don’t succumb to fear
Today is Star Wars Day, and I wanted to share a key piece of wisdom from the movie series that we can use right now to empower ourselves to thrive in the new normal. Here’s the insight: Don’t let fear overpower you.
In Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, Yoda teaches little Anakin Skywalker the consequences of having fear; he says, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Fear cripples us from living our best life. It prevents us from becoming the person we’re meant to be and embodying our personal legend.
When it comes to our future, it’s uncertain and unpredictable. We don’t know what is in store for us and it’s hard to estimate the ratio of good or bad, happiness or suffering, good luck or ill-luck that we would experience. The future is vast and has infinite possibilities, and that’s why it’s best to cultivate a balanced approach to it. We need to prepare for the fearful scenarios, but not worry about them at the same time.
Yoda was right. Fear only breeds negativity within us. FEAR is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real. The negative “what if” thoughts can surely help us prepare for the worst-case scenarios, but we must make sure that we don’t go overboard and not think about them continually for a significant portion of our days.
The future is out of control, and we never know what may happen. It’s good to cultivate awareness but there’s no point in suffering in advance. Now more than ever it’s crucial that we immune ourselves to fear, especially the fear of loss.
In Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith, when Anakin seeks counsel from Yoda with regard to having premonitions about losing a loved one, and how to cope with pain and suffering due to the same, Yoda tells him, “The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.” He further adds, “Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is.” When Anakin asks Yoda what he must do, Yoda advises him, “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”
The deepest fear that we all have is fear of loss. In order to manage ourselves better during challenging times, we need to get ourselves prepared that the things that we cherish may be taken away from us at any time. After all, we don’t have control over the timing of events that take place in our lives.
We don’t have to constantly keep worrying about the loss of things that are close to us, but we need to start living in the present moment and experience what we have with love and presence. Once we experience something fully, it gets easier to detach. What we have around us are gifts and blessings bestowed upon us. We can be grateful for them and enjoy them, but we can’t turn our backs to the fact that they all have a shelf life too.
The more we practice detachment and start living in the moment, the easier it gets to step away from fear and to cultivate acceptance and fall in love with fate.
So, in a nutshell, yes, you must visualize and prepare for the challenges and losses that may come your way in the future, but don’t them overwhelm you and ruin your present.