“You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”
-Glinda the Good Witch; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Of all of the childhood stories I’ve read and movies I’ve watched, The Wizard of Oz is my all-time favorite. Whether it’s the classic film starring Judy Garland and those iconic ruby slippers or The Wiz that places Diana Ross in Dorothy’s role and highlights Michael Jackson as The Scarecrow, it is mandatory that I watch it if it’s on television. As a child, I appreciated both films for their bright colors, beautiful music and the overall message that good conquers evil. As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate the deeper message of owning your power. In both incarnations of the film, our heroes discovered that the very things they sought-a brain, a heart, courage and belonging-were within them the entire time. It just took an adventure that challenged them to the height of their abilities to bring it out of them.
This past Wednesday I received notice that I’ve been accepted into my masters program, a goal that I had been striving for during the entire summer. I was elated to the point of tears, and anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not a happy crier. Naturally, the next step was to call my parents and tell them the good news. As I was gushing about it all, both of them separately asked me the same question:
“Jasmyn, are you surprised?”
Although my initial answer was “No, I’m just that happy!” their inquiry got me thinking. To a degree, I was surprised-and yet I had no reason to be. Intellectually I knew that I had done my very best and that I was more than qualified to enter the program. However, this belief took a bit longer to reach my heart, hence the happy tears.
It’s an ongoing paradox. Even when all signs are in our favor to pursue the next step in our life’s adventure, there is this nagging undercurrent of doubt that whispers to us, planting the notion that we don’t deserve to move forward, or that we’re incapable of achieving our calling. It’s as if our gifts, talents and abilities have a direct negative relationship with the level of confidence we have in ourselves.
That is where faith comes in. We must have faith that as long as we’re in concert with God, He’s directing us in alignment with our purpose. Second, we must maintain faith in knowing that we have all we need to accomplish anything we set our minds to. The intellect, compassion, bravery and acceptance that we seek to find doesn’t exist over some distant rainbow. Rather, by following our own yellow brick roads, we’ll arrive at our God-given destinations and find that it was within us all along-that is, if we’re willing to take the journey.