By Kacy Ritter, MS, Director of Marketing
If you’ve ever spent any time with me, you have probably learned two things: I am a recovered alcoholic and I love all things geek. For me, May The Fourth is basically a national holiday – Star Wars references run high, and nerds across the country dress in their best Storm Trooper outfits. Though my obsession with Star Wars began well before I exited the Mos Eisley Cantina of my own alcoholism, I now know that there is something profoundly spiritual about the Star Wars narrative. Even if you aren’t a geek at heart, it is impossible to ignore the vital recovery lessons we can learn from the timeless saga of Luke, Leia, the infamous Vader, and my favorite Jedi guru, Yoda.
Note: If you have been stuck in “Alderaan places” (obligatory franchise pun) and have never seen Star Wars, please be advised that while this blog contains no spoiler alerts, you are missing out on a critical piece of pop culture history.
“You must unlearn what you have learned” — Yoda
In the grips of addiction, we develop deeply ingrained beliefs about how to survive, and more often than not, these “survival skills” probably do more to harm than good. When we allow outdated systems of belief to dominate our reality, our self-will attempts I take control and we become further separated from the Power that relieves the obsession to use. In order to recover from addiction, we must allow The Force (a.k.a. “God as we understand Him”) to discipline us through the 12 Step process. Thanks for the tip, Yoda!
“Your eyes can deceive you, don’t trust them.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
At the onset of recovery, many of us are confounded when the concept of faith in a Power greater than ourselves is presented. Our over-reliance on what we can observe through the senses can undermine our ability to connect with the divine reality beyond us. If we want to connect with the Force, we need to close our eyes and look within.
“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” — Yoda
Like a poison that floods our spirit, resentment destroys us from the inside out. While many of us are slow to see it in the beginning, nearly all resentment is rooted in fear that corrodes our peace and sabotages our serenity. If we are to live, we have to be free of anger. Otherwise, we will continually suffer. (Poor Lord Vader.)
“Already know you that which you need.” — Yoda
The original 12 Step text gives us a beautiful picture of our own internal resources in the key phrase, “The fundamental idea of God rests deep down in every man, woman, and child.” While external forces may dominate and obscure this truth, the Power for love and goodness is already within us. Clearing away the wreckage of our past can enable us to see the path that we were born to follow. Like Luke, we can be led to our destiny if we will begin to look within.
“You’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
Spiritual unrest is rife with perceptions and delusions that often distort our reality. Through the 12 Step process, we are lead to be more objective, to see our own flaws more clearly and to forgive others for perceived wrongs, many of which that may have been fancied in the first place. (Obi-Wan Kenobi: He is basically Luke’s first sponsor.)
“Impossible to see, the future is.” — Yoda
Ever burned up energy foolishly trying to arrange life to suit yourself? Yeah, me too. When we are focused on acting with integrity in the present, we are less concerned with the little plans and designs we pursue when trying to make the future “look” a certain way. In recovery, we are given the ability to pause when agitated or doubtful and focus our attention on what is right in front of us. And guess what? That’s not even a Jedi mind trick!
“All mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults than we would like. It’s the only way we grow.” — Padme
When words from a mentor are tough to swallow, it is often because they contain a hefty dose of truth. Through the Fifth Step, we learn that a solitary self-appraisal is indeed insufficient. Lightsabers may be killer tools in battle, but mentorship is one of the greatest weapons in our arsenal against addiction.
“Close your eyes. Feel it. The light – its always been there. It will guide you.” — Maz Kanata
The 12 Steps are designed to produce a spiritual awakening sufficient of overcoming alcoholism. As we progress into Step 11, we gain a deeper connection with God, which in turn continues to guide us through our experience as spiritual beings. When we connect to the Light – whether that be to the Force or to God – we are led along the road of Happy Destiny.
“Pass on what you have learned, Luke” — Yoda
Carry this message. While we may already be free, there are others who have yet to discover the truth. As men and women who have recovered, we have a responsibility to teach others what we have learned about recovery from addiction. This becomes our greatest mission as we pursue The Force in our own lives.
From all of us at Origins,
May the Fourth Be With You!