“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
- Master Yoda
The words above were spoken by Master Yoda to a very young Anakin Skywalker. I think about them often when I feel negative emotions. I find that I can often trace the root of negativity to my own fear.
Fear of others-
I am by nature an introvert. To this day I struggle to make small talk, shy away from public gatherings, and feel awkward with my relationships.
I don't know if I fear the people themselves or their impressions of me. What I do know is that I've had to go to extreme measures to overcome this. I joined the drama club in high school with the purpose of fighting this fear. Thanks to the great friendships I formed there, the rewards were enough to reinforce social interaction for me.
I'm seeking to find the fear in myself for others that has been implanted by society. I look at the ridiculous paranoia that we have for our neighbors. We allow statistical anomalies to paint our communities with criminals and strangers. We grow more isolated and alienated as we retreat into ourselves. Fearing had become a way of life and it saddens me.
We fear people different than ourselves because of how they look and think. We inoculate ourselves against other points of view and keep a wall against contrary ideals.
Compassion and knowledge are pillars of the Jedi way and fear is the enemy of mental and spiritual enlightenment.
Fear of loss-
This is the most personal fear that we hold. We are hard-wired to desperately cling to possessions, the past, relationships. We resist change, though change is the natural order. We refuse to accept change by creating shields of denial and delusion.
We cannot conquer change, so it doesn't make sense to resist it. We must accept discomfort and unfamiliarity and learn to adapt. We should welcome newness and embrace the entropy.
We won't know what the end result will be, and we have to be okay with the uncertainty. This is what it means to be successful in life. Recognizing when to control and when to submit to change has to be an ingredient to happiness.
May the Force be with you!