Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Cowardly Lion Returns!

The poor Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz received a bad wrap! He explained to Dorothy, The Tin Man, The Scarecrow, and to the Wizard that he had no courage, because he had fear. How wrong he was! How often do we feel the same, though? We assume that in order to be courageous we maintain a level of feigned strength and Superman-like power; when in fact, we have to have fear in order to have courage. If we were not afraid of anything, then we would not have the chance to make courage active in our choices and behaviors. Little did the Lion know that every time he took a step forward with uncertainty of what would happen he was building courage and strength.
It seems that the foundation of many mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, phobias, PTSD is fear--fear that nothing will be better; that everything will remain the same; that discomfort and unwanted emotions will always remain. I wonder what would happen if we all, in our own struggles, began to exercise courage to hope for something different and to work for it with the knowledge that our efforts will not be perfect, but will be sufficient--and ACCEPT it. Most undoubtedly we would find an inherent capacity for growth, as well as an ability to deal with uncertainties as inevitable. The Cowardly Lion seemed to get it...

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