The Realization

Having vanquished the Wicked Witch, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion return to the Wizard to receive what they have longed for.

Emboldened by their victory, they proudly present the Witch’s broom stick to the Wizard and anticipate their reward. But instead of rewarding them, the Wizard tells them to, “Come back tomorrow.”

Shocked, heart broken, and incensed, they press the Wizard to keep his promise, but they quickly realize he’s not going to. Then Toto pulls back a curtain, to reveal the Wizard is just a man. Discouragement sets in. They have traveled so far and worked so hard. It is not the ending they had expected. It is not the ending they wanted.

Then the Wizard points out to Dorothy and her traveling companions that they already have what they’re seeking. Without realizing it, they have always had these things.

  • The Scarecrow believed he needed a brain, but all along the way he was thinking through situations and coming up with plans to help them succeed. So the Wizard gives him something to symbolize the brain he already has…a diploma.
  • The Tin Man believed he needed a heart, but all along he was was feeling all kinds of emotions…empathy, joy, fear, loyalty, and everything in between. So the Wizard gives him a token of appreciation and a reminder that the measure of a heart is not how much you love, but how much you are loved.
  • The Cowardly Lion believed he needed courage, but all along the way he acted in courageous ways…even though he was afraid. So the Wizard gives him a medal marking his acts of courage and reminding him that courage is not the absence of fear, but the act of facing of your fear.

Finally, it comes down to Dorothy. She has put all her hopes in the Wizard and his ability to show her the road out of Oz and return her home. But in the end, she realizes he can’t do that.

Then, just as she is about to lose all hope of getting home, Glenda the Good Witch of the East arrives and explains that Dorothy has always had the ability to get out of Oz and go home. How? The ruby slippers. They had been on her feet the whole time, but she was so busy with the journey she hadn’t paid attention to what she had. In an act of faith, she clicks her heels together three times and repeats, ”There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” And the strange world of Oz begins to fade.

There will come a time when you feel you have fought and conquered that which was most frightening to you. You will think to yourself, “Surely, when I bring this victory to my counselor, my support group, or my trusted friend, they will bring closure to this ordeal and I can put it behind me.”

Many look to their guide to give them the final piece of the puzzle, so they can step back and see the completed picture then quickly put all the pieces back in the box. But even the most skilled of counselors cannot give you the absolute closure you desire. They are just a person…not a wizard. What they can do is help you realize that despite your circumstances, you have had the brains, the heart, and the courage to make the journey all along.

This may feel anti-climactic and leave you let-down and despondent at first. But a sense of power will show up. You’ll be reminded that what you need is already within you and it will take you wherever you need to go. Is it hope? Is it motivation? Is it God? Whatever it is, you will begin to trust yourself more, and the strange world you have been traveling through will begin to fade.

If I Only Had a Brain

Shortly into her journey down the yellow brick road, Dorothy comes to a crossroad. With no map or roadsigns, she stops to decide which direction to take. It’s there she meets the first of three eventual traveling companions…the Scarecrow.

The Scarecrow is stuck on a pole in the middle of nowhere. He’s pleasant and friendly, but he feels insignificant because he’s stuffed with straw, and useless because he can’t protect the corn from crows.

The Scarecrow is convinced all this would change if he only had a brain. He believes being able to think rationally would solve all his problems. If he could just figure things out, he could make things better.

So Dorothy invites him to join her on the journey, adding his quest for a brain to her quest to get back home. Little does she realize how important this move will be.

When you begin your journey on the road out of Oz, the first crossroad you typically come to involves the need for rational thought.

Like the Scarecrow, you reach a place where you feel stuck and unable to do what you need to do. You believe if you could only look at things logically and rationally you would be able to think yourself out of your predicament and heal from your sexual abuse.

The problem is your head is filled with the straw of deceptive and destructive messages. These “straw messages” were implied and implanted by both the abuser and the abuse. They are “straw messages” like:

  • “This is all you’re good for.”
  • “You brought this on yourself.”
  • “You responded, so you’re just as guilty.”
  • “If others really loved you, they would have protected you.”
  • “It just proves you can’t trust anyone.”
  • “You just need to be stronger.”
  • “That was a long time ago, so forget it and move on.”

Even though a part of you knows these messages aren’t logical, they still clog your thinking and make it hard for you to move forward and be productive. If only you had a brain that could forcefully override all the “straw messages” and help you think your way out of this.

It’s true that many of the messages left by the abuse are false and counter productive. It’s also true that these messages need to be countered and corrected by an ability to think clearly and rationally about things. You cannot heal if you continue to believe the left-behind lies of the abuse.

So, learning to think rightly is an important step, but that alone will not get you out of Oz. You need more than just a brain. If you are to find healing and wholeness from your sexual abuse, there are more traveling companions to be added on the road out of Oz.