Truth - We are exponentially more powerful than we every actually realize. What lies inside us is quite literally unfathomable. They say that we only ever use about 10% of our brain power but even with that miniscule amount we are empowered to do awe-inspiring things. Some may think that power is only metaphysical while others believe we are nothing more than conduits for what we siphon off of others. It has always been clear to me that our power comes from within. Those who are able to hone it are the most dynamic. They are able to most effectively use their power.
"Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control; these three alone lead one to sovereign power." Alfed Lord Tennison
Doubt can strike a profound fear in hearts and prevent us from reaching our full potential. By thinking we are incapable we create a self-fulfilling prophecy. We have the ability to not only make our doubts come true but to be rendered powerless against them. Doubt has the far-reaching impact of taking away our hope and self-assurance. What we must hold in our hearts is our hope that we will be able. Without hope, all is lost. A belief that things can and will get better, and that we have the capability of making it so, is absolutely crucial to our meaning-making of the lives we live. Hope above all else. We have to have hope and then take it a step further by putting action to what we believe to be true in transformative faith. We take control or at least have some semblance of guidance over what we do as people. What did you do to change the world today? Make it local, make it personal, make it you! That is the power we have - to affect our spheres of influence. That's all that we can be tasked with doing. We do what we are able, where we can. That is our power. It's a hope, faith, and knowledge that who we are and what we do, as we are able, matters - more than we can possibly ever know.
Self-esteem comes from us. We determine how we feel about ourselves. No one else gets to have an opinion on who we are and what we meant to the world. We are the protagonists of our own life stories. We get to be central, catalysts, and commanders of our lives. Me. Myself. I - accept myself with my flaws, imperfections, and quirks in addition to my personality, style, and talents. I get to love myself without apology. I get to shout it from the rooftops that I am the love of my own life. I get to feel good about who I am and how I show up in the world. No one, and I cannot stress enough that nobody else has agency to dictate how I should feel about me. I love me. I adore me. I am obsessed with me. I'm me, and that means something deeply profound. Our greatest power gets put on display when we have learned to love ourselves. It is when we embrace our inequities and our gifts that we able to affect the most change. What we do comes naturally, and we are most at peace with ourselves. We reach our potential because our relationships with ourselves are thriving. We are able to put out light, love, and hope into the world because we have it within ourselves. Our power comes from us.

Why are we here? Maybe it's to use our gifts to help others or maybe it's to find our purpose, even better yet, it may be to love and be loved. Love can take a selfless form when transformed into empowerment. That magnanimous uplifting of others to their own benefit is something to marvel. Each and every day is a opportunity to bring someone else up. In the process we too ascend and replenish our own power. By giving whatever we have including as much as ourselves as we able, we reap the benefits and the dividends pay out handsomely. Our stories, histories, and experiences are just one facet of the power that we have to give to others. By offering up our vulnerability and things we have gone through, we give others permissions to encounter our essence. Storytelling is so personal, no matter how seemingly insignificant our stories may seem. It's how we convey who we are and what we believe to others. It's our stories that change others around us, and we in turn are challenged to reciprocate. Owning our stories is crucial to tapping into our full power. It's when we take responsibility for the stories we harbor that we are able to disseminate them to the benefaction of those around us.

Power is often conceptualized in abilities that are larger than life. Bringing that notion back down to Earth points us to the realization that ordinary people can be just as gifted. Think of those you admire and their attributes, are they are not imbued with some kind of talent that that distinguishes them from others. I find myself truly remarking at the gifts others have. Anyone who can do something I cannot just amazes me. Musicians, artists, athletes, chefs, etc. seeing people do what they do brings me joy. Bringing that back to me, I am slowly but surely finding what my gifts are. How deeply impactful is it for someone to say they admire you as a person let alone what you are able to do? For me that is most often my empathy, narrative voice, photography/graphic design skills, extended endurance, and general charisma. I get to own that and know that the way I exist, and do things is unlike anyone else. Those are my superpowers.

Superheroes have come to dominate the media as of late in every way possible. Critics argue that the market has become oversaturated but time and time again these superhero or at least exceptionally gifted character driven films/TV shows continue to dominate. Why? At least to me it seems like we as a society are looking for extraordinary individuals to save us from our mundane lives or maybe combat some of the larger underlying issues we face. These movies have been more and more politically charged, often being linked to current societal issues that most concern us. From the NSA style danger of Big Brother with Captain America: the Winter Solider to their latest go with governmental attempts to legislate vigilantism as explored in Batman v. Superman and Captain America: Civil War, we see our biggest hopes and darkest fears come alive on the screen. Justice and power, two of the things heroes and villains fight for. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Arrow, the Flash, or even Deadpool, all see their protagonists doing just that. Why? It's what we want. Maybe it points to a greater societal discomfort with government, policing, etc. Sometimes justice, it seems, has to be found outside of the law.
X-Men: Apocalypse Review: 3.0/5 Stars - This final installment in the X-Men: First Class reboot trilogy does some heavy lifting by introducing some of the most beloved characters to the Xavier Institute. Beyond that though a lack of purpose came across glaringly. X-Men is literally an elaborate and yet blatantly obvious metaphor for civil rights movements and representations of those with marginalized identities personified (people of color, queer folk, people with disabilities, etc.). That public persecution is it's strongest and most humbling tether. This film seemed to sever that down to Earth binding instead for the overdone world-ending brand of destruction that removes the human vs. metahuman element and instead reinforces why humans should be afraid of mutants. The Apocalypse storyline is a well hashed out one in the source material and yet it does not come across too well. It was unclear the extent of his powers and it is hard to believe this all-powerful god-like being can be outwitted by untrained teens. His reasoning for wanting to recreate the Earth lacks depth or complexity becomes nothing more than dogmatic irony. The film is well acted but some of the editing/special effects did not quite seem up to stuff for today's standards. Highlights of the film include Evan Peter's "Quicksilver" as pure comic relief, Sophie Turner as unsure/unstable "Jean Grey" and Michael Fassbender as an enraged "Magneto." Overall, the movie was quite forgettable.  X


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