Jedi, Birds, and Hope

As a young boy growing up in the 80s, one of my favorite things to do was to sit down with my Dad, pop in the old VHS recording of Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope and sit and watch Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance valiantly wage their battle against The Dark Side.I loved watching this movie for a few reasons: 1) it provided some quality time with my Dad, 2) I was already kind of a nerd as a young boy– so Star Wars was AMAZING, and 3) the story of Good overcoming Evil, Light overcoming Dark was a compelling story– even to an elementary school boy like myself. Though I could not fully comprehend the meaning of it at the time, something about this story arc felt important, universal, necessary, and hopeful.Well…and 4) there were lightsabers.Fast forward about 30 years and the importance of Light overcoming Dark still remains equally captivating and important to me (and I still think lightsabers are cool). Spend any time reading the news, surfing social media, or even being reflective of your own life and I guarantee you will see a need for more Light in the world. More Yoda, less Darth Vader we need.As therapists, we often meet people in the midst of their battle with the Dark. People come to us in times of confusion, pain, grief, despair, and hopelessness. One of the first responsibilities as a therapist to our clients is to be a voice of hope. Client hopefulness is one of the most important aspects of success in therapy (Sprenkle & Blow, 2004). Both my personal faith and my professional training provide a preponderance of evidence showing that even when people are in their darkest moments of life, even when the path to healing is nowhere to be found, that even then…there is hope for restoration and peace.At Alliance, we make it our passion to invite people back to hopefulness. Today, the first day of spring for 2017, reminds me of this passion and commitment. The robin in our logo is meant to signify HOPE. In Michigan, when each winter comes to a close, the first sign of spring is the sight of a robin. The robin helps remind us that no matter what type of winter we have experienced– how dark or how cold or how snowy– better days are coming. The sun will shine again. The temperature will become more comfortable. The world will become green and vibrant and full of life once more.And soon, you’ll have to mow your lawn (but it’s better than shoveling snow!).The therapists at Alliance want our clients to know better days are ahead for them too. We want you to know we see the Dark, and we’ll be with you in it so you won’t feel alone.But we won’t stay there.We will do our best to be a light, a sign of hope, and an ally with you in the fight against the Dark.Winter always ends. Spring always comes eventually. Light always shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. There is always a reason to be hopeful.Happy first day of spring, everyone! Better days are ahead. ReferencesSprenkle, D., & Blow A. (2004). Common factors and our sacred models. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30, 113–129.