Are You Brave Enough to Wear Your Ruby Slippers?

| Dec 18, 2017

This may at first glance look out of place in a spiritual column, but I hope you’ll see the intersection of spirituality and being ourselves. I love The Wizard of Oz movie. I saw it listed on the Amazon channel last night as I was searching for a movie. Its message is lost on many who only see its entertainment value and ahead of its time special effects. In the real world, we each experience a kind of yellow brick road journey, don’t we, full of danger and wonder. We travel the yellow brick road our own way, guided by our social background, values, beliefs and aspirations. I find the message of Oz, like the Christian Gospel message, is one of diversity, courage and the triumph of good over evil.

When I found a deeper spiritual life trying to survive my own tornado 10 years ago, I found myself and reconciled my lifelong gender identity questioning. I found the inspiration and courage to live as the girl, now, the woman, that I’ve always been. I no longer only believed by faith that there was a God, I experienced God. This was the decisive turning point in my consciousness of authentic self. I found that a life is lived to the fullest when who we are on the inside and who we portray on the outside are in harmony. Like the scarecrow, the tin man and the lion, I found what I needed, and I learned it was there all the time.
When I looked into the magical crystal ball my authentic-self appeared. Not the person that everyone said I should be, but the person I really am. The outer life I once lived is no longer real to me. Within each of us is the power to create our own Oz story. As co-creators made in the image of the Divine, we can make a heaven, or we can make a hell. We can make a modest home even greater than an Emerald City.

I came to realize that the perilous journey I was on was of my own making. The world had become a scary place with flying monkeys, wicked witches and haunted forests. I lived with the fear of failure and the prospect of being lost the rest of my life. It helps that we don’t have to make our journey alone. Like Dorothy, the scarecrow, the tin man and the lion, the collective ‘we’ marching arm-in-arm can find our way and impact the world for good or evil.

A storm and the courage to face it saved me from the oblivion I was staring in the face. I wouldn’t be the happier more purposeful person I am today, if I hadn’t looked behind the curtain and seen the impostor turning the dials and pulling the levers. The Wizard is out. The wicked witch had melted. The ruby slippers fit the girl.

The point is to live courageously, openly and authentically, like the young girl from Kansas named Dorothy. The message of Oz is not unlike the message found in all religions and spiritual traditions. Good is stronger than evil no matter how powerful the antagonist or how meek the protagonist. Have courage. Wear your ruby slippers. Click your heels together. Make the world a better place with your full, authentic presence in it. Have a happy homecoming.
Peace

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Category: Body & Soul

About Beverly: The majority of Beverly Anne Thomas's career has been with Fortune 100 companies, working with the news media, the public and all levels of government. Tommie began as a newspaper reporter after graduating from Clemson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Journalism minor. Tommie is currently marketing manager for a local media outlet and resides in the Charlotte, N.C. area.

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