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May the 4th be with you

Happy May 4th!!

I am a big fan of Star Wars and other superhero movies. Of course the fantasy and action helps to take us away from reality for a moment, but I like them for a bigger reason. No matter the story, the good vs evil theme always makes me think of the ways that we heal. (I will likely misspell character names so true fans please forgive me!)

Whether it's the villain or the hero, the main character always has some internal dilemma that drives their reason for choosing their respective side. Luke Skywalker was an orphan, his mother died at birth and he knew that there was something inside of him that he was missing. Finding out that the force was strong within him and his training to become a Jedi helped him to unleash the good in him. He found himself in ways that he could not on his own, and had mentors (Obi Wan and Yoda) to help him to take off his mask and become the best version of himself. He was the one who would help to save the Universe.

Anakin Skywalker, also struggled with who he was. He fell in love with Padame, which was forbidden for Jedis, as being too caught up with emotions impacted a Jedi's judgment (as a therapist I think this is a recipe for disaster, and we see why!). His desire to keep his wife alive and not wanting harm to come her way impaired his judgment, and in efforts to keep her safe, he had to choose the Dark Side. Such a traumatic loss, in addition to being exposed to the negative influences of the dark side turned him cold, and evil (although he still had some of the love within, he loved his children even though he chose against them). He became Darth Vader... the villain.

We get to choose which side we pick. While we all cheer for the hero in a movie, we all have the potential to let the dark side enter. When we don't allow ourselves the space to heal from trauma, to take care of the areas that have wounded us, and to seek help from those who see us as we truly are (even with all of our dark corners and flaws), we risk staying stuck in the dark (depression, anxiety, fear). When we take the risk and work though our tough times, we give ourselves a chance to become the hero that we are truly meant to be; we can turn our trauma into triumph and become a light for others!

May the force be with you!!!

Dr. Dalesa

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