There’s no place like home

I love The Wizard of Oz. Some people hate it. But for me the story is a spiritual journey. One that speaks of our innate yearning to find home. Our true home.

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When I was a toddler I used to clop around the house wearing my mother’s 1950s bright red open-toed high heel shoes. I’d fall and stand back up, wander into the bedroom and catch a glimpse of myself in the oval mirror.

I had the feeling I could do anything in those shoes. They were my power.

But somewhere along the “yellow brick road” to adulthood, I began to lose that power. School, social structures, life dorothy red slippersitself — all chipped away at the core of my being.

And I lost my way home. To my true self.

This journey to find out way home is one I believe that we all share. It’s a yearning and a profound longing in each of us whether we recognize it or not.

And like Dorothy, we begin in a black-and-white world. We find ourselves lost with few soul maps to guide us. We are easily distracted — duties, responsibilities, professional success, status, addictions — all lead us away from finding our way home to our true selves.

Then “something” happens. It may be “something” internal — a restlessness, a feeling that we need to move on, or that we are missing life. Or, more often than not, it is “something” external — a divorce, an illness, a death, a job loss, a child in trouble.

When that tornado flings us into the air, it turns our world upside down.

For me, my whirlwind was and still is my father’s stroke. As a primary caregiver, my life was forever changed on many levels.

tornadoThis crisis is usually an invitation, although it doesn’t feel it at the time. It summons us to choice — to undergo transformation or to cling to old ways of being.

Dorothy had the courage to take the journey toward metamorphosis and along the way to meet those discarded parts of herself: the scarecrow who needed to learn to think for himself; the tin man, who needed to get in touch with his heart and his feelings; and the lion, who needed to find courage.

Dorothy had forgotten that she always had these qualities. By taking the journey along the yellow brick road, however, she rediscovered those powerful parts of herself she had disowned, despite her “false self” — the wicked witch — that kept harassing her into believing she had no power at all.

So what are we to do when the tornadoes of life hit us full force? I believe that hope rests in braving the tumult and waiting with trust in the Divine who loves us — however you perceive that being or energy. The book by L. Frank Baum describes Dorothy’s reaction this way:

“It was very dark, and the wind howled terribly around her … hour after hour passed away and slowly Dorothy got over her fright. At first she had wondered if she would be dashed to pieces when the house fell again; but as the hours passed … she stopped worrying and resolved to wait calmly and see what the future would bring.”

When we can wait and trust calmly, we are often delivered to a brilliant new world that has been changed into vibrant colors, a more authentic, expanded version of ourselves.

But it takes courage to take the journey over the rainbow. It is easy to become frightened by flying monkeys and to place our beliefs in false wizards outside of ourselves.

We forget — as I did when I was a toddler — that those red shoes are our passion, our delight. Even if we falter and fall, we must get up again and again, and stay tight inside those ruby slippers as we traverse the yellow brick road home to ourselves, to our true being, no matter the tumult around us.

glinda good witchWe need to remember as Glinda the Good Witch said that we’ve had the power all along.

And when we trust in the Divine power within us and wait with hope, we eventually find that the spiral of the journey has led to the center of our true selves. We find ourselves home, arriving where we started — as Dorothy did — but transformed.

As to my own journey, I am still somewhere in process. I am still walking in those red shoes, learning with each new tornado in my life to wait and see what the future might bring.

It’s taking trust. And patience.

But the rewards will be worth it. Because I truly believe, as Dorothy said, there’s no place like home.

 

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8 thoughts on “There’s no place like home

  1. Another treat! Thank you for your blog Marielena, as always, so beautifully written.
    Yes, the tornadoes in our lives teach us so much….about life, ourselves, others, and in that learning transformation takes place as we forever journey onward, opening more, and more, and more….I love the imagery of the petals of the lotus flower, opening one by one. And then I believe that it is in the calm and gentle times integration within peace and joy is taking place.

    The Wizard of Oz, read as a younger child, came to mind when as a young-ish teenager I read and fell in love with T.S.Eliot’s last of The four Quartets, Little Gidding, and his now so well known and well loved lines –
    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.

    Blessings, Marielena, and thank you once again for a beautiful blog.

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    • Dearest Karen, Thank you so, so much for responding to my blog post and your wonderful comments. And it is absolutely no accident that you chose T.S. Eliot’s last of The Four Quartets in your comments, because I was going to end my post with exactly those words! At the last minute, I edited my post and deleted them. However, it seems the Divine wanted them included after all! They are so apt and appropriate to Dorothy’s journey and all of ours in finding our way back to our true selves and home. With much love and gratitude to you, my friend!

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  2. This is just wonderful! I love the analogies… and your personal connection with the red shoes too. I could really look back (and forward) and see my own journey in your words and in the story of Oz. Thank you very much.

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    • I’m so happy this resonated for you, Kris! It means so much to me when something I’ve written strikes a personal chord in some way. With much gratitude to you for taking time to read my post and to comment.

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  3. Dear Marielena,
    This post of yours is so beautiful and it is for the first time I understood the role of the scarecrow, tin man & the lion, how very deep.My first intro to Dorothy, was when my kid was in Kindergarten, he had to play the role of the Lion & so I had to teach him the lines his teacher sent home,it went well so I knew bits & pieces of the story, but not the whole story.Thank you, for being the most beautiful story teller, Marielena, I loved the lines where you say, “we eventually find that the spiral of the journey has led to the center of our true selves.” so very true indeed!

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    • I’m touched and moved that you enjoyed my post, dear Maya! Thank you!!! The Wizard of Oz always has been one of my most favorite books and movies and I always felt it had much spiritual symbolism. Plus I love that Dorothy does find her way home, as we all eventually do. Thank you again, my friend, for taking time to read my post and to comment.

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