The gift and curse of being a catalyst
How many times have you heard the light of a candle used as an example of the function of the light “filling a previously darkened room with light?” The problem with this metaphor is that it neglects a critically important aspect of light – the casting of shadows. Anything that stands in the direct line of the light that is seeking to find its way into a room casts a shadow and within this shadow is the darkness that the light is trying to dispel.
This is how it is with those of us who have been given the gift/curse of being a catalyst. We come into a space bringing our light, and while our intention is always and only love, that which stands in the way of our light casts shadows and reveals the places where darkness remains.
The work of the catalyst begins first with ourselves. Over and over and over again opportunities show up in our lives to witness and then decide what to do with (ie: heal) our own shadows. This is the warrior/mastery work that we have all been called to. In the catalyst, however, it is the work from which we cannot run, neither can we hide. The work of confronting our unhealed wounds and unacknowledged fears will not be ignored. As one colleague once observed, “God is a nag,” and this has never been more true than in our own journeys of self-actualization….especially in those who are called to support others in that same journey.
The work of the catalyst does not end there. If we are a catalyst, not only are we waking up to ourselves, we are serving as vessels through which others have an opportunity to become awakened – or to awaken even more deeply to their true nature. The problem is that not everyone wants to wake up and not everyone is willing or able (in possession of the tools) to do the necessary work of healing the darkness (unhealed wounds and unacknowledged fears) within so that their magnificent light might emerge. The reality of this makes the catalyst sad…..especially when the reaction to the catalyst’s light is rejection or worse retaliation. In the latter, we suddenly become the enemy – by no fault of our own – but simply out of the receiving party’s resistance to their own light. (sad face emoji).
While the initial response of the catalyst to this refusal of the light might be felt as rejection or retaliation, the deeper sadness is over the refusal of the receiving party to accept their light. For this is the hope and dream of the catalyst – that all sentient beings come to know the Divine magnificence (LOVE) that dwells within them and become empowered to live that love in the world. To a catalyst, there is no other life worth living except the one in which we have an opportunity to be love in the world and when we witness another refusing this love, we have no choice but to grieve. The good news is that whether it is through ourselves or another, no matter how hard one tries to run from their light, they cannot hide. Love will hound them and in the end (even if that end be death), love always wins.