Each of us are gifted at birth with a certain lens through which we are programmed to view the world and our life experiences. Sadly, this lens is at once a gift and a curse. Today’s blog explores the lens of the reformer/perfectionist…one I know all too well!
I Have Come to Save the Day – The Messiah and Superhero Complex
As much as I wish it were otherwise, I am not Jesus, or the Buddha or even Wonder Woman or Almighty Isis for that matter. I am just little ole Lauri plagued with the lens of the reformer/perfectionist. (For more on the reformer/perfectionist or the other eight temperments on the Enneagram scale, go to: http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/ ) As such, I have grown up with the kind of eyes that see all the places in the world where “it could be better,” “certainly there is another way,” “I could do it better than they…” The place where has been most obvious and most painful (except my mother would probably argue this) is in regards to my relationship with the Catholic Church. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog…..I love my Catholic faith and it is because of this love that I want to see it get better….be better…do better. But as a friend recently pointed out….Who am I fooling? The Catholic Church has done just fine without me for 2000+ years and it certainly isn’t going to change just because little Lauri Lumby thinks it should. But……that is not to say that I haven’t spent a fair amount of time beating my head against the wall hoping for change. Around 4 years ago I finally recognized the futility of those hopes, dreams, compulsions…….and released my personal mission to “save the Catholic Church.” Yes, I still like to get up on my soapbox and pontificate on all the “sins” of the Institution, but in truth, I know they are not going to change and I get that. But….that doesn’t mean that I don’t keep working for reform in the tiny little universe over which I have any kind of control or influence (and even that is arguable)……and that is within MYSELF!
Reforming the church in my own tiny universe!
So, instead of beating my head against the doors of the Institution, I am creating “reform” right here in my own backyard. Tired of waiting for the Church to do what I want it to do (ha ha), I offer the things I had hoped the Church would one day incorporate into its ministries, but has not. The funny thing is that all the things I offer are things that the US Catholic Bishops have called for, but most parishes have not implemented – ie: Spiritual Formation for adults leading them toward Stewardship (see: The Bishops’ documents on Stewardship, “Sons and Daughters of Light,” “Our Hearts Were Burning within Us.” All documents which outline and call for these plans. ). Now, in defense of the Institution, many parishes are offering religious formation (ie: doctrine) for adults….but is mostly stops there. I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule…..and I am humble enough (on some days) to acknowledge this. What sets me apart from anything being done on an institutional level, however, is that the tools and formation I provide specifically give people tools through which they are empowered to reason, discern and exercise truth…..their own truth as revealed to them personally and intimately in their connection with God. I figure the only way to have effective stewardship is to empower spiritual maturity which only comes AFTER a period of questioning, challenging, seeking, discerning. I’m comfortable holding space for that time of seeking and questioning.
The Larger Vision
Of course, as a “Reformer,” my visions don’t stop in my living room. In fact, I see a larger, longer range vision where someday the work I am doing will be enfolded in a larger, more compassionate, more expansive expression of my Catholic/Christian faith…..but I doubt if that will happen in my lifetime. So, I am content in letting the Catholic Church keep doing what it is doing (but not without a fair bit of poking and prodding on my part!) and I will continue doing what I am doing – with my lasso of truth in hand, and my bullet-proof bracelets ready (to defend the bullets of the self-appointed inquisition) I do the best job I can of discerning God’s call for me and authentically standing in that truth….whatever that might be.
What tools do you use for discerning truth?
Where do you find yourself caught up in the reformers curse?
How do you find acceptance of “what is” while still standing in your truth?
Authentic Freedom Ministries