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truth, justice, and a little validation (or yes i saw the movie, but there are no spoilers in this post)

liz lamoreux

There are moments when your heart kind of swells in your chest and you feel little tears form behind your eyes. Something feels a little bit lighter...as though everything might be right in the world. Right now. In this moment.

A moment like this happened for me today. The music swelled and once again, Superman saved the day.

I am a sucker for movies where the good guy really does stand for truth and justice and all that stuff. Where the good guy doesn't lie. Where the good guy says something along the lines of "Swell." Yes, I am a sucker for that.

I have to tell you that in high school, I knew a guy like this. Truth, justice, and "swell." And when I heard the music as the opening credits began, I thought about him a bit. When we were seniors, the show Lois & Clark was on TV. Do you remember it? Dean Cain and Terry Hatcher? The banter between them always made me smile. And this guy and I had a bit of that banter sometimes. I think I might have thought we were a bit like Lois and Clark or rather, wished that we were. And now he is off saving the world in his own way, standing for justice and all that stuff as he serves in the Army over the big ocean in the midst of some scariness I try not to think about. A "golly gee" Clark Kent of a guy turning into a Superman of sorts. Perfect. (Be safe my friend. Remember that you know how to fly.)

As I watched the movie though, I realized that what I really wanted back in high school was that moment when Superman shows Lois the world from his perspective. He invites her to change her perspective a bit. When I found someone who wanted to do this, well, it was all over for me. To challenge me to see things I never even looked at before knowing him, this is the gift my husband gives me, and he has the desire for me to do the same for him. And of course, the need to protect me from any that might harm me is a nice thing too. (Oh and the way he always gets me water each night before I go to bed; how it just appears there on my bedside table...I could go on...)

As the movie continued, I also noticed the theme of acceptance. Isn't this what we are ultimately searching for over and over? Validation. There is a scene in the movie that visually illustrates the opposite of this: rejection, prejudice, and brutality. This scene will haunt me for a while. Why is it that we want to destroy one another? Why don't we try to understand instead of harm? Naive questions, maybe, but I think it is true that we all seek validation. Why is it that we do not give it so easily? Or is it that people do not recognize it when it is offered to them?

At the beginning of the movie, when the characters are put in their first of many tense moments, I found myself sitting hunched forward in my seat, chewing on my lip, brow furrowed, and I had to laugh at myself. I turned to Jon and whispered, "I forgot that a Superman movie means lots of bad stuff happens so that Superman can save the day." He grabbed my hand and nodded.

This is life, yes? A lot of bad stuff has to happen. But, there is something to the idea that inviting someone to see your perspective, to walk in your shoes for a moment (or at least recognize that you walk or fly on your own path), to really see you as a person, well, this may be the way to save each other. To save ourselves. Validation is a powerful gift.

I know that I seek this in my own life. I look for ways to reassure myself that I am not alone. This is why there are so many books that line the shelves in my home. I am seeking a kinship with others; an understanding that the way I look at things, this way that seemed to invite a theme of loneliness in my life, is perhaps not as lonely as I thought. This is what I found by reading poetry. This is what I have found by coming here to this place and writing and reading and writing some more. This is what I have found through my journey with yoga. Perhaps, this is the new theme of my life. The understanding that I am not alone.

As the music swelled, my heart felt a bit lighter. Someone was coming along to save the day. We are not alone in our struggles, even on the days when it feels like we might be. We are here for each other.