Therapeutic Fantasy of Mine, or What I Learned from the Wizard of Oz

When someone said I lived in a fantasy world, I nearly fell off my unicorn.

As a child, fantasy became the barrier between my peace and unpleasant realities that threatened my happiness. I powered my fantasy thoughts as a weapon against unpleasant notions, fears, bullies; you name it, my childhood imagination helped me ride the wave.

Being an adult now, I understand that children tend to gravitate toward what makes them feel good, what takes the worries away. As a woman in my fifties, I am hopelessly committed to remaining young at heart.

My first cherished book was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum.

And my first true introduction to the fantasy world was the movie, The Wizard of Oz. Every year we watched this magical movie together as a family. With every year of watching this classic, I realized there was a strong relatable presence to real life.

The love for this fantasy was specially shared with my father as Judy Garland was iconic to him in many ways. Even after I was married and started a family of my own, Dad would call me and ask if I was coming over to watch the classic. I never missed our annual Wizard of Oz; showing up until the year my father suddenly passed away. I carried on our shared legacy by hiring a professional to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at his funeral.

Many of us hold a special place in our hearts for a nostalgic book or treasured movie; often shared with a priceless connection of a cherished friend or family member    

The Wizard of Oz is an extreme legacy that rules my fantasy world, learning many life lessons along the way.  

People without brains do an awful lot of talking

The Scarecrow reminds us to not be so self-absorbed within our lives that we neglect others and the struggles they may be experiencing.

We can learn to stop chattering away about our troubles or grievances and be a better listener. 

Good friends come when you would least expect it

Dorothy’s unlikely dear friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, supported and protected her throughout her home-seeking journey. They may not seem to be your typical “friends” but they were golden to her as they always had her back. Not even the wicked witch could deter them from defending Dorothy.

We can learn we are fortunate if we have one friend in this life that defends us to the ends of the earth.

Never give up

Through all of the obstacles Dorothy had thrown at her (obnoxious talking trees, the wicked witch, the flying monkeys, poisonous poppies, etc.) she never gave up. She was determined to get back home and nothing was going to stop her.

We can all overcome obstacles, we just need to believe we can and never give up on the prize.

Courage is facing your fears

While the Lion initially gloated for others to be fearful of him, we learned he was actually a coward who was afraid of his own shadow. But when his dear friend, Dorothy, needed him to be brave, the Lion stood up to his fears.

We can all learn to set aside our own fears in order to help others. Who knows, in the end, we may be helping ourselves, too.

There is no place like home

Dorothy refused to stop trying to find her way home – even with the wicked witch and evil flying monkeys hot on her trail. She realized she did not need magical ruby slippers to send her home. She had the power inside her all along.

Home is where your heart is. Just remember to stay on your yellow brick road and you’ll find your way home, too.

Even though my father has passed on, I never miss an opportunity to watch this timeless classic that is relatable to our authentic lives.

May all fantasy drifters, enjoy the solace of leaving their worries in the real world, yet remember you are not that far from home.

Lori Armstrong

Lori began her career in the legal field, leaving that position to pursue full-time writing endeavors. Being a criminal court reporter for the Record-Bee, she balances the chaos in her brain by writing children's books and reflective pieces. When time allows, she publishes books for Amazon.

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