When I was in my early teens, my brother started collecting the X-Men comic book series from issue nr.1. I soon became hooked to the series too. I found the characters far more interesting and complex than the "classics" (Superman, Spiderman and Batman -but this was, of course, way before Batman was "revamped") My favourite character was Wolverine, though at the start, I didn't like him at all, but after a few issues, he grew on me. The one I identified with, though, was Jean Grey.
Now, looking back, I understand why I identified with her. On wikipedia, she is described as: "Jean Grey is a mutant born with telepathic and telekinetic powers. She is a caring, nurturing figure, but she also has to deal with being an Omega-level mutant (read: extreme manipulation of matter and energy, high psionic ability, strong telekinesis, and the potential to exist beyond the boundaries of the known physical universe.) and the physical manifestation of the cosmic Phoenix Force. " I remember the character being overwhelmed because in her ability of being able to feel the suffering of others she was feeling the pain of the whole world, and also her struggle with not letting her great powers turn her over to the "dark side". (Once I left home, I did not keep up with the series, and from what I read on the wikipedia article, she did become overcome by her dark side, though she managed to bring herself back eventually.) Anyhow, even though Jean Grey is a fictional character, I can see the similarities in what she has to deal with and what we have to deal with. (Makes me wonder where her creators got their ideas from, right? Since one can only write about what one knows) Many of us have spoken about the issue of picking up vibes in rooms full of people and how it can be so immensely draining to us. However, as I was thinking about this the other day, it struck me that if we managed to find a way of not "internalising" these emotions to the degree that we do, this "ability" would be quite an asset to have. These "vibes" give us a lot of information about people, we can "read" how people really feel about other people and whether they're an honest person or not. All of this info is really valuable, and it should help us. Instead, we berate ourselves because we feel that having a bad gut feeling about someone is bad. That somehow, we must be bad for thinking that about someone else. But I'm sure you know by now, that the gut is never wrong. At least mine has never been wrong, no matter how much I tried to talk myself out of it, or how long it took for the truth to emerge.
Another common theme, not just with Jean Grey, but actually, with most of the characters in the series, is their difficulties with learning to "harness" their powers once they realise they have them. Also their unhappiness at being "different". We can relate to that too. Still, maybe the lesson here is that, it all depends on how we look at these "cards" we've been handed. We can learn to use them to our advantage and for good, or we can use them to do damage and let them destroy us. The choice is ours.