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.
Depriving the Devil of His Power
Today’s teaching is about how to handle the “Devil” when he comes to call. Here I will use a recent personal experience to illustrate how to confront the adversary, thereby depriving him of his power while restoring ourselves to our natural state of peace.
When I mention the devil, I’m not referring to the dude in the red tights with horns and a pitchfork. Here I’m speaking about Satan, the name used in scripture to represent the inner adversary – the energy within us that comes forth in our lives to tempt us away from the path of our truth and who does so through our ego attachments, unhealed wounds and unacknowledged fears. Satan most often shows up within us in our fears, self-doubts and insecurities, but because we are One, Satan sometimes shows up through the actions of another who plays the role of the Adversary so as to show us what is in need of healing within us.
The Adversary can show up at any time in our lives, but “he” shows up more forcefully as we are preparing to or are in the midst of stepping more fully into our truth. The closer we get to our truth and to fulfilling the Divine purpose for our lives, the harder the Adversary works against us. In this regard, the Adversary is something to be welcomed as he is in fact signaling that we are on the right path and he is giving us the opportunity to strengthen our resolve and grow in resiliency. In this sense, the Adversary is our friend because he gives us an opportunity to see him for who he is, identify the inner fear that he is triggering within us and then move through and heal those fears so that we are even more free to live out our Divine purpose. In the personal experience of the Adversary that I am about to share, I have decided to receive him as a friend, as a sign that I am on the right path and in this I can thank him for reflecting back to me the fears that are still in need of healing as I move forward in my path.
Here’s how my experience of the Adversary showed up to me this morning:
As I mentioned earlier this week, I have entered into a professional collaboration with Kayla Burger of DesignLife. She recently featured some of my work in her video blog on anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Kayla and I have arrived at a similar approach to dealing with these conditions in our own lives and have generously shared this approach with others as a complement to traditional methods of treatment.
In response to this video blog and my sharing of it, the following comment was posted:
Kayla was kind enough to delete the post, recognizing it as evidence of spite. She then shared the information with me and I immediately knew from whom the comment originated. My first reaction was to feel hurt. Then I felt angry. I chose not to reach out to the individual who wrote the comment as I knew it wouldn’t do any good. While I know I did nothing wrong, they have formed their opinion. I have hundreds of satisfied students and clients, and the opinion of one has no bearing on the experience of hundreds. Furthermore, I strongly believe that the truth stands on its own and wins out in the end.
In spite of deciding all of this, I still felt disturbed so I put my own tools into practice, recognizing this comment as the work of the Adversary. The timing of the Adversary’s arrival is quite interesting as Confronting the Adversary was the very topic of my Order of Melchizedek training course yesterday. Also interesting is that the past week has been a huge time of expansion for me with the collaboration with DesignLife, the Feast of the Magdalene Summit and the upcoming Wild Woman Renaissance Summit that I will participate in on August 1st. Expansion. Expansion. Expansion. No wonder the Devil came a callin’!
In choosing to post these comments on Kayla’s site, this person played the role of the Adversary – triggering and reflecting back to me the fears that are not yet healed in me – the fear of rejection, or being seen as a fraud – both reflective of my own personal need to be seen as good, helpful and loveable. In spewing their wrath, this person has unwittingly helped me to see my unhealed fears and has provided me with an opportunity to do the work I know how to do to bring healing and release to these fears. They also helped me to see that I am indeed on the right path or the Adversary wouldn’t have shown up so forcefully. Applying all I know about the Adversary I am now restored to peace and in this, I actually find myself grateful for the person who posted these comments on Kayla’s site.
Thank you dear friend for accepting the calling of the Adversary and in doing so, helping me to recognize and heal some fears. Know that I am grateful and as I am accepting the task of healing that you have set before me, I am holding you in love. I wish you peace.
There is nothing more healing than the startling realization that a deeply imbedded emotional wound has always and forever been based in a lie. Here the wound was the fear that I am not/was not loved. The realization is that in every situation where I was treated in less than loving ways, where I felt rejected or unloved, it was not because I am not loved…..it is because those who were doing the “rejecting,” don’t love themselves. Here’s how it happened:
For the past several months, I’ve been working with a trauma specialist, hoping to alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety and panic attack, due, in part, to past traumas. The specific treatment protocol we have been using is Brainspotting. (Please check out the Brainspotting website to learn more. If you are in the Oshkosh area and are interested in exploring treatment for healing trauma, I have been working with Kristin Gage, and I recommend her highly!).
In this week’s Brainspotting session, what surfaced was a life-review of sorts. In this life review, I was shown every single situation in my life where I felt rejected, criticized, condemned, or falsely accused. The life-review began with Mrs. Plager, my kindergarten teacher taping my mouth shut and locking me in the closet for the simple reason that I was a happy, gregarious, creative, 5 year old. I was punished simply for being me. The life review then continued through every conflictual relationship – my third grade music teacher who pounded my head against my desk for humming the wrong notes, the “mean girls” of middle school and high school, every boy who wouldn’t love me, teachers who hated me, Fr. Doyle who gave me a “C” in high school religion class for challenging his contention that he got to go to heaven first simply by nature of his ordination, my college nemesis, the self-appointed inquisition, the priest who became the final straw and our local bishop. I saw every situation in my life where I felt rejected and unloved …. Quite frankly, for simply being me.
