By Pamela Chapman
Who hasn’t seen or read “The Wizard of Oz” a fairy tale, an innocent child’s fable. But is it? The metaphors, analogies, and symbolisms that are used in this film are unsurpassed. It was produced in 1939, in a time when sound and color film was cutting edge. Its message was loud and clear then and is still relevant today. Unfortunately, I can’t take the time in this piece to point out all the life metaphors I see—that would create a whitepaper. However, I’ll share what resonates in me this morning for you.
Do you remember how the Wizard of Oz begins? Dorothy is attempting to get her family, Uncle Henry and Auntie Em, to listen to her. Mrs. Gulch, the mean, intimidating woman who lives down the road is threatening to take away her beloved dog, Toto. No one has time to listen to Dorothy. There is no comfort, her matter isn’t important. “Don’t bother us now honey. Dorothy, we’re busy. Help us today by staying away.” She takes her concern outside to the farm hands and they, pretty much, give her the same. “Go away, we’re busy, we don’t have time for you.” Zeek goes a step further. “Dorothy use your brain in this matter, will ya?” They finally tell her to go someplace where she can’t get into any trouble. Is any of this beginning to sound familiar? That evening, Mrs. Gulch arrives at Dorothy’s home to take what she so dearly loves. “Please don’t let her take him, Auntie Em. It’s my fault. You can send me to bed without dinner.”
Mean old Mrs. Elvira Gulch takes Toto but he finds his way back. Dorothy fears authorities will be back for him so she runs away. In her running away, she runs smack into Professor Marvel, who knows the past, present, and the future. He consults with his crystal ball which he calls infinite wisdom. Professor Marvel in his wisdom convinces Dorothy to head home. He tells her that her family is grieved by her leaving and Auntie Em has become ill. Almost immediately, a horrific storm materializes quickly turning into a Tornado. Dorothy doesn’t make it to the storm shelter, ultimate safety, but makes it to her bedroom where she is hit in the head by broken window glass and wood due to the force of the storm.
From here, we are taken behind the veil—into Dorothy’s dark world of mind-chatter, donkey-talk, her subconscious Niagara Falls of fear, doubt, guilt, insecurity, low self-esteem worthlessness, and insignificance. We are allowed to see into her heavenly war. We see how she kills the “bad witch:” her enemy, her demon in her life only to discover there’s a bigger, worse “witch” to confront. First thing, the good witch Glenda attempts to make Dorothy define herself as evil or good. Duality is introduced. “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” “Neither,” she responds, but Glenda insists she must be and must recognize one or the other. After all, she’s killed the “bad witch.”
Dorothy shares with good-witch Glenda that she’s trying to find her way home; and, Glenda points her to the way—the yellow brick road. This magical road will take her to the Emerald City where she can then find out how to get there. (In angel work, when light workers call upon the angels to help with healing emotionally and/or physically, they envision their patients surrounded in emerald green light.)
Along her yellow-brick-road journey, she first meets Scarecrow who believes if he had a brain, he’d be smart enough to keep all the pesky pests from the field he’d been given to watch over. He’d be able to keep the field safe. “Dorothy, use your brain about this.” We are seeing Dorothy’s subconscious feeling of inadequacy and her guilt about not being smart enough to adequately protect what she so dearly loves, Toto. The two then meet the Tin Man on their journey who has been abandoned, hardened and rusted due to his inability to love. He believes if he had a heart, he could be gentle. Were not the words spoken to Dorothy, by her family, harsh and unloving planting in Dorothy the seeds of bitterness, low self-esteem, and unforgiveness? And, then there’s my favorite character Cowardly Lion. He’s all rough and tuff on the outside. In fact, he’s a bully; but as soon as he’s confronted, he breaks down and cries. He’s hurting big time on the inside. He believes if he only had courage he could be what he was purposed to be, King of the forest. All the characters, “characteristics” accompanying Dorothy, believe they are lacking, believe they are inadequate and unworthy. “If I… then I could.” The three: Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow represent the three Universal Fears: Fear of Abandonment, Fear of Unworthiness, and Fear that the world is unsafe. Together, they follow the yellow brick road—they seek the long road to healing. Off they go to find the Wizard of Oz for the answer.
Their journey is not an easy one. No, it’s quite challenging, in fact. They run into every dark thing: goblins, gargoyles, flying monkeys—lions, and tigers and bears oh my! When they finally set sight on the Emerald City, Dorothy falls into malaise. She becomes lethargic and falls into a sleep-like state. The closer they get to their answer, the closer she gets to her healing, the rougher it gets. It’s as if she’s made a demand on the universe and it appears as if all hell is breaking out. That is exactly what happens in life, but in actuality everything is going just right. Possibly, there’s even some self-sabotaging going on. When the four, and let’s not forget Toto who was the reason she’d gotten into all this hell in the first place, reach the Emerald Gate they are told by the gatekeeper to GO HOME! They are rejected. “No one can see the great one.” She pleadingly responds, “Then how can anyone know he’s there? I’ve got to see him.” Dorothy’s persistence and tenacity allows her access to the Wizard only to realize the path she was looking for, the answer to finding the road home—her healing—was within her all along. She had courageously faced her challenges or life teachers and won. To get back, all she had to do was believe.
The path back to our true selves, the journey to our healing is not always easy. No in fact, many times it is quite the opposite. We run into disappointments, disillusionments, rejections and tireless, seemingly unfair battles. When it seems like we’re about to have a breakthrough, something else breaks out. We almost always self-sabotage. Sometimes the path brings us to the point of wanting to give up and run away. Can the twisted, horrific storms, the hurricanes and the tornados of life be the very tools to bring us into wisdom, truth and purpose our ultimate healing?
No matter what you face, no matter how challenging the journey, remember Dorothy’s ultimate lesson. You lack nothing. Every good thing has already been prepared and given to you for your healing. No one can tell you what, no one can tell you how or even when; the answer is always within. You are in reality, there.
Don’t give up, don’t give in! If you follow your yellow brick road, asking for divine guidance, divine revelation, and divine intervention along your life path, you will WIN! You will find your way home, your healing. There’s no place like it!
In love, light & healing
Pamela Chapman is the Founder of iAscend Programs.