I recently watched the 1996 film The Craft, which I was never allowed to rent as a kid due to the R rating it received. Without going into too much detail or spoiling any of the movie for you, it has to do with four high school witches learning about their powers. They receive more abilities over time and then they have the choice of giving into the dark or light side of magic. The film does an adequate job of highlighting both sides. But, while watching it, I was reminded of another (greater) storyline that has to do with the same concept.
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." we learned about the Force. Or at least you did if you're a big nerd like me, who relates movies like Star Wars to her daily life. If you are unfamiliar with the franchise, the plot, or anything relating to this, I think you can still follow along. You can even relate it to Harry Potter if that's more your style. This theme of good versus evil is a well-known one and covers a lot of ground.
Before I go too far into the nerd zone, I want to share my theory with you. I believe we all have powers within ourselves, which typically run in line with what we are most passionate about. Sometimes they don't, and that's okay. But more or less, what we love to do is the power we are meant to bring into this world. And it's a choice as to whether we want to sacrifice these gifts for the dark side or let them thrive within the light.
Now, to summarize some of what's happened this month (ugh, maybe even this past week), we have: a man who has bragged about dropping the biggest non-nuclear bomb and overturning a ruling on Title X that could affect state funding for Planned Parenthood, Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam's body was found in the Hudson, Neill Gorsuch was confirmed by Senate as Supreme Court Justice after so much shit went down, a school shooting occurred in San Bernardino, Chechnya detained 100 gay men in first concentration camps since the Holocaust, North Korea may be preparing its 6th nuclear test, twin bombings in Egypt, and I know there's been tons of other shit that's happened, but that's about all my brain can handle.
Amongst all the news headlines, I also read this piece from Cheryl Strayed, which I highly recommend. She says, "I know it’s a hard moment in our cultural and political life to remember the unifying power of art—many of us feel deeply divided from our fellow citizens—and yet seldom has there been a more important time that we do. High among the few things that have kept me from sinking into the deepest despair over the recent election results has been remembering how writers create that sense of me too."
It seems like it's this idea of "me too" that connects us with our gifts. It's the belief that we are all in this together and can relate to one another through our suffering and our strength. That's where the real power lies: as a united front versus alone in the darkness, hidden behind a mask. With so many negative things happening in the world, it's easy to get sucked into the whirlwind of sadness, anxiety, stress, and depression. It's easy to give into those fears and let them tear us down, making us feel small. It's easy to give into the darkness and join it instead of fighting against it. In Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, even Yoda tells Luke, "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." He also says, "Do... or do not. There is no try," which is one of my favorite quotes of all time.
Between re-watching the three best Star Wars movies, reading the news, and crushing on Cheryl Strayed, I've also been reading the book You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living and Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. She even talks about the Force as well! (See it all comes together.) Sincero mentions that our idea of God could be relabeled with terms such as Source Energy, the Force, The Grand Poobah, etc. It's your choice, whatever works for you. But it's about your beliefs and the powers you hold within yourself. "This isn't just about believing and being all high-vibe when the sun is out and the bunnies are hopping around, either. This is about believing, even when things are at their most uncertain or absolute crappiest, that there is a bright shiny flipside within your reach. As French author and fearless truth-seeker, André Gide, so aptly put it, "One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." This is about believing that we live in a loving, kind and abundant Universe instead of one that's petty, mean, and likes other people more than it likes you. This is about your faith being greater than your fear."
This is about our lightness overpowering the dark shit that's happening in the world. It's about living up to our full potential, embracing our bad ass qualities, and letting the world see us for who we are: part of the Resistance. (Sorry, I couldn't let it go without one more Star Wars reference.) Let your nerd flag fly high and let that light superpower you hold within yourself shine bright.