EmoHero: A Cathartic Exercise

This is based on a challenge I have joined on habitica, and I don’t know what to expect from it. The premise is to reimagine your emotions as people- heroes and monsters, specifically- and to describe them in more detail. I honestly have no idea what this process will be like, but I’m going to try anyway. All entries on this topic will be tagged with EmoHero, if only for my sake. If anyone is interested in looking at or joining the challenge, here it is.

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This challenge was created by Take This

Ok. My tasks are to “turn one of my positive feelings into a hero” and to “list my hero’s strengths and weakness.” Then, if I can find “small changes I can make in my own life to play to their strengths,” I’m supposed to include those as well.

I think I will start with love, because it’s an emotion that I can easily identify within myself. I will use bold when I’m referring to the character and plain text when referring to the abstract concept.

Thinking specifically of my husband and my closest friends, I think that love would be strong, but not offensive. I don’t think that it would possess attacks, or at least, the love wouldn’t use those first when trying to solve problems. I think that she (I’m using female because I’m female.) is more of a defender, the type of hero who would step in between her teammates and danger, so she could take the hit herself. If love has any energy-based powers, they would probably be shields and healing, both of which lessen the lasting pain caused by attacks. If love was primarily a physical hero (like The Incredible Hulk, The Thing, Colossus, The Flash, Quicksilver, Wolverine,  etc.), I think she would have more physical resistance than speed or strength. I don’t envision her throwing tractors or running fast enough to stand on water, but being the type of hero who can brace for a truck impact and stop it with her bare hands. (But then, I guess she would be strong enough to throw tractors anyway.)

So if I were to refine it a bit… love would probably have some sort of physical transformation to a tougher state (like Emma Frost’s diamond form or Colossus’s steel skin). But would she be able to change back, or would she always be in that state? My gut says that it would have to be an inherent state; that she would always be in the strong form, but that she still might not make the best choices. Someone who is strong doesn’t always use that strength for others, or for good. Love isn’t perfect, but she is powerful. Sometimes, she can hurt people, and sometimes, she can be selfish and not use her strength to help others. Yeah, that feels right.

That gives us, let’s arbitrarily say, a steel-skinned woman with an average appearance. I think that love‘s character and actions are the source of her beauty, but I truly don’t picture her as a stick thin waif with oversized breasts and hips and lips, like you see in comic books. I think love looks like the girl you see in the coffeeshop, just wearing normal street clothes, with a practical hairstyle, more concerned with the nitty gritty business of living life and being genuine than she is with counting calories, makeup trends, or fashion. If she puts effort towards any of those things, it’s in a balanced way, as part of a holistic life, not because she feels insecure. Love is definitely secure in her identity; if she weren’t, she wouldn’t have any energy to invest in others.

Right. My “recaps” just make this longer. Let me try again.

  • Steel skin.
  • Average build and looks.
  • Confidence.
  • Vulnerability.
  • Deeply rooted selflessness.
  • Ability to create barriers and to heal.

I want to be careful not to make her too strong or to give the impression that love fixes everything; it doesn’t, but love can make it easier to endure pain, process trauma, overcome stress, make plans, reach out, and more. Love can empower others to be their best, and in that vein, I could have given love some sort of defensive buffs, but I picked shields and healing for a reason. Shields are for during the hard times in life, when having someone standing with you can help you make it through. Healing is for after the trauma is done, when you’re looking at old wounds and just crying, shouting, painting, singing, exercising, or fighting your way through. When you’re just in pain, but the only forward is through more pain, having people who care for you listen and be kind while you’re vulnerable is like soothing balm on a sore wound.

Ok. Great. That was… kind of fun, actually, because I enjoy hero stories, and I have a lot of fodder to choose from. I will definitely write up at least one monster, and see how that goes.

Last part… taking responsibility for myself and looking for ways to play to love‘s strengths. Yeah. Well, I can’t dwell on this too much, since it’s the opposite of the prompt, but the main weakness that I have in acting like love is selfishness. That’s a huge generalization, so I’ll try to be a bit more specific: I tend to act based off of my negative status effects (tired, hungry, frustrated, exhausted, scared, etc.) rather than the qualities of my relationship with someone (mutual trust, long duration, personality traits that I enjoy, level of connection to each other, etc.) or even the other person’s status effects (tired but they made breakfast anyway, busy but they made time for me, insecure about their worth, trying something new, etc.).

But how can I translate that into small changes? I guess that the two main things that I see here are processing time and admission of mistakes. If I can try to slow down my responses by a few seconds, maybe I will have more time to be kind and less time to say stupid things because I’m tired and I’m not worried about anyone else’s feelings. If I still make mistakes (ok, when I still make mistakes), apologizing to my friend and acknowledging that I should have treated them better reinforces my desire to act differently and it strengthens the relationship by removing the idea that I think treating them like garbage is fine.

Can I actually do that? I have no idea.

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