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Me and The Justice League

Young confident woman in red cape and mask

I’m not saying I didn’t want to see the movie. I’m just saying it definitely wasn’t my first choice. But sometimes, when it’s a whole-family outing, my estrogen is outnumbered and their collective testosterone wins the movie choice.

In moments like this one, I have a mantra I repeat in my mind: “Suspend your reality. Find the story.”

Because, the thing is, and I’m sorry to say this, but special effects don’t do very much for me. Story is everything. I need characters I can love, relationships with many layers, and sweet character development. I need these things. With their movie choice, I confess: I was expecting lots of special effects and not a lot of met needs.

But I like these three men of mine. And I wanted to be with them. And they wanted the Justice League. So there you have it. “Suspend your reality. Find the story.”

I asked them to give me the low-down on our way to the theater. “Okay, guys. Tell me what I need to know about these people.”

I was not prepared for the barrage of information henceforthcoming. (I just made up that word.)

(If you love the Justice League, you probably want to skip this paragraph because I’ll annoy you with my ineptitude.)

I learned that there is Superman, Batman, Cyborg, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aqua Man. Superman is king of everything. Batman is dark and rich. Cyborg is mostly a robot with laser beam eyes. Aqua Man is in charge of the water and he talks to the fish. The Flash is superfast and Tyler’s favorite. And Wonder Woman is classy and demure. (They didn’t use these words. They referred more to her… shape.)

Armed with the most basic information, I settled into my recliner seat in the third row. I suspended my reality, and I looked for the story.

Here’s what I found. In this particular movie (and perhaps in all of them), they’re putting together their team that will save the world. Most of them were born with their abilities, or they’ve had them for a long time, or whatever-blah-di-blah. Except for The Flash, who seems to be the newbie of the heroes, the most recent convert to being superhuman.

Here’s what I loved about him: he’s struggling with Impostor Syndrome. They didn’t say so in the movie, but that’s totally what was going on.

He’s suddenly running with the big dogs, doing what he’s always wanted to do, and while they believe he’s capable and an important part of their team, he’s pretty sure there’s been a big mistake.

They face their first battle together, where they have to save a bunch of people who’ve been kidnapped. The Flash starts to melt down into a borderline panic attack. He’s sure he can’t do this because he’s never actually fought in a battle, and he’s afraid of every single thing involved. All he knows is how to be fast, and fast doesn’t seem like enough.

Just before they go into the dungeon, just before the battle begins, just before The Flash can give up, Batman looks at him and says, “Just save one. Get in and get out. Be fast, and save one.”

Essentially, Batman says, “Just do what you can do. That’s what we need from you.”

Armed with just the right words from his mentor, The Flash finds his courage. He gets in, rescues one, and delivers that one to safely. Then he realizes he can save another. Then another. Until they’re rescued.

(I’d apologize for the spoiler, but seriously, you had to know that’s how it would go.)

He did what he could knew how to do, and he did it over and over again until the job was finished.

Many other phrases come to my mind.

Do what you can do.
Go in the strength that you already have.
You have everything you need.
You can do this.
All you can do is all you can do.
And all you can do is enough.

Thanks, Batman. And The Flash.

I suspended my reality. You gave me a story.

And a strong lead for battling the voices of the Impostor.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Oh, yeah! And what an impostor the ultimate impostor is, indeed. Kudos to The Flash for accepting the support he needed to know that he had what it took to see that he wasn’t an impostor, but overcame the impostor that was trying to trick him.

    (I’m not much into the superhero stuff myself, either, but I appreciate your connection between superheroes and those of us who are far more weak in so many ways.)

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