Everything is great in Munchkinland for about three musical numbers and a whole lot of dancing. Dorothy is honored, showered with flowers, and a tiny twitching trio presents her with a gigantic lollipop.
Then the Wicked Witch of the West, sister of the dead one, shows up. She seems to be more than a little upset at the passing of her sister.
The Witch is obviously a bundle of negativity (hence the “wicked” title). However, let’s take a look at the situation from her point of view. She arrives in Munchkinland to find her sister crushed to death, and four hundred height-challenged people are dancing around singing about how great that is. (“Ding-dong, the Witch is dead!”)
She and her sister were probably very close. After all, they grew up in the same dysfunctional family. They were probably teased as tiny witches about their green skin and pointy hats and noses. They probably shared many things—magic spells and their love of funny striped stockings. They probably felt like misfits “over the rainbow” with all those super-happy people dressed in colors. So they acted out their aggression, perhaps in negative ways.
The Witch has just found out her sister has died, and she has every right to be upset. Who wouldn’t be?
The Witch is not in touch with her emotions and can’t let out the hurt and loss she is feeling for her sister’s sudden catastrophe. She is trying to deal with the pain of no more hemlock tea parties, no more sharing wart-enhancement secrets, no more cackling over the cauldron about that time they turned their parents into field mice and the cat ended up finding them.
Behind any big anger is a really big hurt. Anger is most often an outward reaction to something that touches us very deeply on the inside. The only way the Witch can deal with her pain is to turn it into anger. She is reacting the only way she knows how. She needs to blame someone, and the most convenient person is Dorothy.
How many times do we get angry instead of feeling hurt? How many times do we blame someone else for our hurt feelings? Try to remember the last time you were truly angry with someone. What were you angry about? Underneath was a frustration, a disappointment, a sadness—some other unexpressed emotion. We need to allow ourselves to feel the true emotions instead of masking them with anger. Of course the Wicked Witch seems wicked—anger is the only emotion she allows herself to feel. If we consistently disregard our other emotions and turn them into anger, one day we’ll become as mean, bitter and horrible as the Wicked Witch of the West.
We need to look at the anger in our lives and make sure we are not repressing some deeper emotion. We need to try to understand the wicked witches of our lives and know they are not really that wicked, just emotionally green.