When Will You Search For The Hero Inside Yourself?

by Annie Kaszina on April 27, 2010

As I
drove back from a networking meeting this morning at 8.30 am, the weather was –
uncharacteristically – perfect; this is the UK after all.  To make things
even better, Heather Small's “Search For
The Hero”
was playing on the radio.  It’s one of those songs that never fail
to inspire.

 

Naturally
enough, it made me think about what happens in abusive relationships. 

 

What
happens to all abused women is that they fixate on their partner’s ‘potential’
for being a great partner, one day.  Bizarrely, the more objectionable he
becomes in the day-to-day, the more you fixate on his – largely untapped –
potential. 

 

And the
less you focus on your own.

 

Oh, and
then you end up forgetting that you still have any potential.

 

You
forget about your own potential because you are focusing so hard on his
unrealized potential, in the hope of magicking it into existence, that you don’t
have any energy left to dedicate to yourself.

 

And you
have lost all sense of self in the relationship.  You have lost all sense of who
you are, what you are worth, and what you have to offer; both to yourself and
the World. 

 

In
fact, I can almost sense a protest here, to the effect that you have no worth
and nothing to offer, and that is why you are in the mess that you are in.

 

And
you love him
, of course.

 

Hmm!

 

This is
precisely where Search For The Hero Inside Yourself comes in.

 

I don’t
know who you were before you met your abusive partner.  Most probably, you don’t
either.  Some women tell me that they had a lot going for them before they got
sucked into an abusive relationship; others say that they were pretty lost.

 

What I
do know is that there truly is a hero inside you

 

Every
abused woman I have ever worked with is a woman of monumental courage and
resourcefulness. 

 

The
only thing is, she’s blind to that.

 

Her
partner, of course, is resolutely blind to that, too. 

 

Yet, as
I drove along this morning, I could not help musing: an abusive man will always
seek out a woman with the big ‘V’ on her forehead. 

 

But
that is not all that he wants.  He has standards.  He wants a woman who has a
certain stature.  Now, exactly how he defines and identifies that stature is too
complicated to go into here, but you had better believe it.

 

I’ve
worked with women across 4 continents, whose personal circumstances vary wildly,
but one thing they all have in common is their exceptional personal stature. 
Every single one of them has been a woman of extraordinary calibre – and I have
no doubt that it is just as true for all the women I have not had the pleasure
to work with.

 

Had
someone said that to the “Mini-Me” that lived with my abusive husband, I doubt I
would even have managed a weary half-smile.  “Yeah, right!”, I would have
thought to myself.  “If I’m so great, how come my husband is so vile to me? How
come I’m wasting my life?  How come I know I’m so worthless – because
it’s not just something I feel, it’s something I know…”

 

So,
here’s the thing: we all know a load of stuff that ‘just ain’t so’. 

 

When
did you last say to yourself: “Just because I believe something, that doesn’t
make it true.  And because my abusive partner believes something negative about
me, that doesn’t make it true, either.” 

 

I
thought as much!

 

As
human beings we cannot help but be subjective; it comes with the territory. 
Even when we do our darnedest to be objective, we can still only do so from our
subjective standpoint.  This means that a great deal of what we
know, is really just what we believe.

 

And
beliefs can always change

 

One
belief that you might like to change right now is about your faults, failings,
shortcomings, design flaws – or whatever else you, or your abusive partner, care
to call them. 

 

A wise
person once said: “There are no weaknesses only overdone strengths.” 

 

You, my
friend, are a woman of enormously overdone strengths.  The full list
would be too long to detail, but let me point you in the direction of a few of
yours.
 

You
have, doubtless, heard the old expression ‘generous to a fault’.  Generosity
to a fault is only one of your overdone strengths.  Others include:

 

  • Loyalty

  • Selflessness

  • Forgiveness

  • Acceptance

  • Endurance

  • Lovingness

  • Strength

 

You
have overdone every one of these strengths to a fault – the fault
of letting your abusive partner completely off the hook.

 

Now,
suppose you were to go looking for the Hero Inside Yourself – and I’m not
saying that you should, only that it might be a good idea for you to do so at
some point, sometime quite soon (like before another day passes).  Do you
suppose that that Hero, or any hero worthy of the name, might possess those
qualities?  Even if you choose to focus on those fantasy Superheroes who
either wear their underpants on the outside, or else don otherwise highly
unlikely gear. 

 

As I
write this, I’m running through my brain all that I know about
Superheroes – which, admittedly, is not a lot.  But, as far as I can tell, they
all have their imperfect, less heroic side, also. 

 

Why
shouldn’t you?

 

And
what is to stop you searching for the Hero Inside Yourself?

 

I don’t
mean that you should sit down and start racking your brains to discover where
that Hero could possibly be lurking.  Back in the dark days of my marriage, I
tried that a few times, and the results were anything but encouraging. 

 

The
results were dismal because, not only did I not know what I was looking for, but
I also kept my eyes firmly fixed on my perceived failings.

 

So, let
me give you a clue: so far the Hero Inside Yourself has only been focused
on giving to other people.  But it is pretty heroic to carry on giving –
to children, friends, people you work with – when you feel totally and utterly
empty. 

 

You
have all the best qualities of the Hero inside yourself, and you have shown them
many, many times.  But, because you were blind to them, it made it a lot easier
for others not to notice, or acknowledge, them. 

 

I don’t
know where the ‘key to your life’ lies, any more than you do right now.  But I
know that you have it.

 

You
have a Hero Inside Yourself.  You’d better start treating yourself and that Hero
with respect.  And trust.

 

Do that and you will start seeing
that Hero, much sooner than you could possibly believe.

Previous post:

Next post: