The Jedi in You

A Reflection on the Courage to Heal Yourself

Rey is a Jedi — she won’t break.

In the last scene of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Emperor Palpatine directs lightening from the Dark Side to bring Jedi Rey to her knees. He hisses at her that her parents betrayed her in the intent to weaker her spirit.

I threw my popcorn at the screen and said, yada yada yada. Rey is a Jedi — she won’t break.

A Jedi knows how to stay connected the power of the Force — Star Wars language for life energy — to give her strength. Continuous training has taught her to balance her body, heart, and mind so that falsity cannot weaken her. A Jedi dedicates her life to serving freedom at the personal and collective level. The Emperor’s empty claims about her parent’s betrayal cannot take root in the clear mind of Jedi Rey.

Am I being pulled to the Dark Side?

A few days after I saw the movie, I found out that my father’s health had taken a turn for the worse. Contemplating his decline on the days between Christmas and New Years, I noticed the rise of anger in me as I looked back on our relationship in my childhood.

Some memories of his bossiness seemed trivial and almost humorous, like the two summers in college when he made me work for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on a road crew (I wanted to work at the mall). Other memories related to  challenges such as his temper. My father need only misplace his keys and my sisters and I were promptly lined up to search the house to the tune of his shouts.

My brow tensed and my stomach twisted into a knot as more stories of frustration flashed through my mind: The Friday nights at home because he wouldn't let me goto the high school dance. The Saturday mornings at a rifle range with odd men when I wanted to watch cartoons and sleep. I became heavy with the sadness that follows anger. In my mind’s eye I saw Emperor Palpatine in front of me reaching for my hand and I asked, “Am I being pulled to the Dark Side?”

Do we have to be Jedis to withstand family entanglements?

In a subconscious act of solidarity, my coaching clients reminded me that they too were struggling with the wounds of their childhood following the holidays season.

Tina stomped her tiny foot as she told me her 80 year old dad had announced that she looked fat in her Christmas dress. Janet glanced left and right over a tea as she confided dodging her mother during the Christmas party to avoid her parenting advice. Claudia’s tears poured through her email and she told me that her sister had broken off contact to her because they cannot agree about her mother’s care.

I thought, “Do we have to be freakin’ Jedis to withstand the tractor beam of our family entanglements?”

We are already Jedis.

After writing back to Claudia, I grabbed some chocolate out of the cupboard and stared at the gray clouds over Frankfurt. A message flashed in my mind. “You and your clients are already Jedis. You are fighting for freedom.”

I thought back to the movie. The Jedis fight to protect the Free World from the Dark Side. As practitioners of self-development and modern spirituality, we “fight” for our inner freedom. We take on heavy or dark thoughts and patterns so that we can act and react to life from a place of freedom.

When I thought of my childhood and sensed anger, I was not free to connect with my father and comfort him. Like a prisoner or citizen in an oppressive regime, I felt bound by heavy, “dark” forces. In the weeks following my father's hospital stay, I took on my heavy emotions. I sought support from a fellow coach and pulled out my high vibrational tool kit. I convened with divine guidance to understand my soul's perspective of my emotional and thoughts. Palpatine's grip loosened. I rose from my knees.

We want freedom from oppressive thoughts and feelings. We apply practices such as meditation, yoga, and self-coaching techniques — much like a Jedi. We have mentors in the form of coaches and counselors, like Obi Wan or Princess Lea. Some of us even connect with spirit guides, wise beings like Yoda. We also call upon the Force, that something bigger that connects us all.

We are Jedis. When the Dark Side of your past brings you to your knees, stand up. The Force is with you.

Written with the support of Courageous Wordsmith.