I used to get the voice of Yoda stuck in my head all the time. “Control! Control! You must learn control!” Now, I’m not usually one to quibble with the words of a 900 year old Jedi Master, but I think that Yoda (or more accurately Lawrence Kasdan) may have chosen his direction erroneously. Really, what Luke was trying to accomplish was letting go of his control in order to become one with a force larger than himself. If anything, it seemed that his human instincts for control were hindering his ability to wield this new power. Could he not lift the X-Wing because it was “too big”? Didn’t he pronounce it impossible precisely because he was trying to exercise too much control? I promise I’m going some place with all of this.
Now, I’ve come to the realization that I can truly control almost nothing in this world. Through a mixture of luck and manipulation, I can certainly maintain an illusion of control but it’s a house of cards. Where I get lost at times is in the actions. The day to day and where my will ends and the larger world begins. The one in which my attempt at control is laughed at by cosmic forces. The one where my house of cards falls down, gets dirty and bursts into flames. So, sometimes things seems bigger than they actually are. Sometimes I allow my sense of the (overly) dramatic to overtake my rationale, for all that’s worth. Sometimes I do not pause when agitated or doubtful. The world rears its loud, blurry head and, if even for a moment, I feel like every decision I’ve ever made in my life is wrong and will surely come back to haunt me. Tear me out of my bed like a chain-shackled banshee and pull me out into the street so my entire graduating high school class can see me for the horrible father/husband/man/comic book fan/Nintendo console gamer that I truly am.
I mentioned the dramatic part, right?
It’s usually right before the Jacob Marley ghost shows up that Jack manages to swing into frame. He beats back the dusty ghost and stands as an Earthly reminder of all the good I have done and will do. He acts to me now, as Allison does, as my human credentials. A clear indicator that I’m doing the right thing consistently. That I’m good at it and that I’ll continue to be. When I’m twisting a bit, it’s nice to have a Jack around. A little guy that can floor you with his toothy smile. Or, literally floor you as he runs full force into your at the command of “Super speed!” I’m not one of those people that is 100% fulfilled by their children. I’m just not. However, if you want a boost to your own self-worth just have a conversation with your kid. On their level. Get down on the floor and just talk. It’s SO rewarding to see how they think (or don’t) and, even if only for a little bit, it makes everything that’s ever been wrong in the world a little softer and easier to handle.
Wanna know the REALLY cool thing, though? Lately, most of the time, I don’t even need Jack to actually show up in order to make myself feel that way. I can just call upon it. It’s like summoning a blue lightning that lives within me. It’s just there. It’s a living byproduct of all the love I’ve both given and received. It’s the way I get to feel now, from having this innate knowledge that I’m doing the right thing. So, the wearies and worries of the BIG BAD WORLD are there. So what? I’ve yet to encounter any of them that are large enough to crush me, and I’ve swam in the deep end of this world for a bit lately. I’ve seen and experienced the things that no one wants and I’ve come out stronger on the other end. That’s the benefit of the life I live today. A life where I push my son on the swings at the park, and when things seem to get dark, I know the light is one more push away. I can count on it being there and I do.
Even if I screw up the details along the way, I’m contributing more than I am consuming now on this crazy little journey
Ya know, except when it comes to actual natural resources. I’m talking spiritual here, people.
I don’t recycle.
I know, Yoda would be so disappointed in me.
To say nothing of my mother-in-law.