, but I’ll deal with that next week.
You don’t need a hero in your life, at least in the sense of someone who will take away your problems. Mentors? Sure. How about a trained practitioner to treat with you about your issues and goals through the unique and wonderful process of spiritual mind treatment? Absolutely if you want results! But a hero? Nah. You’re so way beyond that. However, if you really still feel you need one, try your bathroom mirror. Awesome!
You are completely, 100 percent capable of making your own decisions and charting your own course. You are a unique, magnificent creature. We are waiting in breathless anticipated and baited breath to find out what completely fabulous thing you are going to do next. We know you won’t disappoint. In fact, you are going to completely knock our socks off!
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

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