How to be Like Iron Man

The character of Iron Man intrigues me. He is a combination superhero and rapscallion with a smidgen of chivalry thrown in to endear him to the hearts of many people. Beneath his modern day suit of armor, he shines as any Knight of the Roundtable, albeit more like a Monty Python character than the classic versions of knights like Arthur.

I loved how the writers neatly wrapped up the story—pun intended: the holiday theme and all. Was anyone else bothered by the Christmas trees and music in May? (WARNING: Spoiler Alert… do not continue reading if you don’t want to know how Iron Man 3 ends!) I appreciated that we ended the series (and yes, it is time) with Iron Man living through the storms of life without retreating into his armor. Instead, the shrapnel was removed and he was restored to a more deeply human form than when he had begun his journey.

At the end of the movie, I was reminded that the same character who lives through the trauma of an attack in Iron Man is also the person who returns to the rubble and faces the reality of the brokenness in Iron Man 3. The more human side of Iron Man is what actually made him the strongest. He provides a lesson for each of us on life’s journey.  We long for the suits of armor that will change us into people that can do amazing things or conquer fearful situations. But at the core, it is our humanness that endears us to others.    Counseling often involves removing the shrapnel from our lives. Sometimes that process might mean returning physically to the place where trauma happened. There we can see that what seemed to destroy all we knew was actually a catalyst in change.

 

Marlayne Whitlock, M.A., LAPC

mwhitlock@ GROWcounseling.com

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