“You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” - L. Frank Baum, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"
Holy Moly! Have you ever experienced wind like that before?
I’m spending this “dangerously high winds” day at home with my family being very grateful that I didn’t “need” or “want” to go anywhere.
As I write I am watching one of the dead trees on our property swaying so far to one side and just being amazed that it is still standing.
How did you spend your time during the storm?
Did you, at least once, wonder if you are going to end up in Oz?
When my daughter made the reference about feeling like we were in a tornado, I knew what I was going to write about this week:
How your Anxiety is like The Wizard in that famous story filled with ruby slippers, munchkins, the yellow brick road, and a group of oddballs looking for courage, heart, brains, and a way home.
So, aside from those fucking creepy as shit flying monkeys, I remember enjoying watching that movie once a year as a kid (yeah, back when you couldn’t watch stuff “on demand”).
It was always a special occasion on a Sunday night and we would get to stay at my grandparent’s longer than usual in order to watch it.
Back then I just thought it was a cool story and was fascinated by how the “real world” was in black and white and amazed that Oz was in full, vibrant color.
Blew my mind!
Anyway, as an adult I started thinking about how the story plays out. Dorothy and Toto show up in Oz and from the beginning she just wants to go home. She is told by the locals that The Wizard is basically the “all knowing” and that he would have an answer for her.
She meets other folks (Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion) who are also searching for answers and she repeats (without actual first hand knowledge) that “she knows a guy” who can help them all.
Even once they arrive at the Castle there are all of these hoops to jump through that just continue to feed their assumption that the Wizard is “the guy”.
So they get their audience with The Wizard and he lives up to their illusion of him. Big booming voice, scary as shit floating head, fire, flashing lights….hmmmm🤔 don’t all of those types of things trigger our fight or flight fear mechanism?
Anyway, so they tell him their Anxious thoughts ("I’m scared and want to escape and go home", "I’m stupid and need a brain", "I’m heartless and need a heart", "I’m a scaredy cat and need courage") and he sets them up to believe that he has The Power to bring them relief by giving them what they want.
But there is a catch.
They have to do something to prove they are worthy (go get the broom) and off they go on the next part of their adventure.
Flash forward (past those fucking creepy monkeys) and they arrive back in front of The Wizard and what does he try to pull? He tries to get them to do another dirty deed for him.
Any of this sound familiar? You have an Anxious thought (something that starts your heart and brain racing like I don’t know how to work with people with Anxiety so I have to spend more time and money taking workshops and classes) and then Anxiety jumps in and says “Just do this thing so that you feel more certain and comfortable” and so you do the thing (false comforts like seeking reassurance and spending more time and money taking workshops and classes) and then expect that all will be right with the world and you will feel better.
Yeah, except then you have another Anxious thought and Anxiety (The Wizard) is right back at you telling you that there is more to do again. Over and over and over….(seek reassurance, stay home, turn down the opportunity, buy the thing on Amazon, take another class)...
So, back to the story…..How does our little gang of Anxious misfits (who have just had this awesome adventure and used their Super Powers - that they are completely unaware of - to get past the guards and those fucking creepy monkeys and take down the Wicked Witch of the West) finally break the cycle?
The dog does it (of course because the dog isn’t caught up in all the Anxious Thoughts, he’s just being a dog!).
While they are busy fussing back and forth with The Wizard, Toto decides to PULL BACK THE CURTAIN AND EXPOSE THE CON ARTIST!
Yep, turns out The Wizard (Anxiety) is nothing more than a con artist with short man’s syndrome who seized an opportunity.
When he arrived in Oz, the folks there seemed to be looking for someone outside of themselves to be in charge, so he just set himself up as the man with the answers. He used all kinds of bells and whistles to distract them from figuring out they he was just a man and not the All Powerful Oz.
Dorthy is so pissed at first, then the conversation turns to some of the most important take aways from the whole story:
You have the power inside of you.
No one else can tell you that.
You have to discover it for yourself.
Hit reply and tell me one thing that you want, but have doubted yourself about.
One thing that eludes you because of negative thinking and your VOD (voice of doubt).
One thing that may actually be your Super Power if you could just recognize it yourself….
The voice behind Auntie Anxiety is Lynn Dutrow, Courage Coach and Counselor