Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Superman is the ultimate superhero – invincible, unstoppable, unbreakable. But as everyone who is even remotely familiar with the DC comic universe knows, Kryptonite is the one weakness of the otherwise indestructible Superman. Kryptonite is the radioactive remains from his home planet of Krypton which renders him helpless.
Perhaps we all have radioactive remains that has detrimental effects on us, our own version of Kryptonite. Battle scars hidden just below the surface that spread radioactively to instantly cripple us. We can be cruising right along in life, happy and content, when someone (or self-inflicted or some combination) peels the scab right off and releases our own personal debilitating poison. It can manifest out of the blue and transport us right back to the past, specifically to that painful moment or period you’ve so desperately moved away from. The usual suspect(s) is a relationship with an emotional trigger – a parent, child, sibling, spouse – or even the deadly combination of a dysfunctional family. It may be due to some epic battle with this loved one that was fought years ago or simply an ongoing drip torture that continues to weigh on you. It could also be a boss, a failed endeavor, a dark period in your life or any pursuit of passion that you deeply care about that for whatever reason took a wrong turn. No blood may have been spilled, but the emotional toll cuts far deeper and can be devastating to your mental health.
We ultimately reconcile or move on simply by burying it deep inside our consciousness to protect ourselves but, like the radiation from Krypton, it can seep right out of our pores with remarkable speed with the right catalyst. It debilitates the mind which often transfers the pain to the body. Even the Man of Steel cannot escape his weakness from another planet so perhaps it’s not realistic for us to believe we can ever fully remove ourself from a past affliction.
We all have our own personal Kryptonite but take solace in the fact that Superman’s weakness is an attribute that makes him so popular. If he was invincible all the time, no villain would ever stand a chance against him, and he’d become a boring character that never faces conflict or drama. By humanizing him, it makes him more relatable just we all have our own vulnerabilities as none of us are perfect or invincible. Look inward to discover what may be burning radioactively within you (thankfully you don’t have to fly to another planet to find it), observe it and acknowledge this may be your fundamental weakness. This awareness will allow you to protect and defend yourself far better when it resurfaces. Know thyself and know thy enemy, which is often within you. Just as Superman fights for truth, justice and the American way, your personal knowledge is power in fighting for your own mental and emotional health.