Thursday, November 8, 2007

God Shows Up at College

My B-MOD paper is due soon--

Do you remember Yoda, the syntaxically challenged little Jedi master from the Star Wars series? ( I always thought that anyone/thing that advanced should know how to speak correctly, but maybe he was way beyond that. He was still green, wrinkled, and had a funny voice. Within that context, I prefer Kermit the Frog.) Anyway, he was full of wise little sayings designed to confuse, piss off, and ultimately lead Luke to a Zen state of Jedi conciousness wherein he could move objects with his mind. Surely this would be useful when he wanted to find the remote and there weren’t any children around to find it for him. Just think about it and it will zoom out from under the couch cushions and into your hand! Same with beer from the fridge! But I digress….

Yoda’s foundational words of wisdom that skewered Luke’s ego (and hopefully taught that lesson that After School Specials and Very Special Episodes of Blossom had been trying to teach to pre-teens) was the adage “There is no try, only do.” Did Luke’s worldview shift when he heard that? Of course it did! All is possible! Nothing is impossible! Where is that remote? It can’t hide from my mind!

Yoda’s voice got stuck in my mind (or maybe it’s Kermit’s) but his words got tweaked a little to fit my worldview: “There is no try, only fail.”

Well, shit. There, I said it. What have I got to lose if you don’t allow cursing in a paper? It’s all over anyway.

There’s a song by the Arc Angels that addresses this mindset perfectly: Too Many Ways to Fall.

So I started there. How many times a day do hear that Yoda voice? Establishing a baseline was easy—he never shuts up! All day, every day, the smallest, most ordinary task is poisoned by the belief that I can’t even find ripe bananas at the grocery store and that's a reason to feel guilty. Now, how am I supposed to be a good mom and teach my girls to be strong and confident when every interaction and communication with them is tainted with my own guilt? I have pre-failed in situations that haven’t even happened yet!

Target Behavior:

I had to sit with this for a while and just watch my thoughts go by. They were ugly and thin, and I had enough of them. Ugly little Yoda, you’re going to get the ass-kicking of your life.

First, I identified the behaviors that grew out of this mindset: consequences: procrastination, refusal to invest in relationships, suspicion—okay, there are probably a lot more, but a girl can take only so much negativity!

So, bottom line, what do I want in place of the negativity? A positive self-image, an honest view of myself that mirrors the truth—that no one is perfect, shit happens, and that is OKAY

"There is no FAIL, only do.”

Every day, we listen to this song on the way to school, and anytime I need some reminding (which is often).

Every day, I want to walk in faith instead of fatalism


Heidi Renee November 8, 2007 at 11:20 AM  

Love this! I've got a boat load of papers to write and this will help, thank you!

wilsonian November 8, 2007 at 2:59 PM  

Ass-kicking! You go... :)

Don't forget to slap my hand if you want me to tag-in :)

Kansas Bob November 9, 2007 at 1:57 PM  

Hang in there P.. most worthwhile things involve obstacles.. often bigger things involve bigger obstacles.

And thanks for the link and for being you!

Now about that song :)

"I want it all and I want it now!"

..the mantra for our hedonistic materialistic culture.

..the opposite of patient perseverance and faithfulness.

..not that I don't want it all now :)

codepoke November 9, 2007 at 4:12 PM  

Great post, Patchoulli. Great tone, message, humor, everything. :-)

I can't watch the video from here, but I'm sure it's fitting. I'll hang on to your new Yoda thought.

Patchouli November 12, 2007 at 10:03 AM  

I want all the peace, joy, love, and everything else that God has for me--the more the better. It's a new lesson on how God sees me and what He has for me!

Kansas Bob November 12, 2007 at 10:07 AM  

Amen P!! I want all that too!