Are you awake? It's me.....Hero!
Years, years and even more years ago, I would take people's inventory for all the wrong reasons. It was to point out flaws, to feel superior and the reality was I was taking their inventory in order to avoid my own. Now however, after a lot of years taking my own personal inventory on a daily basis, I find that I still take note of other people and how they manage their lives, but for all the right reasons.
The difference is the eyes, my eyes. More than a decade ago, I marched passed a church that had a quote from Marcel Proust, it read " The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." It was one of those AHA! moments in my life, where there was some biological/psychological shift in me after reading that for the very first time. It so happened that I was in what I call the beginning of my spiritual journey here on earth. So I began with "new eyes". I saw a stone with a quote from Ghandi "We must be the change we want to see!" All the signs were there, maybe they always were but with new eyes I was able to see them.
I was 31 and for the first time since 13, a truly sober person. I was changing quickly in ways I could never anticipate. In ways too numerous to count (for this piece anyway).
Now a good 16 years later I am still becoming the man I want to be, a work in progress. Through the past 16 years, I have achieved so much for myself and for others. There was a stretch of time I really put myself out there. I did it for my son and found the strength to walk in the boots I so easily put on for him. I was under a microscope, standing up for my son, husband, family, community and what I believe to be "God's work" (whatever that means). The examination felt great most of the time as I received great support and affirmation on the man, the husband, the parent I had become.
But there was doubt, there was fear. Little by little I turned myself away from the good and handed myself over, bit by bit, to the fear inside. Everything changed for me then. When you turn away from the light there is only shadows and darkness and I turned. It wasn't long before I was lost. Everyone seemed happier, brighter than I was. I dropped my new eyes and picked up my old ones without ever noticing.
I was judging myself through other people. Friends or foe, famous or not, I looked to them to tell me who I was. How I got lost and how to get back. I looked for the worst in people, so that I could feel better. It was seductive and tragic.
There is a hero inside me. Although I stopped feeding him for awhile, he stayed there for the duration of an ugly time in my life. The hero had already been woken though and did not retreat too far this time but rather held my hand while I dealt with my most inner demons. The hero held my new eyes for me and as soon as I was ready, he encouraged me to put them back in.......so I did.
For the past few years, my family has moved from NJ, to NY, to CA and back to NJ. Like a caterpillar I have reinvented myself, all the while looking at life through the eyes that heal, the eyes that challange, the eyes that see. I have no regrets and resentments are few and far between and definitely not allowed to multiply. As my house is now in order, I am called upon again from somewhere deep that whispers to me softly to wake up, "it's time" It's the hero, he's back and this time I'm jumping on his shoulders.
I am proud of who I am. I no longer need other's to define me and I let their inventory be their inventory. I love me just the way I am today. Self doubt tries to opine every now and again and I just thank him for sharing and move forward.
I have said yes, yes, yes to a call, to a calling. This might be the biggest YES yet. I said yes for my entire family I represent. The hero is back. The hero is me.
My son craves to be a superhero. If he can't be one then he will find one. He is constantly searching for a "real" superhero. Today, in all modesty I will tell him the truth.....that I am a superhero. He won't understand that my super powers are my eyes. Eyes that see love, truth and have the power to change. My greatest hope is that all my kids learn that they too can be a superhero.
Note to self (and others) It's all in the eyes, the eyes have it.
JON HOLDEN GALLUCCIO, AUTHOR OF “AN AMERICAN FAMILY” WITH MICHAEL GALLUCCIO AND DAVID GROFF, IS A FINANCIAL SERVICES REPRESENTATIVE WITH METLIFE. HE RESIDES WITH MICHAEL AND TWO OF THEIR CHILDREN IN NORTH HALEDON. HE CAN BE CONTACTED AT WWW.GALLUCCIO.COM