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You Are In Integrity

“You are in integrity when the life you live is an authentic expression of who you are.” — Alan Cohen

 

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Courage is a Lot Like Love

The Cowardly Lion with Dorothy

From the Wizard of Oz: The Cowardly Lion with Dorothy

“Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.” -Napoleon

In the story, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, on her way down the yellow brick road helps the Scarecrow from being impaled on the pole he has been on, helps the Tin Woodman move again with a simple oil can and encourages them and the Cowardly Lion to journey with her and Toto to the Emerald City. The Scarecrow wants to get a brain, the Tin Woodman a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, courage. All are convinced by Dorothy that the Wizard can help them too. Together, they overcome obstacles on the way including narrow pieces of the yellow brick road, Kalidahs, a river, and the Deadly Poppies.

When each traveler meets with the Wizard of Emerald City, he appears each time as someone or something different. To Dorothy, the Wizard is a giant head; the Scarecrow sees a beautiful woman; the Tin Woodman sees a ravenous beast; the Cowardly Lion sees a ball of fire. The Wizard agrees to help each of them, but one of them must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wizard provides the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion with a head full of bran, pins, and needles (“a lot of bran-new brains”), a silk heart stuffed with sawdust, and a potion of “courage.” Because of their faith in the Wizard’s power, these otherwise useless items offer a focus for their desires.

Courage never operates in a vacuüm; we can always try hard and see ourselves as courageous about something.  We also need to believe that there will be some consequence to our acts of bravery.  It seems we are all looking at the long-term for a deliverance for ourselves and others.

Love, too, needs a sense of future, time to develop and flower.  It is only passion that lives for an instant and passion, like the red rose, doesn’t last out the full year.

So I believe, love and courage are similar and work together for our own good and the good of others.  By working on ourselves through a form of personal growth and development we treasure love and courage as we find ourselves with greater wisdom and more abundance of peace with ourselves and others.  I believe that this is one of the ways we have faith in the long-term and in things that endure. No one is suggesting we can change overnight, but with love and courage and the hope on which they depend, we can all work wonders! I believe in my courage to change day-by-day.

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“For Good” From the Musical “Wicked”

I love the Broadway musical Wicked. For those readers unfamiliar with the story, it is based on the best-selling novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory McGuire which runs parallel to the classic novel by L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West and her relationship with Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Their friendship causes them to face their opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, their reactions to the Wizard’s corrupt government and ultimately, Elphaba’s public fall from grace. The plot is set mostly before Dorothy’s arrival from Kansas and includes several references to well-known scenes and dialogue in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz as a back-story.

Wicked was here in the Phoenix metro area at Tempe’s Gammage Auditorium throughout the month of July, 2009. Tucson area residents will see Wicked in January, 2011 at Centennial Hall. Find out if Wicked is coming to your area and check this musical out.

In the meantime, I wanted to share the lyrics to a song from Wicked.  “For Good” is sung between Elphaba and Glinda, just before the finale.  I’ve shared the lyrics to Defying Gravity from Wicked in an earlier post.

The Purpose of Our Relationships

This song has inspired me at a time when I have felt challenged by my relationships.  Some of my relationships seem static and difficult.  This song reminds me to begin to wonder if it would be in the best interest of both of us to move along.

For Good

(Elphaba)

I’m limited
Just look at me – I’m limited.
And just look at you
You can do all I couldn’t do, Glinda.
So now it’s up to you
For both of us – now it’s up to you…

(Glinda)

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

(Elphaba)

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a hand print on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend…

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a sky bird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you

(Glinda)

Because I knew you
(Both) I have been changed for good

(Elphaba)

And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the thing I’ve done you blame me for

(Glinda)

But then, I guess we know
There’s blame to share

(Both) And none of it seems to matter anymore

(Glinda)

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood

(Elphaba)

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a bird in the wood

(Both)

Who can say if I’ve been
Changed for the better?
I do believe I have been
Changed for the better

(Glinda)

And because I knew you…

(Elphaba)

Because I knew you…

(Both)

Because I knew you…
I have been changed for good.