The Tin Man, previously known as Nick Chopper, features in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’.
Prior to becoming the Tin Man, Nick Chopper was a handsome lumberjack. He fell in love with a beautiful heiress. He offered his heart and promised to love her more than any other man could or would. She felt the same way. She told her family that she had met the man of her dreams. When her mother found out that he was not of their social class, she conspired (point 1…) with an evil witch. The evil witch cursed Nick’s axe so that every time he tried to chop a tree, the axe would fly back at him and damage his body (point 2…). He went to a tinsmith to mend the wounds. The tinsmith could only mend the wound by using iron, eventually replacing Nick Chopper’s entire body, including his heart, with metal (point 3…).

Let’s extrapolate.

Consider your life in multi-dimensions. We are children, siblings, spouses, relatives of a larger family, parents and professionals. Within the multi-dimensional role that we play, there are either fruitful, or toxic, relationships. A fruitful relationship compromises of love, support, transparency and respect. A toxic relationship involves:

Point 1 – conspiracy
Point 2 – damage
Point 3 – emotional, and even physical, discomfort i.e. loss of heart

Toxic relationships break us down to a level of overall doubt. Overall doubt can lead to loss of identity. Loss of identity usually leads to poor self-esteem. An article in Business Day opened up with, ‘There isn’t anything more pernicious than low self-esteem.’ It went on to say that low self-esteem is pernicious (a perfect word to use) because it creates victims or villains. The victims will lose perspective and fail to find a solution to recover. The villain will become a bully – they will deal with their low self-esteem through aggressive and deceitful interactions. Enter into, mostly, the start of a toxic relationship – with yourself and/or with others.

When in a toxic relationship, without knowing any better, we tend to morph into a person that the pernicious conspirator wants us to be. Without knowing, we slowly turn from a holistic Nick Chopper to a Tinman. We lose parts of ourselves until eventually, our entire existence seems to be an existence that lacks heart and purpose.

At some point in our lives, we have all been Nick Chopper. We believe, with every intent, that we are making a positive impact and living our potential until an evil witch, or sorcerer, appears; they become intent on breaking us down. We usually don’t know that we are falling apart until we lose our heart and feel an overwhelming sense of discomfort and loss.

Can we overcome this? The Tinman did. He searched for his heart, sought help from a professional (the Wizard of Oz), and got his heart back. This is, of course a fairy tale. Here is my truth – I believe in fairy tales. It may not be the fairy tale that always has the happy ending. It does, however, have all the different versions of the better characters. And to those wonderful characters that play a role in my success, I thank you for being part of my story. Find the better characters and live your version of a fairy-tale.

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