I recently finished listening to The Path Made Clear, by Oprah Winfrey. It was wonderful.
There were numerous points throughout the book that I had to reach for my little notepad and jot down the essence of what she – or one of her interviewees, had said. But there was one chapter towards the end of the book that really resonated. In the chapter, Oprah talks about The Wizard of Oz, and how for her, it was one of the books that totally altered her way of thinking about herself and her life. Here’s the bit she references from the The Wizard of Oz,
Glinda the Good Witch: You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: She wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.
Then Scarecrow asks Dorothy what she’s learned and she replies,
…If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?
Glinda: That’s all it is!
Scarecrow: But that’s so easy! I should’ve thought of it for you –
Tin Man: I should have felt it in my heart –
Glinda: No, she had to find it out for herself. Now those magic slippers will take you home in two seconds!
But it isn’t easy at all, is it?
It has taken me a long time to use my own magic slippers. I was a ‘challenging’ teenager, a fairly aimless 20-something (although books and writing have always been ever-present) and then, in my thirtieth year, I was suckerpunched by love. And I mean suckerpunched. When I met Joe, we connected on such a profound level that I knew – knew with certainty – that he would be, aside from my wonderful parents, the most important and influential person in my life. And boy, was I right!
And so in a strange sort of a way, this is a thank you letter to both my parents, and Joe, because without their patient and consistent presence, love, support and encouragement, I’d still be travelling even further from my self – my true self – than I already was. As Oprah says in The Path Made Clear,
No matter how far away from yourself you may have strayed, there is always a path back. You already know who you are and how to fulfil your destiny.
As destiny unfolds…
Since meeting Joe at the end of 2012, travelling Australia and South East Asia together for a year in 2013, we’ve returned ‘home’. We find the warmth of home in each other, in our two children, in our family and friends. For me, now, fulfilling my own destiny means embracing my spiritual journey (which has brought so much clarity, joy and peace to my heart and mind) and by extension, being as present and nurturing to myself and those around me. Being a mother has – and continues to be – the most challenging, awe-inspiring and humbling experience I could have ever imagined. In fact, I don’t think you can imagine what it’s like to navigate motherhood until you become a mother yourself, and so there you have it. As Glinda the Good Witch said, she had to learn it for herself.
I learn alongside our children everyday – they teach me about unconditional love, humility, patience, selflessness, finding joy in the seemingly mundane and so much more. I am forever their student and biggest fan. Without my parents and Joe, none of these things I hold so close now would exist and I am so grateful to them.
May you dig out your ruby slippers from whichever darkened corner they’ve been placed, click your heels and embrace what’s been inside of you all along.