Remember being a child, and believing in objects that could heal all wounds or cause blanket destruction: the dime-store crowns or Target super-hero capes that made heroes and kingdom rulers of our small bodies. We could imagine leaping tall buildings, traveling to far-away planets, or destroying the ‘bad guys’ with our power. We grow up, dismissing the weight of capes and swords as we learn about courtrooms and warzones.
And within that framework, allow the belief in our ‘magical powers’ to fade, lost in the attic of a parent’s house more than the fairy wings or wooden spears – but an unwavering belief in what we could do and be.
A talisman is defined by Miriam Webster as “an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.” Whether you believe in magic or not, how many of you have a talisman that you keep close? (No, cell phones don’t count). A stuffed animal that has followed you since childhood or that mix-tape that inspires you to push harder through a workout?
Those DO count.
Think – what if that bracelet you wear/that favorite pen/that song you always sing in the shower… what if that talisman were allowed to fulfill all we are capable of instilling in something? You learned how to make a bed-sheet a cave when you were a kid, is it so hard to imagine the ring you wear as an invisible shield against negative thoughts? What if your theme song can get you through more than the commute to work, but can help you solve Big problems?
I think we tend to dismiss the little treasures we keep close: deny the power they might have or refute feeling more secure when they’re in our pockets. We tell ourselves that they’re trinkets or accessories, and feel silly when we note their loss if we forget them at home on a road trip. We shrug off our gut feelings because really, it’s just a thing, and we’re ‘grownups.’
You might be in the shrinking minority: all one needs to do is look at the media: an ever growing percentage of films, television and books are dedicated to the idea that there is more beneath the surface: other worlds, magical beings, the undead, werewolves, elves and super-humans all represent a hunger for a return to that childhood belief in magic. Many celebrities, politicians and CEO’s have such objects – read more here – that they’re willing to share with the public, most though, keep their talismans close, shared only with loved ones, or kept entirely to themselves… it is, after all, THEIR powerful object, only working for them.
If you DO have something you hold close in times of stress, look at it with fresh eyes: is this my talisman? Is this where I draw my “magic” from? Do I need a new one, or is this one perfect? And if you don’t – create one! It doesn’t even have to be an object – it can be a song, a special recipe; a runner’s high or a place you go occasionally. Once you have it, let it be your cape, your magic wand. It has been there all along – that ability to boost yourself; become the hero on the cliff, the slayer of shadowy demons or the ruler of kingdoms both far and near. That little bit of magical faith won’t be why you got your promotion, but it could be that the strength you gain from your own ‘super-humanness’ is what creates the drive to seek that next step in the first place.