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.
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.
So far, I’ve written about love, caution, and fear. I dropped off the challenge pretty early on, and saw other participants talking about the value of putting in the effort to create several heroes for themselves. Technically, the challenge has already ended, but I’m going to try pushing through. Here we go.
What other good traits or emotions do I even have? (That might sound dumb, but I think it’s pretty typical for people with chronically low self esteem to struggle with this question, so I’m not worried about it.) Moreover, love was an emotion that is essentially pouring myself out for others, so it’s not… I don’t have the words for this. Essentially, pouring out too much of yourself is unhealthy and focusing too much on others and crushing yourself into paste because you think it will help them is unhealthy. I need to find something that is just valuable in and of itself.
Maybe it will help if I list positive feelings in general:
I’ve found a strange middle ground between states of being, emotions, and personality traits, and I’m not going to split hairs trying to divide them. It doesn’t seem worthwhile, and I’m more likely to wind up distracted by that task than to be helped by it. Maybe, Hope is a good choice. (As in other entries, bold is the hero, plain is the emotion.)
As someone who has been actively suicidal multiple times, my idea of hope is inextricably tied to the will to carry on. Hope isn’t really optimism for me, in that it doesn’t involve dreams, plans, or excitement over what’s coming. Instead, it’s something dense and strong, like an iron ingot or an uncharted diamond. Hope carries a huge burden without being damaged, and it is very hard to break. I’ll start with that diamond idea and see where it leads.
Hope the hero could have diamond powers, perhaps, but what does that look like? We have Emma Frost’s diamond skin that makes her invincible or Rarity’s temporary gem-based summoning powers a la Green Lantern. I can’t think of other precedents offhand. What does hope contribute to the total picture? Essentially, hope buys time for other emotions and people to turn the tide. No matter how dire everything else looks, hope keeps me going until I am strong enough to believe in the future again.
That sounds like a shield to me. Hope has the ability to produce and maintain a diamond shield over the rest of the team. Ok. That’s a fine start.
I had to go and check, but Love got shields and healing. If they’re on the same team, then the most obvious interaction I can find is when the heavy hitter goes down, Hope throws up a crystal shield and Love starts healing them. When things are most dire, this combo is pretty helpful, but does Hope do anything when the situation isn’t dire?
For me, hope is primarily active when everything else has failed me, but occasionally I’m doing well enough to feel hope even when things are going ok. I wonder if that sounds silly. I feel hopeful when I’m teetering at the edge of death, and I struggle to hope when things are neutral or going well. Honestly, I’m usually just waiting for the shoe to drop when my life is going well. I know it won’t last, so I’m just waiting for the good times to pass.
Yeah, at this point, I think that the best thing I can say is that Hope has latent powers, because I see the potential for them to take action at other points in the battle (and in my life), but they need to be mentored or trained to develop further. On an emotional level, I’m going to need to continue forward in a stable emotional state that allows room for hope and growth. I’m not sure how to do that except to just keep putting myself out there, keep trying new things, and keep pushing through old walls.
Hang in there, Hope. One day, you’ll know who you are and what you’re capable of.