At the end of The Force Awakens, Rey lands on Ahch-To, climbs the steps towards the first Jedi Temple and finds herself face to face with Luke Skywalker. She hands him his first lightsaber – the one Ben Kenobi gave Luke many years before on Tatooine. Luke knows then that his isolation and mediation is over.
To me, this is perhaps one of the most powerful moments of Episode VIII. Luke has exiled himself far away from his circle of friends – from those who love him. He has made a choice to live in isolation.
Over the past number of months I have been living in an isolation of sorts – I have gone out of my way to exclude myself from others and from social activities. To engage with others brings up feelings of anxiety and fear. Much like Luke, the incident at the university I worked at brought with it many ghosts from my past. Ghosts that I have been forced once more to spend time with. Hear me out, I am not a victim of the past. Quite the contrary.
I believe my social isolation has been (and remains) a pilgrimage into my soul. I am resetting my compass – and doing so much to the chagrin of my foes – I am regaining my strength. Over the past few years the external dark forces have been feeding on me. I have allowed the actions of a few to break me down and to rob me of my light. I know this now. I have been on a path of self-hate – something that returned from my childhood into my adult years. The opportunists tried to use this to break me, and they almost succeeded.
I am a great believer that time is a great healer. I really believe in this. At times I have looked to my own power with awe and excitement. At other times I have cursed the power within and felt it shrivel. In the past I have let moments of time grow large while revisited in my mind – each time the moment replayed it grew and festered. I have had false friends teach me to shame myself, and the shame replayed and replayed like a never-ending carousel. The false friends are gone, but their ghosts live on in my mind.
Those evil spirits have had me pull away from fortuitous interactions. They have helped me keep my head down when I have yearned to hold it up high. Even as I write this I am filling up with a sense of relief to let it out. I am seeing the light of letting go of the past – it’s still baby steps, but the light is ahead – I can feel it.
Yoda tells Luke that the Force is powerful, and that with it a Jedi can see many things – other places, old friends long gone, the future….. I have seen the past many times. I see (sense) the future and it is bringing me back to the light. The ghosts of the past are trying to keep me there – but the love of my family, friends and students is a stronger force.
Recently I received a surprise gift at my door – it was a hand made envelope and card full of notes from some of my former students. The front of the card featured a beautiful paining of Yoda. Tears streamed down my face as I read each of the written notes within. I had made a difference. Somehow I was an influence. I started to see the power that I am and the potential I have yet to reach.
Each day the self-hatred turns towards self-compassion. I am beginning to see the power of self-acceptance and the importance of self-care. I see now that the incident in the fall was a way of kick-starting the Force within me to a higher plane of understanding and acceptance. It was the selfless act of my students – with no ulterior motives – that helped me see my power and my potential. My Padawans became my Masters. I am thankful for their strength in the words they shared with me and I will cherish the card they sent to me. It was a great and wonderful gift.
When Luke turned around to see young Rey before him – and then hand him his lightsaber as a gift and as an offering, he began to weep for he saw that he had a great responsibility in the gift he needed to share with others. This was a gift he had tried to run from but it had caught up with him. I am beginning to understand the responsibility of sharing gifts such as his with others. The Force is strong with me – and I have the ability to share it in a positive way with those around me. I love my students, and the power of their gift to me has called the Jedi to return to the path towards the light. Time is a great healer – and the healing has truly begun.
I am one with the Force, the Force is with me. May the Force be with you. The Force is my ally and a powerful ally it is.
Goodbye false friends – goodbye ghosts of the past, the spirit of love and compassion is returning me to the path of light.