“You, my friend, are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage; you’re confusing courage with wisdom.” ~The Wizard of Oz
Last Friday, Danny and I went to The Wizard of Oz Sing-A-Long at the Castro Theatre. Making animal noises, blowing bubbles, singing and laughing loudly. It was an evening to celebrate the classic 1939 film and to just be plain silly.
I have watched The Wizard of Oz nigh on a bazillion times (approx.), but this being my first time watching it on the big screen, there were a lot of little things that I had never noticed before: the nuances of color detail in every shot, toucan birds in trees, textured make-up on many of the characters, quotable double entendres (“Of course, some people do go both ways.”) And something else.
For years I always identified the most with the character of Dorothy. In the film she travels far and wide, meeting weird and wonderful and not-so-wonderful people in the film, makes friends, and never wavers from her goal, which is to find her home. Over the course of my own life as a Navy Brat kid and as a volunteer and lay-missioner adult, I have traveled all over the US and abroad, exploring, meeting wonderful and not-so-wonderful people, making friendships, yet always searching for a home to settle down and call my own.
Seeing the film this time ’round, and feeling at bit more settled with where I am, I felt I identified the most with another, more timorous, character. That’s right, the Cowardly Lion. Like this lovable king of the forest (rrrrufff), many of us struggle with our fears, anxiety, and worries everyday, and we are either held back by them or we simply have to face and push through them in our day-to-day lives.
I know that I am an expert worrier, and I come from a long line of professional worriers. Usually my worries revolve around redundant things that, normally, turn out for the best: what people will think of me, whether I’ll be fun enough during an outing with a friend, whether people will like the potluck dish that I brought to a party . Recently, though, my worries have mostly been geared towards job related stuff.
Today, I accepted a job offer. It’s thrilling, especially after being unemployed for the last few months and unsure of my path. It will be good to be working again, especially in something that I enjoy doing. It’s also a relief, because the interview process was, of course, a huge worry-fest for me. Will they notice that my interview outfit was bought at a thrift store? How do I not sound stupid when answering their questions? What if they can’t get a hold of one of my references, because she lives overseas? And on and on and on.
I will probably always be a worrier on some level, just as the Cowardly Lion, even with his courage medal, will always be a little afraid of spooks and flying monkeys. Well, I know that it’s all in my head. What I can do is: 1) Continue to be aware of my fears and worries. Once I recognize my fear at the time that I feel it, then I am able to get to know it and to then work to relax and push through it. Change my point of view. Trust my own potential. 2) Trust God. When I turn to Him with my fears and give them over to Him, He will help me. He’ll take care of everything.
Here are some helpful articles on fear that I’ve found. Points of view from a Buddhist, a Christian, and a Christian Counselor. These are only just a few helpful articles, but there are many, many more resources out there. It takes work to ease and overcome fears and anxieties, but, trust me, every little effort is a small victory. And trusting God will help make those efforts more effortless.