Facing your Fears - Whole-Hearted Living According to Star Wars
Updated: Jul 11, 2021
Star Wars is one of those stories that I think is underappreciated in terms of the wisdom and lessons it carries for real world living. In "The Last Skywalker", Ray stabs Kylo Ren with her lightsaber. She then heals him (at the cost of her own lifeforce). She doesn't become completely incapable of empathy and does not destroy him in anger. She heals him. She doesn't become just like him. She stays good. In the light.
In the same way, many of us carry various fears. We often cope with our fears with various distractions. Whether it be binge eating, nicotine, alcohol, pornography, etc. These simple distractions often can turn into addictions that we learn to use to medicate the pain we feel when experiencing fear. I often have thought how it would be easier if some of our addictions simply didn't exist. If I'm being realistic though, I think we always find other things to become addicted to in the absence of the ones we have now. That is due to the fact that the fear doesn't become defeated. The fear is only dulled by the medication of our choice. This has made me wonder if we actually love our addictions in a way. An addiction to something is a sort of comforter, like when you were a child and your mother held you when you bumped your head. The problem with indulging in these addictions is it slows our growth and we don't discover the strength we need to face fear and the pain we feel. Can you empathize with the power your addictions have in your life? Can you understand what role they are really playing in your life? Perhaps it is even your protector of sorts. While understanding our addictions and the power they have in our lives, we do not have to submit to them. But it isn't easy.
Another interesting point about Star Wars. Ray is the granddaughter of Palpatine.
"It is the path of every Jedi to face that which they fear." - Luke Skywalker
Ray feared that she would succumb to the power and hate she had for the emperor, and become sith as she envisioned. Despite her fear, she still went to Exigal where the emperor was hiding, and she faced the emperor. In a more real way, she did not fear the emperor. She actually feared herself. She feared her temptation to turn to the dark side of the force would overpower her will. Her will to live life by a noble (not easy) ideology, the will to be a Jedi.
When we resist our temptations, we face the fear and pain that comes with not feeding the addiction. It's discomforting. It's Irritating. It can last for a long time. When we give into the addiction again and again, we can fear what the affect that will have on the rest of our lives. The addiction likely helps to quiet that fear at least. We actually fear what we will do when faced with making the decision to give in or to fight the thing we struggle to resist. We fear ourselves. Some face it every single day. Sometimes we face it chronically. In my own adventures and hardships in life, I have considered it might be possible that I'd never achieve my dreams due to the way I "had" to live my life. That kind of thinking does nothing but feed the addiction more.
The negative thoughts we create, if not managed and processed, will overtake us and our actions. We will be more likely to submit to our fears every single day. The fear feeds the addiction, and the addiction feeds the fear. Our addictions are essentially a series of battles against fear itself. Nothing more.
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." -Franklin D. Roosevelt
How very poetically true. The next time you are faced with something you fear:
Focus on the fear you feel, and be quick to acknowledge it, even write the feeling you have in detail to fully articulate what it is you fear.
Judge it's validity (is there truth or not), and decide what action is best to take in favor of or despite of the fear?
Tip: Your closest relationships (people you trust the most in your life) are the ones that can help you distinguish truth from lies if you struggle to determine the difference on your own. It should be someone who is willing to be honest - even if it hurts your feelings. Otherwise you will never be able to determine the truths from the lies.