There was a time in my life when I would sit in front of our old TV and watch The Wizard of Oz (in its entirety) on repeat over and over and over …day after day. Ask my mom! She’ll vouch for me.
I had Oz dolls, books, ornaments, posters, signs, figurines. I even used to have a sign I made for my door that quoted “Bell out of order, please knock”.
When I was in 8th grade, I would listen to the Oz soundtrack in my portable CD player before school started. I was always terrified that my peers would make fun of me for having such simple pleasures.
I used to be able to play “If I Only Had a Brain” on my clarinet by heart… it made me so happy.
I’m older now and my Oz routine isn’t what it used to be. Though my daughters love to watch the movie, they aren’t as obsessed as mommy was.
In retrospect, I think my Oz years were preparing me for some important life lessons that I’m picking up on now.
Dorothy spends her whole experience in Oz with a very clear focus… get out of there. Go home.. back to what is familiar, back to what makes her happy. She runs away when things get muddy in Kansas and ends up in over her head in Oz.
Silly girl.. maybe she’s never heard the expression that the joy is in the journey. And what a journey when you get to travel down a yellow brick road!
Now…fast forward to the last 10 minutes of the movie.
Dorothy and her companions are standing on the platform, tears in her eyes as the Wizard and his balloon fly out of sight – without her and her pup.
Seconds later, Glinda shows up in her bubble and everyone’s spirits lift as we realize that help is here.
But like most things in life… it’s not the help we think it is.
“Oh, will you help me?? Can you help me?”
Glinda chides to her… “You don’t need to be helped any longer! You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.”
“I have?!” Dorothy exclaims.
The Scarecrow wonders out loud… “Then why didn’t you tell her before?”
“Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.” Glinda tells them.
The Tinman asks “What have you learned Dorothy?”
I think that it wasn’t enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Aunt Em; and if I ever go looking for my hearts desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.
Is that right?”
“That’s all it is!” Glinda smiles at them.
Dorothy spends her whole adventure in Oz determined to get back home. She realizes at the end of her journey that what she thought she lost was never really lost. She has everything that she needs within her. She dreams of everything over the rainbow, things that are so glorious, things that are outside of her. But when she finally gets there… she realizes nothing is ever ‘out there’. It’s all inside of her. Everything that we want, it’s all an image in our mind and it’s our mind that brings it into being.
Glinda reminds her of this simple life rule. It’s her own power that got her to Oz… her own dreaming and wishing. It’s her own power that will take her back home to all that she loves.
In response to the Scarecrow’s questioning of why Dorothy wasn’t told about her power from day one, Glinda states… quite simply, “because she wouldn’t have believed me – she had to learn it for herself.”
Our life brings us these experiences, and whether we are aware of the path or not, we have to have the experiences. Dorothy gained the knowledge she gained when she went out and lived it. Words don’t teach. Life experiences teach.
Maybe subconsciously I have been receiving these messages for a good portion of my life to apply them more. I too have “Dorothy syndrome”… wishing and hoping to be somewhere else… somewhere more colorful, far away, having journeys that I might not be ready for yet… all the while yearning to be home. She is reminded so many times that her power is within. She got herself to Oz by using her own beautiful imagination and powerful mind… she will get herself back to Kansas using that same power.
We are all blessed with a pair of placebo ruby slippers that will bring us what we want. But at the end of the day, our power is within. Our power is here for us the second we close our eyes, and go to that place we feel in our heart. Whether it’s home or to Oz, we have to start in our mind and feel it in our soul. It’s not far off in the clouds. All that we want is in our ‘own backyard’… deep within us, ready to be tapped into.
You’ve always had the power my dear… you and I both.