Who is your favorite character ever? From anything. Any show, any book, any film. Now, if you are anything like me this is a damn hard question to answer. My favorite character? Man, it depends on the day! And there is actually a reason for this.
It should come as no surprise that we are attracted to characters that speak to us on a personal level. That is obvious for the most part, it is the reason that some people like Superman while others prefer Captain America. And this is a huge part of the reason we are attracted to the stories that speak to us as well. However, there is another layer to why we love the fragments of fiction that we do.
The world around us is a mirror. We are presented everyday all day with the parts of us we like and the parts of us we do not reflected back to us in every interaction that we have and with every person that we meet. But don’t get too stuck in this concept because it can easily get mind bending and fast. However, because we are bombarded with a constant depiction of all we need to heal and feel constantly, we tend to become very numb to what the mirror of the world is showing us.
And, I sincerely believe, this is why we are drawn to the content and characters that we are. When we watch, or read, our favorite characters it is easy for us to see what we love and what we struggle with in an easier to digest way. We see our own lives worked through by an image and a story that we can relate to and that also entertains us.
There is immense power in the creation of characters to help us dig deeper on what our life feels like. Also, the beauty of characters and this mirror of life is that everyone has what they need to have reflected back to them in their own unique way. What I mean by this is not only does that mean we are attracted to different characters because they speak to us more than others we also each get from our characters different aspects mirrored back.
Let’s say that you feel a deep resonance with Tony Stark. You may feel this because, similar to him, you have struggles connecting with others, you may push people away actively or this may be something that you hardly notice yourself doing. On the flip side of the coin you also may have a lot of ingenuity or secret sneaky leadership qualities. However, there could be an entirely different way to interpret Tony in your life. Perhaps you are fiercely loyal as he is but struggle with talking about your feelings and often deflect with humor.
There are multiple ways to view the same character and all of the ways are correct. So, how do you know what it is that your fav character says about you? Well, sometimes it is rather easy to tell what parts of them feel right to you and other times it may be a bit sneaky and hard to nail down.
What I recommend is this, think about it. I know, complicated solution right? But really, the next time you are watching or reading something with a character that you really enjoy in it, alright I admit they don’t have to be your favorite just one that you connect with, take some time to pick out their strengths and weaknesses. What do they struggle with? How do they keep messing themselves up? And also, what do they do amazingly?
I don’t point this out for you to find new reasons to judge yourself. Not even close. The reason that I bring this up because I think that it is absolutely beautiful that the stories that we adore have the power to show us ways in which we can overcome whatever we face in life and not just by being there for us to fall back on but in the ways they mirror us. In the ways that they demonstrate not only what we may be facing but also how to overcome it.
Also, if anything, the characters that you are the most drawn to are the ones that you don’t judge harshly. Treat yourself with the same kindness. And also, if the character eventually does something brutal or that you don’t agree with, that does not under any circumstance mean that what caused them to do something horrible reflects onto you however, if their behavior triggers you, perhaps that is something that you so think about as well. Why did that drastic change cause you such distress? Perhaps you struggle with trusting yourself and that struggle is being mirrored. It does not always have to be so black and white to be effective and help you to grown.
And remember we all have the light and darkness within us and so do our characters.
The beauty of this principle is also that it is not exclusive to characters it is also the stories that we love that can help us to grow by mirroring our own journeys. Emotionally I mean, not physically. I know you aren’t taking on the Deathstar, I mean, I get that, but we all have battles we fight, your Deathstar may be the loss of a job or being cheated on.
If we can start to view our content as this creative and inspiring thing that can help us to grow as people actively, it becomes a lot easier to understand our own journeys and, not only that, but to understand the journeys of others.
Also, don’t think you must absorb all content in this way, but if you do start to really think about it, you may be able to find solutions to some of the issues that you face because the characters you love overcome them in their own and your own way.