March 4, 2019 Blog No Comments

At a friend’s funeral, it was noted that Art was a superhero, and in the end even he had to take off his cape.* There were chuckles because, yes it was true, he was like a larger than life action figure. And there was a collective sigh, knowing he too was a regular guy who, even without his cape, shone in his final days.

I have to say, it was profound to remember the big times we had and to be with so many I shared them with. It was a reminder that I need to stay connected with what’s important. It’s a reality – our days are numbered, and we can’t always wear a cape.

What does it mean to take off the superhero cape? Despite the sad and poignant occasion of losing a friend, there is an important lesson here.


Like any superhero, you may feel a sense of mission and a purpose to your life. I’ve been writing about it lately because I’ve been seeing it in so many different facets of my life. While it’s  important and not to be undervalued, there’s more to consider.

The other side to this is that being single focused can squeeze out important aspects to life. So ask yourself, are you too focused on your superhero mission that there’s not room for anything else?

Let your purpose include time for just being.


When you’re full steam ahead in your life, there’re inevitably things that are ignored or put on the back burner. What’s getting pushed aside and what’s the cost?

Every superhero comes home and takes off their cape – what then? Are your relationships happy, are you relaxed, are you having fun? In looking back at my busiest times, I see errors in not making more time for those I love and for the simple things in life. I want balance now.

What missing aspects of your life would help you have more balance?


I have friends who stay in the trenches so much that they get sick and barely have time for joy, self-care or others. The patterns of always being an agent for change and always being the stand-up guy or gal can leave you depleted.

My friend was always the one giving to others – he was never the one in need. He was too busy organizing, launching and giving to so many. But in his final days the cape was off, and he needed full care. Is it something you need to consider – that balance also means giving yourself time to just be and to allow others to have a role in giving to you as well?

There is reciprocity in giving – it’s called receiving.


The moving part of the story about Art was how he was shining in his final days, at the time that he was the most vulnerable and in need of assistance. After a 10-year battle with cancer, the cape had been long put away, and his most loving and beautiful nature shone through.

This was the lesson – the superhero cape only serves a limited purpose. There is more to life than being a hero, for there are things to learn in all aspects of our relationships with one another and the world. Don’t let a single focus mission consume you to the point that your identity is wrapped up in the cape.

Your true nature involves more than being a superhero.

It was powerful to consider that in the end, my superhero friend’s life lesson was on taking off the cape. It’s something we need to consider as we live with purpose. Life is more than a single focus intention, there needs to be balance. Allow yourself to be cared for too and let your true nature shine. We are here to encounter, expand and grow through a multitude of experiences – accept it all.

What does this stir up for you? Do you need to take off the cape or recalibrate to bring more balance into your life? Finding soul satisfying diversity is an important aspect of my Transformational Life Coaching and Counseling. Check out my website for more details. If you’d like to explore it, use my Free Consultation button and reach out. I’d love to hear from you.

*The wonderful superhero analogy came from Reverend Hendree Harrison, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Lexington, KY

* Photo by Zbysiu Rodak on UnsplashReverend G. Hendree Harrison, Jr.

Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com