Since yesterday was May the 4th, AKA Star Wars Day, my wife and I watched The Empire Strikes Back. And as I watched Yoda training young Luke Skywalker, I kept thinking how good of a therapist Yoda would be (you know, if the whole Jedi Master thing didn’t work out).
In particular, I was struck by the scene where Yoda pulls the X-Wing out of the swamp, and Luke exclaims, “I can’t believe it,” to which Yoda replies, “that is why you fail.” Indeed, our mindset determines so much of our view as it relates to whether we can or cannot succeed at a new task. When struggling with depression and anxiety, which we will call the Dark Side for the purposes of this post, it is easy to give in to fear, and anger, and not believe in our own abilities.
Yet teaching us the strength of a positive mindset, Yoda does. What he lacks in height, he makes up for in strength of character. He may not have any control over the size of his physical body, just as we may not have any control over the fact that we live with mental illness, yet he can control his mindset, refusing to let his size limit him. So too, we should not let our battles defeat us by believing that we will fail before we begin. Because all too often that belief is wrong, but we set ourselves back before we even begin.
So based on Yoda’s teachings, May the 5th be the day you believe in yourself, and refuse to accept the lies of mental illness. That is what I plan to do, even tomorrow when the revenge of the sixth comes.