Your Inner Clark Kent

(originally written in 2020)

I made the point once in a video that if we don’t feel seen, heard, understood in our existence that we will revert back to what our minds perceive as “safety” or “security”.

Said safety may not look like it to the outside eye, it may look flat out dangerous. That’s irrelevant.

Safety can mean “devil you know” so it can mean returning to a situation that isn’t in your soul. A shitty job, a relation that doesn’t spark joy, a family role that keeps you boxed in.

I’ve already gone through these, and they’re certainly true.

But there’s also more to it than that, and folks have been on the spot pointing it out There’s a couple of things actually.

The first is what we’ll call “the conflict”. That will deal with “good” vs “bad” conflict with others.

This is the conflict WITHIN. It’s something I see every day. Not only in others but still within myself. I think everyone feels it to a degree, but I didn’t ask everybody yet.

See, we are all desperate to be seen and understood for who we are. That part is true.

But we are also scared shitless of being seen and understood for who we are. There is where the conflict comes from.

It’s easy to scream out “COME ON, LIFE’S WASTING WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?” There are some that make serious bank off that stuff. But if the conflict still sits as an obstacle to just fight with, it’s still going to keep us held in the same place. Despite the 10K that was just dropped to the “COME ON” people.

Look, vulnerability is damn hard. It’s a little easier to live in your soul when you are in an element of people that see you. But when you have family or old friends, a partner, or other superiors or peers that have expectations on who you are supposed to be, and your truth will run in direct conflict to that?

Trust me, I get it. I still hear about how I’m a bum. People just aren’t going to understand when we don’t fit into the neat little box they want you to fit in.

The fear is real, and often the consequences are also real. That needs to be honored. Of course for many reasons, the goal is to still work to create the container to help people feel safe to process. But it’s a process, and it’s damn hard to get to where we are ready.

It does no service to anyone to judge anyone’s slow speed to make jumps, any more than it does to judge the jumps themselves. It’s about being on their side through the process and being a support. Support for big leaps, small leaps, no leaps.

The last one is hard because a big part of why I do what I do is because I see people literally dying because they’re staying in places (physically, mentally, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, some other “-lys” probably). When there is a disconnect, the pain may get stuffed (addictions, etc.) for a time, but it eventually comes out. Some attack others, some themselves (slowly, quickly).

I of course understand the need for safety, and I think of things like Maslow’s Pyramid. I get it. People are wired to survive before they can be in a position to thrive.

So how do we get there? How do we get past this? I think it’s individual. And it’s a process. Baby steps. It’s learning to honor those fears and then gradually being ready to make steps, one at a time. It’s also sitting with people who just can’t and being their space and safety, even for a moment. Being present and being support should never be a conditional thing unless it’s to protect one’s own safety and boundaries. Getting sucked in serves no one and that needs to be checked through as well.

It’s not about the result, it’s the process. It’s always the process. The world tells you it’s about the result. The world is full of shit.

One more area I do need to touch upon is imminent danger. It’s really hard to see someone in physical danger choosing to stay there, to stay quiet, to deliberately do all they can to NOT be seen or heard. How many of us have known someone in one of those situations and felt compelled to try to force them out, only to have them not leave and instead turn on you. Yup, ditto. It can be mind-blowing that it happens, and it’s beyond frustrating, it’s heart wrenching to watch, especially if it comes to a result you’ve dreaded. But again, like anything else, we can’t force a result, we can’t demand that people be SAFE in the way we want them to be. We can’t force them to be seen in the way that it feels like it needs to be.

Of course we feel like we’re trying to save the situation and to what feels right. It’s natural to want to grab the red cape. We can’t force people to accept Superman if they’re just not open to receiving Superman.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is stay in our Clark Kent, to be supportive, loving, and present. Unconditional, accepting that people have a right to their choices and they don’t have to make any sense to us. We can’t see exactly as they do, even when we do our best to try it’s still going to be us playing the role of them.

I’ll again revisit the boundary thing on this, because if something isn’t safe to you, if your triggers are flying off the board, or you find yourself getting sucked into something that fucks with your well being and safety, that HAS to be honored before anything. Nothing is served having TWO people in trouble. It’s why sometimes firefighters are ordered to stay outside the burning building even as they know there are people inside. Command has to make some shitty calls sometimes, but also those calls include calculating the possibility that an attempt to rescue someone becomes and attempt to rescue someone PLUS two of your own.

I guess the overall message to sum it up best I can…the conflict of being seen to being safe is most definitely real. The fears and consequences are real. While being a support in someone’s journey, that stuff needs to be honored as do those feelings. It’s their journey in the end, and while respecting our own safety and our own boundaries, the biggest gift we can provide is to release our own expectations, to be present, be supportive, and be unconditional as best we can in the process.

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Writer. Guide. Mentor. Visionary. Voice. Presence. Geeks out over MCU, Star Wars, baseball, and randomness. Question everything except your worth.

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Rich Levesque

Rich Levesque

Writer. Guide. Mentor. Visionary. Voice. Presence. Geeks out over MCU, Star Wars, baseball, and randomness. Question everything except your worth.

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