I have a superpower. When I say superpower, I am not referring to a physiological abnormality in my composition. I can't fly, turn invisible, or read minds, and I certainly can't make things move just by looking at them.
Let me also be clear and say that I am not the only person with my particular superpower. I've met others like me, and it's always fun when two or more of us are in the same room. I also don't want to suggest that if you aren't like me, you aren't special. As a matter of fact, I believe we all have superpowers. First, let me tell you about mine.
I have a superpower. I'm a walking atmosphere. No, not like the weather, more like "the vibe". The way I'm feeling radiates outward and affects the environment I am in. It's something I, and others, have noticed for years. If I'm happy, you'll know, and you'll be happy, too. I won't go as far as to say that if I'm unhappy, your day will be ruined... BUT, if we regularly interact and I'm not feeling so hot, your day will probably be slightly less bright.
You might be thinking, "Alright, you are outgoing, or maybe you have some charisma... that's hardly a superpower.", and truthfully, you might be right. I like to think of it as a superpower though, because of how superpowers are regarded. They are talents or skills that allow superheroes to improve the lives of the people around them. On the flip side, when super villains abuse superpowers, they use them to hurt the same people. That's the main takeaway, and my "superpower" works the same way. Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve the way I do, and it is up to me to choose how I will wield it.
When I was young, these room-altering "moods" were a hot topic, because I didn't fully understand how much of an impact I was having on the people around me. It wasn't always easy for me growing up, and I was often told to "knock off the attitude" if I was angry or upset, and to "stop goofing around" if I was particularly jovial. Not knowing how to turn off my natural emotions and feelings, I thought that I was broken. As someone who feels everything so deeply as a byproduct of my natural condition, this was a very difficult thing to deal with and led to a lot of negativity which manifested itself in very chaotic and harmful ways.
Since moving to Israel on my own in 2012, I have made great strides in learning who I am and how my perceived weaknesses could actually be used as strengths. When I get into a funk, I remind myself that there are people out there who could really use a positive boost to their day or week, because they are struggling to generate it themselves. I think about the people who are still understanding how they can contribute to this world, or even just fit into it. The people who are lost and depressed, and unsure of what is coming next. Adopting this paradigm has been the single thing that allows me to pull myself out from the dark times, because trust me, I have my fair share of bad days.
This mindset of helping others learn that it is okay for things to not be okay, helps me turn my own negative experiences into funny stories and amusing anecdotes that I like to share. The endless highlight reel that we call social media has caused society to hone in on how much fun everyone else is having, so when things don't go our way, it is that much more devastating. I have a superpower, and I intend to use it to spread laughter and joy wherever I can.
Sometimes, the things that are perceived by others as weaknesses can actually be great strengths. If you were to use a fork to try and enjoy some soup, you might write it off as "the worst spoon ever" and toss it aside. What a shame for that poor fork, living its life as a failed spoon, when that wasn't what it was ever intended to do. In this giant cutlery drawer of life, not all of us have fully understood the way our unique utensils were meant to interact with the world. We all have a purpose, and when we find that purpose we can use it to help others find theirs, and we can ease the journey for them while they search.
I am finally starting to figure out my superpower. What's yours?