One of my absolute favourite super heroes is Green Lantern.
For those that don’t know Green Lantern is basically a space cop. The Green Lantern Corps is an organization that patrols the 3600 sectors of space (2 GL’s per sector) and keeps the peace. The fact that there are 7200 Green Lanterns is one of the many things about it that I like, there are a HUGE variety of beings that are Lanterns, including a sentient planet (Mogo) and an intelligent fly (Bzzd). A major part of their appeal is that anyone can be a Green Lantern. (Including me!!)
Green is the colour of Will, and Will is the source of their powers. There are nine different rings, in different colours, each representing a different aspect of emotion or state. A green power ring grants anyone with sufficient will power the ability to manifest anything they can imagine. A red ring will give power to anyone with enough rage/anger, a blue ring pairs with hope, etc. Traditionally in the comics “physically manifesting power” meant giant fists to punch things, and cages to imprison bad guys, but in modern comics the ideas are pretty much….well… anything you can imagine.
I love the concept that the source of their power is Will, it applies so easily to the real world: true creation is a force of will.
On social media everywhere you look there are people promoting the fact that “everyone has the power to change their lives”, and it is absolutely true. We all have that power. What many of us lack is the will! I am very aware that I have the ability to change my life, what I struggle with daily is the will to do it! Will is like a muscle: the more you work it, the stronger it gets. It’s also like a bucket with a hole in the bottom: if you let it empty, it takes many times as much work to fill it again than it would to just keep filling it a little bit every day. That is why once we have established habits, we need to keep them up!
As in real life, Green Lantern has a weakness: the yellow power of fear. Whoever created the Green Lantern character was extremely clever, because will and fear do cancel each other out. (At least they do in my case.) As the saying goes: “Fear has killed more dreams than failure ever will.” There have been many times in the comics (and once in a mediocre movie) when a Green Lantern has succumbed to fear and lost the ability to manifest objects using their ring, and the same can be applied to real life. The trick in the comics, and in real life, is to feel and acknowledge the fear, but not let it control you, or stop you from taking action. I have many things I want to accomplish over the next few years, and I’ve been struggling hard to figure out where the fear that stops me from beginning these projects is coming from.
I read an amazing quote many years ago: “Fear is the Messenger, not the Message.” Fear is a powerful emotion, but it is an instinctive reaction to information. The secret to not letting fear control you is to look past the fear for the information that triggered it, “the message”. Once you know what your fear is trying to tell you, you can act appropriately. It takes an incredible act of Will to do that, but it will allow you to deal with, and end, your fear.