By Desirae Schneider: I have a super hero complex.

It’s not flattering and it doesn’t come with any special super powers. It’s just me, in a homemade cape of illusion, trying to be something I was never created to be: everyone’s hero.

I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember, however skewed that memory may be. In many ways, it’s people-pleasing on steroids. I rush to the side of anyone who asks, hoping to make them "better," but pride and exhaustion always prevail.

The truth is, I can’t possibly be their savior. I am far too limited and far too weak.

Having a super hero complex also has additional complexities.  You begin to hold people around you to the same irrational standard you hold yourself.  While you set yourself up to fail, you simultaneously set others to fail with you.  It’s a nasty domino effect.

Side effects to this domino effect are (but not limited to): Frustration, grudges, arrogance, plastic hellos, unreasonable requests, broken promises and depression.

It’s a scary place -- to realize you’ve been so focused on chasing down the dreams of everyone else, that you’ve left yourself no room to grow and evolve in your own life. You’ve set yourself up to already be perfect. Already be a hero. How else, then, would you need to improve?

And it’s a lonely place, to sit on the roof top of the standards you’ve built and realize no one can live this way.  Not you, and not anyone else.

I don’t have a flawless answer to the hero complex, but I have some first steps -- which is where you find me today:

  1. Realize that reality is both broken and beautiful.  Life isn’t centered around gold stars and masks, but raw, honest emotion.
  2. Accept that it’s ok to fail sometimes.  Failure opens up new windows -- and open windows always mean a breath of fresh air.
  3. You don’t have to have a title to your name or a cape around your shoulders to be valued.

The heartbeat of grace is an unblemished love.  Unblemished, that is, by false expectations and plastic super-hero masks.

Today I climb off the rooftop and forgive myself for not being a super hero.  Are you ready to climb down with me?