May The Force Be With You
(Spoiler alert – don’t read if you’re waiting to see the new Star Wars movie.)
While I’ve always enjoyed George Lucas’ films, no one would ever describe me as a Star Wars fan. In fact, had it not been that our kids purchased tickets for The Rise of Skywalker, I would have waited to watch it from the comfort of our couch. But the day after Christmas, we all piled into the car and headed to the local movie theatre, put on 3-d glasses, and dug into a myriad of movie snacks as we watched the ninth Star Wars episode.
That afternoon I truly fell in love with Rey, Finn, Poe, and the rest of the Resistance, strengthened my respect for Princess Leia, and found compassion for Kylo Ren. But more importantly, I left the theatre with a renewed sense of optimism in humanity.
Being that this movie is number three in the third trilogy (that’s a lot of three’s!), I anticipated some sort of an epic ending. The previous eight episodes left me apprehensive about the galaxy’s future, assuming a somewhat dismal or questionable ending to The Rise of Skywalker. I never expected the beautiful finale that Disney would deliver. Yet I got one, and boy was it good. Without going into details – just in case you haven’t seen the movie – I’ll share the top “take-aways” from the Resistance’s unending effort to defeat The Dark Side.
1. A mother’s love is unconditional. No matter what a child does, there will always be an unbreakable bond filled with understanding and forgiveness.
2. Our DNA does not define us. Who we were born to does not dictate who or what we become. That is entirely up to us.
3. Masters make poor decisions. They may do what they think is best at the time, but after retrospective analysis, they can ultimately see the error in their actions.
4. We are stronger than we believe we are. But only we can tap into that strength.
5. There is always hope that someone who has gone to the Dark Side can change. A person’s former behavior doesn’t pigeon-hole them as “bad” forever. We all possess the ability to leave the Dark Side and join the forces of goodness.
6. We have more love and support from those around us than we could ever imagine. All we have to do is ask. In times of need, others will show up for us.
7. Energy is real. It can destroy or it can heal. The choice is ours.
8. Love will always triumph. Don’t be afraid to be who you are or feel what you feel.
At the end of other Star Wars movies, I’ve felt exhilarated and filled with questions about future episodes. But this time, I left the movie theatre with a huge smile on my face and a sensation that my heart had grown a bit more compassionate. On the car ride home, I thought about how often we give up on people, cast them as “not nice,” “self-centered, or just plain “evil.” Is that truly who they are? Or, is there more? Can they change, just as Kylo Ren had? And if so, what would be their motivation to do so? Maybe part of the reason I went to see this episode was to remind myself of these takeaways, especially during one of the most important seasons of the year.
Truth be told, I’ve always been drawn to fairy tale endings. No doubt that explains the tears streaming down my cheeks, behind my 3-d glasses, as the credits rolled on the screen. Yet, believing that people have the power to change and that things can end well should not be looked upon as naïve or unrealistic. All humans have the potential for greatness. But if we are not conscious and present in our lives, we can fall prey to the “dark side.” This doesn’t have to be an extreme shift away from our higher selves – like transitioning to the actual Dark Side. It can be the little things, like failing to smile at the stranger you pass on the street, ignoring a phone call from an “annoying” friend or relative, or choosing to throw a plastic bottle into the trash can instead of the recycling bin. None of these behaviors are “evil,” but they are not supporting our journey either.
This New Year let’s search for ways to continue to elevate ourselves so that we can keep moving forward on our individual paths here on Earth. No doubt, we will be tested with challenges during 2020. After all, how much growth occurs when everything goes our way? But when we encounter life’s speed bumps, we have the ability to dig deep into our faith and resolve, become stronger, and do what we know is right. And if we ever feel defeated, enveloped by darkness, all we must do is remember that love is always the answer. Isn’t that what Kylo Ren and Rey realized?
As this decade comes to an end, just as the Star Wars series has (yet I do believe that Disney will continue this saga), it is my hope that 2020 brings a renewed sense of unconditional love, trust, and faith in ourselves and those around us. May we know that we are not alone – we are surrounded by a galaxy of friends and family who have our backs. And if things ever seem insurmountable, all we need to do is ask, and they will appear – just as the endless number of starships showed up – ready to offer support just as the Resistance thought they’d been defeated.
Always remain hopeful, stay open to possibilities, and be true to who you are. And remember the power of love. May the force be with you in 2020 and beyond.