Cowardly Lion?

Tap Into the Wizard Within To Transform Fear

By Valery Satterwhite | Posted 10/22/09 | Updated 4/11/24

If you are familiar with the story of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz you know that among Dorothy's fellow travelers along the yellow brick road to find the great and powerful Wizard was the Lion.

The Lion wanted the Wizard to give him courage as he was afraid of nearly everything he faced in his life. Here he was the king of beasts yet he cowered and hid from any ever so slightly perceived threat to his survival. The Lion believed that if he had the gift of courage he would be able to step into his role as the almighty king and ruler of the forest, respected by all.

"If I were King of the Forest my regal robes would be satin, not cotton, not chintz. I'd command each thing, be it fish or fowl. I'd click my heels and the trees would kneel and the mountains bow and the bulls cow-tow and the sparrow would take wing. If I were king, each rabbit would show respect to me, the chipmunks genuflect to me. If I were King, just King."
The Lion in Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz

The Lion's self-worth and esteem was entirely wrapped up in and identified with a forceful title that would deliver respect.

The Lion believes that force commands subjugation. Force, to the lion, means the ability to threaten and prevail through physical strength and determination. Such commitment comes from having the courage to stand centered in the truth of who you are.

The lion is scared to show up in his life powerfully as King of the Forest. And even as king he does not feel or act like much of a king because he lacks inner courage. When he does try to exhibit courage he resorts to threats and physical harm to others. Force is an act spawned out of fear, not power. Real power is a presence, a state of mind, that can only come from an authentic presence.

"Put 'em up, put 'em up! I'll fight ya' both together if you want. I'll fight ya' with one paw tied behind my back. I'll fight ya' standin' on one foot. I'll fight ya' with my eyes closed."
The Lion in Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz

Those are brave words that came from the lion who would run away with his tail between his legs if someone actually took him up on his threat. As we continue to observe the Lion throughout the story, we realize that the only thing that scares the lion is himself, an event of his own doing. He lives in fear. He Finds Excuses And Reasons (F.E.A.R.), blames others for his shortcomings, and believes the world, the forest and everything in it, is out to get him; do him harm.

"Ow!" — the Lion
"What happened?" — the Scarecrow
"Somebody pulled my tail!"
"You did it yourself!"
Wizard of Oz

The lion does not believe he is brave or forceful enough to be a king and, therefore, must get his courage from someone else — the Wizard of Oz. People who live with "I'm not good / smart / brave / talented /rich / pretty / whatever enough" will often become shop-a-holics hoping that the next Prada bag or Ferrari purchase will give them the self-esteem they lack.

After the momentary adrenaline rush after the purchase, these people quickly seek yet another status purchase to try, yet again, to feel better about themselves. There isn't a handbag or luxury car in the world that can give anyone the self-worth they lack within. Purchasing luxury items because you enjoy them is one thing. Acquiring things because you seek your identity through them is quite another experience. Shop-a-holics with low self-esteem do not enjoy or even use many of their purchases.

When the Lion finally gets an audience with the marvelous Wizard of Oz he finds out that the Wizard isn't really a wizard after all. What this simple man tells the lion is that he's always had courage within him. All he had to do is acknowledge and honor that which is his birthright. No external thing can give a person what they believe they lack within them. What you yearn for is who you are, what longs to come forth from within you. That's why you feel 'less than' when you are not expressing your full potential; who you came into the world to be, do and have.

You already have, within you, everything you need to be do and have what you want in life. All you have to do is tap into the Wizard Within, the voice of your truth and intuition. This internal resource of wisdom and personal guidance is your birthright. As your Muse, it will always guide you safely and effortlessly as you turn your dreams, your desires, into real experiences.

"You are under the unfortunate delusion that simply because you run away from danger you have no courage. You're confusing courage with wisdom."
The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz, Frank Baum

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