The only person who is going to make your situation better is the one who is reading these words.
The blessing (and the curse) of accepting your own power over your life is that no one else is coming to save you. If you don’t save yourself, no one will.
Growing up, I loved superhero movies, but not for the reasons you think. It wasn’t being able to fly, solve any problem, always get the girl in the end, or have a sweet 6 pack.
Superhero movies, at least for me, were about limitless possibilities. Whether it was Bruce Wayne balling in his private jet to Gotham City, Mr. Incredible going from down and out dad to stacked superhero, or Peter Parker saving that train in New York.
If you were a superhero, anything was possible. In a world where the heroes were constantly reminded of how their great power came great responsibility, they always managed to pull it off.
No challenge in life was too great, nothing was insurmountable. The heroes got it done when it mattered, no matter how many times they failed. They just kept going.
In my opinion, no movie does this better than Spiderman 2, so let me show my age for a minute.
Tobey Maguire is my Spiderman.
Sorry Andrew Garfield / Tom Holland folks.
Spiderman 2 does a fantastic job of showing a guy just like you and me struggling to balance his newfound powers and his personal life. Peter Parker wasn’t born Spiderman. He became Spiderman, after being bitten by a radioactive spider.
But what does Peter do when he becomes Spiderman?
With his heroic potential, he steps up to the plate and accepts his newfound responsibility.
You know the line by now.
But in Spiderman 2, Peter turns his back on that heroic mantle. After his “soulmate” Mary Jane gets engaged to another man, Peter loses his powers and gives up being Spiderman. After trying (and failing) to get Mary Jane back, Peter falls into a deep depression.
But, in his darkest moment, after he had been rejected, as soon as responsibility called, Peter was ready. Though he had wavered, he choose to take the hard path and accept his responsibility to stand against evil once again.
If you haven’t seen Spiderman 2 in a while, do me a favor and watch this 4-minute clip above.
When Peter makes his stand, he does it against tall odds. He fails to stop the train several times, and we see he’s pushing himself right up to (and even beyond) what his body could handle. Peter didn’t know if he was capable of stopping the train or not. But he was willing to accept the responsibility placed upon his shoulders to try.
Sure, he failed twice to stop the train. But the third time when failure wasn’t an option, he pushed himself beyond his limits and stopped the train.
He didn’t make excuses.
He didn’t blame Octavius.
He didn’t collapse when he failed.
He didn’t look for Ironman to stop the train.
He got up, tried again, and kept pushing. And when it mattered, he showed up.
You Have A Great Responsibility To Yourself
Without Spiderman, the train and its hundreds of passengers would have had a first-class ticket to a watery grave. The train wasn’t going to stop itself. Spiderman did. He accepted his responsibility: that either he was going to stop the train, or he was going to die trying.
Spiderman’s struggle against the train is no different than the challenges you are facing now. You didn’t choose to be dumped any more than he chose for the train to be barreling towards the bay.
But he accepted the reality, and instead of sitting as a bystander, he accepted his responsibility to stop the train. He didn’t wait for someone else to stop the train because no one else was going to.
While your life may not be flying by at the speed of an out-of-control train, every day that passes is another day that you won’t get back.
As a practicing Stoic, I remind myself of this often. Every day we are one step closer to death.
Thus we bear a weighty responsibility, much like Spiderman.
You must accept that you are responsible for saving yourself. If you don’t, before you know it, it will have run off the tracks.
So I ask you: Will you accept your heroic burden, even though it was cast on you against your will?
Accept The Reality And Save Yourself
She’s gone, man.
I know you didn’t choose this. Who would choose to be dumped? It’s fucking awful.
I know part of you wants to blame her for betraying you like this.
I know another part of you hopes she’s in the same pain you are.
And I know, deep down, you are holding out hope, somewhere, someday she will come back to you.
But I know that even deeper down, some part of you understands that she isn’t coming back.
The sooner you can make your peace with that, the sooner you can accept your heroic responsibility for saving your own life. When you give up trying to get her back and instead focus on saving yourself, you will start feeling better about yourself and your situation.
The responsibility is all yours. Don’t avoid it. You have the power. Anything is possible. It may be hard, but you must.
When you accept that responsibility, it won’t be pretty. You probably will fail a few times. It will strain your body and mind to their very limits. That is normal! No one is born knowing how to be a hero.
But whatever you do, for the love of all that is good and holy: remember that you won’t be able to get your time back. Like a speeding train flying towards the water, each moment that passes is a moment lost.
Spend those moments improving your life instead of chasing a woman who wanted you out of hers.