“The Chuck Norris Paradox” revealed some deep insights about the psyche of the action hero within me. If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to read it before you learn about the benefits listed bellow.
I’m no longer a light sleeper. Since childhood I would wake-up at the slightest noise. I was convinced I was “wired” that way. Regaining my deep sleep makes complete sense since I don’t have to be constantly on guard. Instead, I tell my body and mind to sound the alarm in the event I’m really needed. The gift of deep sleep alone was worth the tuition of $800 for the course and seminar.
NO MORE MOPS
Before going to bed my father props a mop at the front door. The idea is that the mop will fall and wake him up with a BANG when the enemy attacks. While he may have reasons to take these actions, such an attack has yet to happen. I know he has also booby trapped the windows on many occasions. My father is in his early 70s and is certainly playing the action hero role as well. He will be the first to admit it. This insight has changed the dynamics of my interactions with him.
This one is huge. I was never around any male mentors or men to look up to during my childhood or teens. No uncles, grandfathers or older family friends. ZERO in the real world. You can easily guess who those mentors and men were. Fictional action heroes with fictional black and white characters and fictional relationships to women in need of saving. I craved the stewardship of older males. This void created a misdirected disdain for authority. I made-up for the lack of guidance by artificially inflating my self-worth.
These days I mentor weekly a fifteen year old boy and coach a thirty year old male. My life is richer.
Years ago I was hired to film an interview with a mother and her two children. She was from Latin America, petite, and had suffered at the hands of men and society. By the end of filming I was inexplicably attracted to her. I wished to protect her and her children at any cost! This feeling wore off in the days to come. Still, the incident left me bewildered. Now, years later, I no longer assume responsibility to save the opposite sex. If anything such behavior is a disservice to the power of women. I can hold space for women and not confuse their vulnerability with an attraction or a cry for help. A cry I must answer at any cost to reenforce my action hero identity.
My first screenplay written in my early twenties was called “Save Our Souls” and it was inspired by this song with the same name by the great Vladimir Vysotsky. I no longer write or make movies in order to save anyone or even save myself. Writing is not a burden anymore. Writing is writing is writing...
We’re a community and in a community the joy of connecting to others through my soul’s desire is the best currency and the best medicine!
Of course, we could dive deeper and ask why the action hero needs to save anyone in the first place? To feel needed? To feel powerful? To feel right? I will let you look into that further…
The action hero still lives with me, but now we get along and divide up responsibilities. He makes sure we exercise every day. He made me revisit the martial arts forms I learned in 1994 and now we do them together, shirtless in the cold winter weather. We have agreed he won’t read the world news. (He gets really worked up!) Instead, he takes out the dog. I make sure we go to bed early, but when work needs to be done, he steps in to carry us through the night. Sometimes he wants to speak up about matters concerning family affairs, but to his credit, he stays mostly neutral. He does his own thing while I write and do social work.
We don’t watch action movies any more.
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