“Don’t Look at the Man Behind the Curtain”

Do you remember in the Wizard of Oz when Toto yanks back the curtain exposing the scary and all-powerful wizard?  Instead of the daunting and difficult amorphous figure, he really is just a man- a little dotty and willing to help.      

In Jack Kornfield’s book, A Path With Heart, he tells a story of a father who is away from home when robbers come, set fire to the house, and take his young son away with them.  The father returns to the ashes of his house and believes his son has died there.  He grieves uncontrollably for many months.  The son manages to get free from his abductors and find his way home.  He knocks on the door and cries “Papa, Papa,” but the father refuses to open the door, thinking it is one of the neighborhood children taunting him.  Eventually the son goes away, never to return.  In this story, the father resists the truth that can bring him joy and freedom from his loss because he clings so much to what he thinks is the truth. 

Maybe we can’t quite accept a reality in our life or we have become so certain of what our particular snapshot of our reality looks like (usually pretty gruesome), and so create these curtains, these walls of resistance. And resistance comes in so many forms.  It could be a silent withdrawal, constantly being busy, ignoring or pretending not to understand, being critical, or making excuses.  It’s like a curtain that doesn’t let the light in.  It doesn’t allow for restoration, resurrection, growth, change.   

Afraid to pull back the curtain, consciously or unconsciously, we believe we are protecting ourselves from further pain or hurt. We resist change and letting go of the past.  Resistance is worn like armor against future harm.    

When in pain, we can easily live with illusions, “No one loves me.  No one cares.  I will never feel happy again.  I can’t do that.  I don’t know enough yet”, these are the sorcerers.

The beginning of healing begins when we but trust and release.   In order to see that fear is an illusion, we must be willing to risk.

You can and will be restored to a new life, regardless of the past.


Meditation for today: “I am entirely ready to have the chains that keep me bound be broken.  I am entirely ready for the walls I’ve built around myself to be torn down.  I am entirely ready to give up my need to control every situation.  I am entirely ready to let go of my resentments.  I am entirely ready to grow up”.- Macrina Wiederkehr


2 thoughts on ““Don’t Look at the Man Behind the Curtain”

  1. Paolo Choelo once said that the whole point of our existence now is to unlearn the limitations and walls that we build around us as we grow. To unlearn the impossible and make friends with the possible… but what a sad, sad story you shared about the man and his son!

    Peace in your heart always!


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