Today’s simple, yet powerful message comes from the blockbuster movie Star Wars, as young Luke Skywalker prepares himself for Jedi-hood.
“Luke: I can’t believe it. Yoda: That is why you fail.“
Luke, in his journey, trains intensively with his guru Yoda. At first, he is awkward, clumsy, and unfocused.
But as he continues his practice, he grows into a powerful warrior.
In the midst of his training, Luke struggles to grasp the whole Jedi-Use-The-Force thing.
Yoda sets him straight when the ancient master points out that Luke’s thinking is his main stumbling block.
Luke stands in his own way.
How many times have we stood in the way of our own greatness?
The saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” comes to mind. This is a very limiting view. It implies a serious lack of trust with a large dose of cynicism.
The fact that Luke says, “I can’t,” means that he won’t. Not without a complete change in perspective.
When we tell ourselves that we can’t, we immediately set up inner roadblocks. Then we wonder why we fail. We have trained our brains to see obstacles instead of possibilities.
Look around at your surroundings. Everything in your line of vision did not exist at one time. Someone had a vision of it. Someone believed it could be created. Someone worked at bringing it into existence. Someone visualized it in the mind’s eye first, then gave it life.
Luke’s problem is that he doesn’t see himself as a creator. He limits himself because of his limited thinking, preventing him from progressing. He doesn’t see himself as a Jedi. Yoda not only supplies Luke with the physical training necessary to be a Jedi, but he provides vital mental and spiritual exercise as well. These are not separate, but one.
When we step into Jedi mode, we step into a whole new identity. Our separate selves unite into one Self.
Yoda’s appraisal of Luke points to the young man’s lack of trust in an Unknown Force. He is told repeatedly to “Use the Force.” Luke’s scattered thinking scatters his energies. As he learns to focus and channel his energies, he advances in his training.
If we are to progress, we must trust the Unknown Force in our lives. We may not know how it works, nor are we to concern ourselves with the how. This requires a letting-go of old, out-dated thinking that no longer serves us in our new identity.
What is interesting about the phrase “Use the Force” is that not only must Luke trust it, but he must use it. Yoda speaks in the imperative here, directing Luke to trust and apply.
In our own spiritual training, using the Force in our lives means directly applying it. It means taking action. Even more so, it denotes taking responsibility for that action. This puts us at the helm of the control panel. It is there for us to use, and we can steer in any direction we so choose, but we must do so wisely.
The journey to Jedi-hood is an evolution. When we realize that we are responsible for creating what happens in our lives, we realize the power we have within us to change things for better or for worse. We come to understand that life doesn’t happen to us, but that we make our lives happen. We focus our energies on what we want, not on what we do not want.
Our entire worldview transforms as we align with the Force. And fail we will not.