The Darkside Seduction

by The Writer

Using ‘The Force’

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering – Yoda

I used to be terrified of the dark.  My night-light kept away the shadows of evil that lurked in my closet, under my bed and the dark corners of my room.  I figured I had my fear of the dark conquered until I heard Robert Stack and that haunting ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ theme song; the 90’s were scary anyway, so I’m sure a lot of people slept with their doors slightly ajar.  The funny thing about fear is that like courage, it’s learned.  I learned to take on a lot of fear from people because somehow when I shared my fears with someone it became less scary.  However, it was more like trading up, or trading down.  I took on more fear than I should have.

The things that I fear now are few, and I don’t worry about them.  But I believe I must be afraid of things– to live without fear is not really living.  Conversely, to live in fear is not living either.  Why would anyone want to live with fear? Despite holding me back from things, fear has been a very powerful motivator for me, and has taught me a lot once I learned how to explore ‘the dark side’.  There is a fear in taking risks to achieve something in life however, I try not to let that stop me from trying.  I use fear to motivate me to try; if I don’t take the risk I may never succeed– And for me that is terrifying.  The movies I love so much have taught me to fear the dark side, my shadowy self, the unknown, but I realized it’s just a misunderstanding of sorts. It’s like those romantic comedies– they’re entertaining, and we strive for those picturesque moments, but accept that reality can sometimes be less… ‘glittery’.

Though I have no official Jedi training, nor will I ever wield a lightsaber, I have come to know ‘The Force’ not as some mystical power, but as understanding.  At that critical moment when Luke had to trust his instincts he became ‘present’ and ‘understood’.  His father, however, misunderstood; although Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker was set on the path of the righteous, he became seduced by the darkside. He didn’t learn how to avoid being enveloped by his own shadow. Those damn Jedi masters warned him, but failed to tell him how to prevent it from consuming him. How to be ‘present’ and ‘understand’…. He broke the rules, and sometimes we must; I had to learn to break the rules that were made to keep me safe from the darkside. the shadow self, the unknown, because it might consume me, and there would be no way back– My future son would have to save me, after I chopped off his hand to teach him a lesson, which would take me out of the running for any ‘Father of the Year” award.  A complete mess.

I knew I finally conquered my fear when I was able to learn from it.  But before I could do that, I had to acknowledge its presence and become curious by asking questions.  A Jedi faux pas, I’m sure.  I’m not as… eloquent as Yoda (who being 900+ years should’ve learned proper English), but asking the right questions leads to understanding.  Understanding leads to knowing.  And knowing leads to using ‘the force’.