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12 Lessons About Chronic Illness From 'Star Wars' to Remember on May the 4th

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I have gained a lot of insight about life through my experiences with chronic illness. I have also learned much from the wisdom in “Star Wars” movies and novels. In honor of May the 4th, here is a list of the life lessons I have learned through my own experiences and from the “Star Wars” universe.  

1. “Impossible to see, the future is.” — Yoda

The dark side clouds everything, and so can chronic illness. It presents many challenges, one of which is the unpredictability of health. One minute I am feeling well and ready conquer the galaxy, and the next I am sick and in the medical center or homebound on my native planet.

2. “You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” — Shmi Skywalker

Life inevitably changes. Those with chronic illness may be more aware of this fact than anyone. With this knowledge comes the ability to accept change and adapt to new circumstances. These skills have helped me find ways to thrive regardless of the situation.

3. “This is a new day, a new beginning.” — Ahsoka Tano

Do not become so inundated with the past, future or uncertainties that you do not live for today. Each day is truly a gift with a realm of possibilities.

4. “Your focus determines your reality.” — Qui-Gon Jinn

I may not be able to control the obstacles I encounter, but I can control my response to them. Focusing on the positive and having the right attitude can go a long way. Whether I am feeling well or suffering from something like space sickness, I do my best to maintain a good outlook and sense of humor.

5. “Never tell me the odds.” — Han Solo

Although I have learned the importance of acceptance and living in the moment, I do not limit myself or allow my illness to dictate life. I still like challenges and want to see what I am capable of. Setting realistic goals and working to achieve them is an important part of life. No matter how small or insignificant a task performed may seem, count it as a success.

6. “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi

Each time I am knocked down there is something to learn from the experience that better prepares me to face the next challenge. There may not be any perceivable reason for the current predicament, but as Obi-Wan said, “Your eyes can deceive you, don’t trust them.” Things have a way of working out.

7. “Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda

A wise sentiment this is. Achieve great things one can with belief and determination.

8. “But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!” — Luke Skywalker

There have been numerous occasions when chronic illness has thwarted my plans. I may never get to pick up those power converters, but I often encounter better opportunities.

9. “There’s always a bigger fish.” — Qui-Gon Jinn

The statement that “things could always be worse” may be encouraging or aggravating. In my experience, it has always been true, so it helps me keep things in perspective.

10. “Stretch out with your feelings.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi

Like many “Star Wars” characters, I have often thought, “I have a bad feeling about this.” When it comes to my health, I have learned to trust my instincts. Being attuned to the Force has been beneficial on many occasions.

11. “Always pass on what you have learned.” — Yoda

I often find the experiences of others to be informative and encouraging. Sharing your insight might help others navigate their own journey.

12. “Remember, the Force will be with you always.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi

Everyone has trials in life, and for some, it is chronic illness. I have been blessed with powerful forces such as faith, family, and friends that have provided invaluable support.

The Mighty is asking the following: Describe a scene or line from a movie that’s stuck with you through your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Lead photo courtesy of YouTube

Originally published: May 4, 2016
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