What’s In There?

Rogue One, the latest in the Star Wars series, was released just in time for holiday viewing. Like all Star Wars movies, this one did not disappoint – complete with holograms, space battles, laser fights, and this time Computer Generated Images that looked for all the world like actual people.

The next day, Michael and I dusted off our old DVD of Star Wars IV, the first Star Wars film released and the sequel to Rogue One. Confusing, right? I know.

One scene in the original movie captured my heart, one I had missed when it was released in 1977. Young Luke Skywalker has just found his mentor, the Jedi, who sends him out alone into an ominous-looking cave as part of his training.

“What’s in there?” Luke asks fearfully. “Only what you bring with you,” the Jedi wisely replies.

Only what you bring with you.

Throughout our lives we bring ourselves and emotions, our feelings and fears, our hopes and dreams with us – wherever we go. What we bring greatly influences how we perceive events that surround us and the interactions we have with others.

What do we bring with us when we walk into our version of Luke’s cave? Do we bring feelings of hopelessness, anger, bitterness, betrayal? A sense of gratitude, love, forgiveness, joy? What we bring with us into any encounter, has more to do with how we view it than anything another person can say or do.

And this is good news! While we can never control the words or actions of others, we can control the emotions that we allow to dominate our thinking, our encounters, our relationships. We alone have the power to write our own history, and that power extends not only to how we respond to a given event, but how we feel about the various encounters we have throughout our lives.

We all have those ominous, dark places we prefer not to be. “What’s in there?” we ask fearfully.

“Only what you bring with you,” the Jedi wisely replies.

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