My husband and I rented the Green Lantern the other night and I wanted to impart some insights from the movie that I felt apply not only to caregivers but for the rest of us as well.
In a cliché story of good vs. evil I found it interesting that both characters began to “live into” their roles based on how they related to their fathers. The hero of the story, a fighter pilot, came to his destiny by being “chosen” by the Green Lantern’s ring to help save the universe. The ring saw something in him that made him special and available for this mission. His mantra of “no fear” came from his father (also a fighter pilot) who was killed in an explosion. The villain, a squirrely scientist, lives in the shadow of a larger than life political father who is all about looking good and not looking bad. The father loves his son and tries to use his connections to give his son an advantage, however; doesn’t really believe that his son can actually do something great (Spoiler alert: the son ends up killing his father).
- Who we see ourselves to be has a lot to do with our relationship with our parents.
- Each of us has a created image of ourselves based on this same parental/family paradigm ( I share some more examples in (http://theworkingcaregiver.org/2012/05/14/eternally-12-syndrome/ ) For family caregivers this image of ourselves can halt pro-active decision-making regarding care issues because we are caught up in some make-believe image of ourselves based on how we were treated in our childhood.
- We are all destined for greatness if we can get past our fear of failure.
- In reality, we can achieve whatever we set out to with planning, determination and the will to overcome obstacles that get in our way. We’ve all heard stories about regular people overcoming considerable obstacles. However; when it comes to making important decisions in our lives, as well as when we are caring for an elderly loved one, fear can definitely get in the way of moving forward. Both characters had a good amount of fear. The villain’s fear was the catalyst for his evil powers and destruction. The hero, however; couldn’t be effective until he admitted that he was fearful, then, in spite of the fear, he was willing to move forward.
We will always possess some level of fear when faced with making serious decisions for our life and for those we love. Your destiny as caregivers doesn’t include super-powers (sorry) or saving the world from an evil villain (thank goodness!). It’s knowing you’ve done your best in spite of your fears.