Updated: Oct 26, 2018
The funniest and saddest scene (in my opinion) in the Wizard of Oz was when the wizard shouted, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" The scene was funny because we knew that bully of a wizard was a fake and we were glad he was found out. The scene is sad because as we got older we found ourselves shouting similarly, "Pay no attention to the weak, frightened, stressed out woman behind the curtain, I got this!"
On the surface it appears some of us can handle anything. We "gird up our loins" every morning and go to jobs we loathe to pay our bills and take care of our children. We take the hits of what has become an ill-mannered, openly hostile society while appearing non-plussed. We "manage" our relationships with using whatever emotion will be most acceptable, while hoping to avoid collateral damage should we have a bad day.
I am a woman and I am an admirer of women; our stories and experiences grow richer with time. However we need to deal with the 'wizard' behind the curtain. I considered using a word other than wizard, but what better way to describe the 'magic' that happens when an anxious, insecure or physically ill woman (or man) puts on a face that tells the world "I have everything under control." If someone were to pull back the curtain on your life, on a bad morning, what would they find?
Would they find someone so afraid of being hurt she cries in the shower 30 minutes before putting on that armor of invincibility? Would they find a fear of rejection so deep that everything must be perfect? Does the intense workout routine cover up the thin woman's view of herself and her body? If you think, "none of those are me," great! I recently found out that the woman behind my curtain is not nearly as gracious as I hoped. That means I have room for God to help me. How about you? Do yourself the favor of looking behind your curtain honestly and compassionately. It's ok to be kind to yourself. It's ok to be honest with others. It's ok to change.
Michele Aikens is a life coach specializing in women in transition and leadership teams. For more information e-mail her at Contact@micheleaikens.com