“There are two types of people on planet Earth, Batman and Iron Man. Batman has a secret identity, right? So Bruce Wayne has to walk around every second of every day knowing that if somebody finds out his secret, his family is dead, his friends are dead, everyone he loves gets tortured to death by costumed supervillains. And he has to live with the weight of that secret every day. But not Tony Stark, he’s open about who he is. He tells the world he’s Iron Man, he doesn’t give a shit. He doesn’t have that shadow hanging over him, he doesn’t have to spend energy building up those walls of lies around himself. You’re one or the other – either you’re one of those people who has to hide your real self because it would ruin you if it came out, or you’re not one of those people. And the two groups aren’t even living in the same universe.” ~ David Wong
When I first read this quote I had one of those aha moments. The words resonated for me because, you see, I’ve been both.
Until my early thirties I lived like Batman. My great secret was that I am psychic. I have been since I was a child.
I remember so clearly the afternoon my best friend at high school passed judgement on an advertisement in a women’s magazine, showing a stereotypical psychic in a purple robe and turban with her hands suspended over a crystal ball. “It’s such a scam,” said my friend. “Psychics are all bullshit. They just exploit stupid people and the vulnerable.”
My other friends all nodded their heads in agreement. There was something contemptuous about both the people claiming to be psychic, and those people dumb enough or desperate enough to use their services. Lotto numbers. Soul Mates. Fortune Telling… Intelligent people made their own way in the world, did their own research, and chose trusted professionals to be their life advisors. Not women with exotic names who wore jewelled turbans and touted lucky numbers. Here I was, a well-educated young woman at an academic school, intending to go on to university studies. How could I claim to be like the crystal-waving freak?
I was so worried about being found out. About ending up an outcast. All I could think to do was withdraw further so that no-one would even suspect this thing in me, engage with people in a way that was all about them and never about me, and stay under the radar until this phase in my life had well and truly passed.
For years I was ashamed to be me. I hid my abilities and true nature, except where I knew it was safe to share the truth of my life.
What an exhausting and miserable way to live. Always in constant fear of being discovered, judged and ostracised. Of no longer being taken seriously.
Eventually illness stripped so much of my old self away that all that remained was my intuitive and psychic ability. The Universe certainly had the last laugh. The thing I fought so hard to hide was the only thing left that I could do.
That was when I decided that it was better to live like Iron Man – Tony Stark. To openly declare who and what I am, and to support others to be who they are too. Psychics aren’t freaks, but normal people with a particularly well-honed sense that is available to us all.
My life and my work is now an open book. I share it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s liberating. There’s no more stress. And in giving myself permission to live honestly as who I am, I help others to do that too. I surround myself with people who accept me for who I am, and I don’t care any more if you don’t like me, respect me or appreciate me or my gifts. I just won’t hang out with you, and I no longer put myself into situations or relationships where it is necessary to hide my truth or where you’ll put me down. Goodness, what a relief!
How about you? Are you Batman or Iron Man?
I know which one works better for me.