One year, Karen and I were at a retreat with the wonderful pastor and his wife, Dr. and Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale. He is known for his book The Power of Positive Thinking. Catherine, his wife, is known for the publication Guideposts.
The president said, ‚ÄúNorman, I have been watching you, and I have noticed that you have a lot of gifts, but you don‚Äôt allow yourself to use them because you do not believe in yourself. I want you to know that I believe in you and want you to believe in yourself. Believe in yourself, and share your wonderful gifts.‚ÄĚ
Superman not realizing his powers,
so they live their whole lives as Clark Kent.
These two illustrations remind me of a statement the Reverend Craig Avents, Jr., shared in a sermon. He was talking about people who do not believe in themselves. He said, ‚ÄúPeople who don't claim their gifts are like Superman not realizing his powers, so they live their whole lives as Clark Kent.‚ÄĚ
The question has been asked many times, ‚ÄėHow can people miss not seeing Superman in Clark Kent? His only disguise is his glasses!‚Äô It is not the glasses that cause people, even Lois Lane, to miss seeing Superman in Clark Kent. His disguise is how he relates to others.
Perhaps we relate to others, even the ones closest to us, in such a way that they miss who we are and fail to see our many gifts.
Do we relate to ourselves as Clark Kent, weighing every word before we speak it, for fear of saying something wrong and being criticized?
Do we try to stay invisible by using abstract language, such as ‚Äúfine,‚ÄĚ so that we never take a stand and keep others at arm's length?
In the next article we will explore ways to let the Superman or Superwoman in all of us emerge.
Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through www.amazon.com.
Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700