(The title above is a play on a comment someone once made about parentage: it isn’t hard. It’s just daily.)
Bought the Blu-Ray of Black Panther yesterday (I didn’t know DVD was a dying format. Couldn’t even find a copy at Best Buy!) and watched it for the sixth time. Man, that movie holds up. On a core level, it is about a man learning to be a king, and having to define what that means to him. To that end, his relationship to the kingdom is essential, and there is a beautiful, wide range of aspects to Wakanda that are shown or discussed.
One of my favorite moments is when he visits the Ancestral Plane, and speaks to his father’s spirit. The situation is that he feels unprepared to be a king, specifically to go forward without the guidance of his father. He has a Dark Night, related to his sense of guilt at not saving his father’s life in CIVIL WAR.
The truth is that life comes at us at Mach speed, and we are seldom ready. But his father, a good man (who made some bad choice…as do we all) reminds him that he prepared to be king EVERY DAY OF HIS LIFE. And that any man who does not prepare his children to go on without him has failed them.
“Have I failed you?”
“Never”, T’Challa replies.
And he gains the strength to rise and begin his reign as King of Wakanda, the titular Black Panther.
This is what all parents fear at times: that they are not prepared, not ready, not good enough, will fail our children. And this is true even if you had a great Mom and Dad who were there for you to model every day. Living up to that example can seem daunting.
But we must try. The voices in our head saying “you’re not enough” will always be there. They may get quieter, but they never completely shut up. If we are to do what we must for our families, our lives, the “child” dreamer within us, we have to prepare EVERY DAY for the life we desire, both to up our game and gain the ability to act despite the doubting voices.
Every day I get notes from people complaining about stress, and lack of focus, or context-based feelings of depression and despair. All I can do is continue to state that our moods are INFLUENCED, but not DETERMINED by what is happening around us. That our emotions are the result of what we focus on, how we use language, and the way we move our bodies. I rejoice every time someone discovers this and uses it for themselves, but it is so sad when, a week or so later, I see the same person complain about the same stress…and no, they have done nothing I suggested. It hurts. But…people have to be who they are. I can only continue to speak, hoping that those who wish to be the kings and queens of their inner kingdoms will hear.