You and the "Wizard of Oz’
Let’s say you and several of your closest friends decide to take a far-away trip in order to get advice from a wise old wizard.
If the above story line sounds totally off the wall to you, consider this as a parable that just may have modern-day value for you. So follow the yellow brick road, figuratively speaking.
First off, what do you want from the Wizard? What advice could be offered to you that would be so powerful that it could have a profound impact on your life and on your future?
In the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy – who was in search of the Wizard in order to receive assistance in getting back home – needed help from her friends: the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and even Toto, her dog.
But each of her friends needed assistance from the Wizard, also. The Tin Man wanted brains, the Scarecrow a heart and the Lion sought courage. Alone they were lost. Together they could overcome all obstacles the witch placed in their path.
What assistance do you need from your friends and the people who care about you in order to help you get what you want or need from the Wizard?
The essence of the story “The Wizard of Oz” is that whatever the characters sought from the Wizard, they actually had within them all along. The Tin Man was smart, the Lion was courageous, the Scarecrow was heartful and Dorothy had the ability to go home whenever she wanted.
Now let’s switch to you. Go back to the potentially life-altering advice you seek from the Wizard. What if the Wizard were to tell you that you have the answer to your dilemma within you?
There is value in asking yourself for your own advice, because often we already have the answers that we seek. It’s the “tuning inward” part we tend to have trouble doing, along with believing – and following – our own advice.
But have you ever noticed how good you are at offering other people wise advice? Why is it you can be wizardly for others but so unsure of yourself and lacking in confidence when it comes to following your own advice?
So try this: Choose a personal issue, a dilemma, an experience, an interaction or a question that you would like assistance with. But instead of going to some modern-day Wizard for your answer, try tackling the issue yourself. Write down all your questions and answers – it will help you keep track of your thinking.
Begin by posing a question for yourself. Then get very curious and explore all aspects of the equation, everything that puzzles you about the issue and all available choices and options. Pay attention to anything that arises that blocks you from seeing the dilemma clearly, inhibits your ability to explore options and choices, or that causes you a lot of pain.
To what degree are you mistrusting of your own perceptions? On the other hand, to what degree are you accepting and open to your own insights, feelings and observations? Are you supportive, compassionate, kind and gentle to yourself, or are you judgmental or harsh with yourself concerning your dilemma?
If you stay with this process patiently, you might just become the Wizard whose advice you’ve been seeking. And then, like Dorothy, you may discover that the answer was inside of you all along.
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Boulder. He can be reached at (303) 758-8777 or e-mail at his Web site http://www.heartrelationships.com