“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda
Over Christmas Break I watched a lot of movies with my daughters. One of the movies we watched was Star Wars Episode IV. Or as my girls call it, “The one with the cute little green guy.” Actually not only do they call him Yoda but they know pretty much all the main characters all the way back to little Anakin! I am a proud Dad for sure.
Lately I have been feeling a lot like Luke Skywalker. Not because I have issues with my father. Not because I feel like I am constantly at war with myself concerning my destiny. Not even because I have control and patience issues. All things happen to be true but the real reason I feel like Luke is the steep learning curve that is my new life. I am either learning something new to apply or re-learning something important as I go through multiple transitions all at once.
I am learning how to teach and coach at an urban public school. I am learning about addiction recovery and how to work the 12 steps. I am re-learning how to be a bachelor. I am learning how to embrace emotions. I am learning how to use a smart phone (actually not kidding). I am learning about membership at my new church. I am re-learning how to maintain genuine, intimate and healthy relationships. I am learning about real accountability. You get the idea.
Now obviously Luke would have had to endure all these things while carrying a tiny green Jedi Master on his back but other than that the analogy is air tight. Luke went into his training rather unaware of……well anything and everything! He was clueless when he arrived on that swamp of a planet Yoda called home. He was an open book and he had a lot to learn. Thats me. When I arrived in Nashville six months ago I didn’t have a clue what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that wise council said “get help” so I did.
Fortunately, like Luke, I have encountered many “Yodas” and have already learned a great deal about myself, my heart, my disease and the solution to my problem. Many people have gone before me and have traveled a similar path. Their journeys were long and difficult and fortunately they are willing and able to impart invaluable wisdom and guidance.
Right now, even as I write these words, I feel like Luke when he tried to convince Yoda he had finished his training. “But I’ve learned so much!” He exclaimed. I know that I feel like I am learning a lot and have already learned a lot but I also know that I can never grow stagnant and must always seek to learn more to maintain sobriety.
My full time profession is high school teacher. My full time obsession is life learning.
I’m proud to say that this dynamic in my life has caused me to be transformed. I feel so alive and so joyful that every day is an opportunity to learn and grow. Its an opportunity to continue to heal and recovery and stay sober.
Its also a bit sad to me that so many people that I used to be close to cannot share this journey with me. Ive accepted it. I suppose its my “destiny” for my recovery to happen here and now but its very difficult to know that some will never know the real me. They will never know because THIS is the real me. The me of last year or the last 10 years was merely a shell of a hardened and numb heart. He was a farce, a scam. He lied so well that he convinced himself of this false self.
But the training must continue and the sadness passes. My heart is mostly filled with hope, gladness and joy. Now I must rest, more life training with a “Master” tomorrow…