My dad was pretty good at sweet talking the ladies, being somewhat of a charmer. I can remember all the way back how he would go to a fake kind of voice that I can only best call “Harvard academic” when he was trying to impress a woman he liked, someone better educated or a person of financial means.

Deep down, I suppose, my dad was just trying to be good enough. Which makes sense since his father took off when he was eight years old, never to be seen again. Let’s just say that especially when it came to charming women, my dad was a liar.

My mom was 8 months pregnant with me when she got married to my dad. I’ll guess it was more utilitarian than a marriage of love. There’s more to the story but this really isn’t about either mom or dad.

My mom wanted a father for me, a happy family life and to belong. My dad wanted to be a family man himself and to live the American dream.

I was born into a world where the people around me were not telling the truth. They were liars. Being the intuitive little baby that I was, I knew immediately and ongoingly that something was wrong. Obviously, the thing that was wrong was me.

I grew up distrusting my own intuition. I leaned on my mother (and as an adult leaned on other women) to tell me what to do, what to think and who to be. Separately, I had programming to become a self made man.

A young man I currently know in my life is a “super taster” and has some other obvious super genius powers. I am a “super listener”. I have a super power for listening.

However, often, I float off into other worlds – fantasies and day dreams. They are real enough but that’s a different topic. If the teaching is to “be in the world but not of the world,” I guess that I’ve got some more work to do to anchor myself more firmly into the here and now.

I have a bad habit, often, that when people are speaking to me I can only give them my attention for relatively short periods of time. It’s not unusual for me to be snapped out of a day dream by someone who will ask me a question relative to what they have been saying for the past few minutes. I, of course, wasn’t paying attention to any of it as I was busy off in the fantasy world. It’s not that I wasn’t listening but rather I was listening to something else.

But as a super listener, I have “photographic hearing”. Ever heard about someone with a photographic memory? I’ve got that but it is strictly limited to what someone says. I can remember specific things people say from decades gone by.

But back to my bad habit. Snapped out of my daydream and back to the person talking to me, I am now in the awkward position of having to respond to their question or else admit that I wasn’t listening to a thing. Fortunately, with my “photographic hearing”, I can take a moment and play back what they were just saying for the past few minutes and catch myself up on the conversation. Then I can answer their question after a not overly long delay.

I am awkward with my super power even still today.

It’s taken a long time to fully respect and honor my own unique super power. Until recently, I’ve had a strong desire to be an amazing public speaker. I’ve wanted to have important things to say. But more and more I am honoring that I was born into this world because I have important things to listen to.

I think that it is challenging for all of us, during our time here in earth school, to learn to trust our own unique powers. We live in a celebrity culture which is about “gee, wouldn’t it be great if I was just like them!” Of course, the flip side of celebrity culture is shame and blame culture. “Who is to blame?” And “who’s fault is it?”

There is something uniquely human about distracting ourselves from our own super powers by focusing on what other people have and by what other people are doing. I do it all the time. I wake up almost giddy in the morning wanting to know what stupid thing the president said today and if we have blown somebody else up yet. I have a fatal attraction to what somebody else is doing and with knowing who is to blame. It’s so much fun.

For the little newborn baby me, the people out there were “the gods” and they had all the power. Whatever they were saying and doing must be right and whatever I was feeling and knowing must have been wrong. Then the adolescent version decided “they are all wrong” but had not yet owned up to my own light and my own power.

We all have unique super powers. What is yours?

I love this quote by poet e.e. cummings:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”