Oz fan. There are just too many flying monkeys and yellow bricks for my taste. But ever since I took this way cool photo of a rainbow, I’ve had that song stuck in my head. So I thought maybe if I wrote about it, it would go away. The song that is, not the rainbow.
One of the most troublesome lyrics in Over the Rainbow is where Dorothy sings:
Someday I'll wish upon a star and
wake up where the clouds are far
Sorry, Dorothy, but life isn’t like that. Not in Oz, and definitely not in Kansas, although I’m not sure if I’ve ever really been to either place. Wishing is great if you’ve got a penny and a fountain, but we have to take a more active role in real life if we want to see any results.
When we are in a slump it’s hard to look at things objectively, and it
often seems that things will never get better. We may wish for a better
situation, but we doubt that anything will ever change. And if we stop there – with just a wish – chances are that we will stay stuck in our slump. So we need to come up with a way to help ourselves.
The first step is to dare to dream. Dreaming is not the same as wishing. Wishing is hoping the good witch (What was her name? Wanda? Or was that a fish?), will come along and save us. Dreaming is putting an idea into our minds of what might be possible in our lives if we work for it. No dream means no motivation. And change requires motivation.
The next thing is to figure out what it is that we really want. “I don’t want to be depressed anymore” isn’t good enough. First of all, we can’t make a plan around what we don’t want, and secondly, we need to be more specific. So “I want to be happy” doesn’t really cut it, either.
We need to dig deeper to get to the core of what we really want. Sure, I want to be happy. What do I think is going to make me happy? A lot of money. Why do I want a lot of money? To pay my bills and get out of debt. What will getting out of debt do for me? It will let me sleep better at night, it will give me more hope, and it will help me worry less. Hmmm, that sounds kind of like peace of mind. Maybe what I really want is peace of mind. And/or maybe what I really want is a sense of security. In either case, if I go searching for a lot of money to make me happy, I may miss the mark.
So, now that I know what I want, I need to figure out how to get it. It’s been my experience that plans don’t really materialize all laid out and pretty (like a yellow brick road, for example). But once I at least know the general direction I want to head, I can take the first step. In my case, I can begin to look at my options and ask myself, “Is this going to bring me closer to peace of mind and a sense of security?” Buying a lottery ticket? No, not really. Talking to a credit counselor about my debt? Maybe. Hunkering down at home and stewing over my plight? Definitely not. Reaching out to people and opening myself up for opportunities that may come my way? That one sounds like a winner.
Am I happy yet? Are the clouds far behind me? No. But remember, that wasn’t the goal after all.
In the end, the real thing to remember is:
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow,
Why, oh, why can’t I?
Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.