Create the Life You Imagine~August 2018

The Witch's Forest - Surrender Dorothy

“What each brings forth Is what never before was on land or sea: The fulfillment of his or her unique potentialities, which are different from anybody else’s.”

~ Joseph Campbell

Having gained entry to the Emerald City, Dorothy and her friends are again disappointed and despairing as they are denied an audience with the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz. But following the ominous appearance of the Wicked Witch in the Emerald City writing Surrender Dorothy in the sky, Dorothy and her friends are granted their audience with the Wizard in the throne room of the Emerald City. The Wizard declares, “I am Oz, the Great and Powerful, who are you?” Our heroine responds that she is “Dorothy, the small and meek.” When our friends make their plaintive requests, they are told that "The Great and Powerful Oz" will not help them unless they prove themselves worthy by performing a very small task: Bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West.

When we first approach our spiritual path, we often do so like Dorothy. We metaphorically show up in the throne room of the Great and Powerful Oz and make our requests. We expect that if we present ourselves as small and meek, then God will take care of us. From our small self we say our prayers, meditate or perform daily rituals, and then we approach God with our list of needs and desires. We believe that because we said the right prayers, thought the right thoughts or otherwise did what was expected of us, our requests will be magically granted.

But the hero’s journey does not leave us in the throne room of an external god in need of magic and protection. The hero’s journey calls us into our spiritual maturity. If we truly begin a spiritual journey with earnest intention and attention, we will be pushed forward on our path and into the next and most challenging stage of the journey. We will be called like Dorothy to surrender.

We don’t have to surrender our power; we have to surrender our attachments to the way we think things ought to be. We will have to surrender our childlike impressions of God. We will have to surrender our need to be magically rescued from our lives. We will have to surrender our small ideas about how our life was supposed to go. We will have to surrender our secret fears about our inadequacies and imperfections. We will have to surrender our fear, anger, regret and disappointment. We will have to surrender our addictions and our resistance. We will have to surrender our need for control or escape.

In short, we will have to surrender our most familiar patterns of responding to life, which we have used to keep ourselves safe and protected, because these are the patterns that separate us from our true Self. When we s