The Fear Element in Star Wars and Alcoholism

The original Star Wars movie came out in May of 1977. I was 5 years old. Leia was AMAZING. I crushed on Hans Solo. Luke was just super and R2D2 was what I wanted for a robot friend. Little did I know that 37 years later I would be relating my Star Wars passions to my journey through recovery from alcoholism. It came upon me when I was doing the ‘fear inventory’ from the 12-step program of AA.  immediately related and we will go deep into outer space on this analysis.

One of my all time quotes of Star Wars, one that I have said many times and Star Wars geeks absolutely all know – is this one from our little green buddy Yoda; “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

When we alcoholics begin recovery and work a program of reflection whether it be 12-steps or other avenues to heal,  our recovery allows and also forces us to look at the reason we became obsessed with the feeling of numbness that our addiction required. One of the fundamental reasons we build up our resentments and “angers” are a result of fundamental FEARS. Those fears will lead us to alcohol. Just like Anakin Skywalker who lost his mother and developed “fear” within him, the dark side lured him away from those he loved, destroyed his relationships and concluded in him become a burnt out shell of himself (literally) and thereby masked as Darth Vader. Could is be any more clear to us that if we allow OUR FEAR to overtake ourselves without understanding where it comes from, we will drink. What happens when we drink? We lose friends, loved ones and ultimately bottom out somewhere that can be only resulting in death or the harm of others.

Looking at more of these fun quotes. “But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they.” “Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.”

Yes, the dark side. A place we are too familiar with. We sit in dark places. We drink until we are forced to stop by blackout or pass-out. We awake into the dreaded hangover, we feel ill at ease and cannot break free from the power of our own fear induced cycle of darkness. We blame others for our addictions. To relate this to the theme of Star Wars, we don’t see our higher power anymore or “the force.” It is no longer with us, guiding us or giving us that eyes open bewilderment of life. It is all just dread and booze, danger and contempt. When we try to control our dis-ease, it doesn’t work; just like when Anakin tries to not go to the dark side but is so blinded by his hate and anger and fear he succumbs to the Dark Side. We do this with alcohol. We only feel normal when hiding behind the darkness of our dis-ease. When we are able to look directly at our fears we become “one” with our force and/or higher power.

“The Force is neither light nor dark, master nor slave, but a balance between extremes.”

I am not alone in this feeling that the higher power of the force and our belief in something greater and for the greater good of ourselves can be relatable. I mean, why not?So, wasn’t I surprised when I heard someone else relate their experience watching Star Wars in the movie theater some 37 years ago and relating to “using the force” and letting go as part of their way of relating to God and a Higher Power.

To end with some of those famous quotes from the best movie scene in history EVER of Star Wars (spoiler alert); it comes when Luke demolishes the death star  and Obi-Wan is speaking to him from his soul…”Use the Force, Luke., Let go, Luke. Luke, Trust Me., Remember, the Force will be with you…Always.

 

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