After the life-review, I was then shown a different viewpoint. I saw every single one of these “rejections” not from my own vantage point, but from the inner experience of those who were doing the “rejecting.” What I saw BLEW ME AWAY.
It was not that they didn’t love me. It was that they didn’t love themselves.
Here is how it worked. Unless pushed to act otherwise, I have never, in my whole entire life, wanted to be anything but loving toward another. Yes, I have reacted in anger to feeling hurt or rejected. Yes, I did the normal sibling things of fighting, arguing, bickering, etc. Yes, I have been human and liked some people more than others. And there have been some people I have stayed away from because, quite frankly, they scare me. But in all of this….I still want to treat everyone with love.
What I have learned is that not everyone wants to be loved. Not everyone can stand in the light of love. When love comes toward them, it triggers their own unhealed wounds around love, specifically all the ways in which they do not feel loved within themselves. Once this wound is triggered, (and believe me, my own woundedness around love is triggered from time to time), we do one of two things:
- We recognize that our wound has been triggered and we do some self-care to help support the healing of that wound.
- We project that wound back onto the person who triggered it, making them the enemy.
The latter is what happened in each and every one of those cases where I felt unloved by a teacher, “friend,” stranger, etc. It is not that they did not love me, it was that my presence somehow triggered their own unhealed wounds around love and they either did not have the awareness, the courage or the tools to do something about it. So instead of treating their own wound, they turned it back on me, making me the enemy.
So again, it was never that they did not love me, it was that they did not love themselves. How freeing and empowering is that?
After Monday’s global message about Building the New World, and yesterday’s call to resurrect the Magdalene and feminine principle with her, I’m turning to a more personal experience, and yet one to which I suspect you can relate and from which we can all learn.
The VOID MOON sucks! After the glow of love that filled our Soul’s at the Blood Moon eclipse, equinox gateway, the intensity of this week’s new moon and the fallout of a moon gone void have been INTENSE. With the new moon, I had such intense energy within me I thought I might explode, only to meet the following day with DEPRESSION, GRIEF and overwhelming fear….all thanks to old wounds and deeply rooted fears that all decided to pay me a visit. On the highest level, I know these fears are here to teach me and are only showing up now because they are ready to be healed. This awareness, however, does not make the fears any less uncomfortable.
Interestingly, these wounds are intimately related to the topics I taught this week in my Authentic Freedom and Mary Magdalene courses, lending support to the idea that the world really is of our own making and for the purpose of our own, personal, evolution. So, here is what decided to show up this week asking for another layer of healing:
MONEY. OMFG! Not even going there! I’ve been down this road so many times I see the demon and say, “YOU AGAIN!? Aren’t we done with this dance yet?” Then I turn to my spiritual practices, say my prayers, borrow from Peter to pay Paul if necessary and then move on. Then I do the really DEEP work of finding out what is REALLY in the way because, as I keep discovering, it is rarely about MONEY. Instead, it is about some other wound asking for healing….in the most recent case – the wound over not feeling supported, believing I have to do this all alone, the thought of which then makes me DAMN TIRED. What I really want to do is crawl into bed and sleep for a week, but instead, I see the wound and do my best to care for it, along with the pain in my lower back that always seems to accompany this fear. If what has happened in the past proves to repeat itself, after tending to the wound and finding relief from this fear, money will once again start flowing toward me….not just away from me!
REJECTION. Blech. Yesterday is showed up LOUD AND PROUD in my old wounds over the Church. Hearing firsthand what I have known for many years – people I know and once (and still) cared for saying all kinds of evil against me – evil that has reached all the way into the hierarchy of the Church where there is apparently a growing file with my name on it. (Based on what I’ve heard, the file must be enormous!). Part of me wants to ask, “Don’t you people have anything better to do with your time?” The other part of me just sighs in resignation over the very real truth that both Jesus and Mary Magdalene were treated in the very same way by the institutions and people around them. So, who am I to mourn over uninformed and hateful comments made against me “in Jesus’ name?” Another part of me knows that the things being said against me are simply a reflection of the unhealed wound of rejection in those rejecting me and the extent to which I feel rejected by them is the degree to which they fear being rejected by God.
I weep for their fear and pray for their healing….but still it makes me sad. Sad to know that there are those “out there” speaking evil against me and against the work I am doing in the world. So I grieve. I grieve the relationship with the Church I once enjoyed. I grieve the loss of the dream. I grieve the hole in my heart where these “friends” once lived. I grieve for those who don’t even know me and who hold some sort of personal vendetta against me for the sake of their own self-righteousness. I grieve for a hierarchy who doesn’t know me except through the lens of someone else’s fear. I grieve for a Church who has lost another valuable resource and all other lost possibilities because of the wholesale exclusion of anything associated with my name. And I grieve for myself – for the little girl who found her connection with God in the silent experience of the mass, the woman who found her calling through the words of her pastor, who found her formation in the arms of the Church and who wants nothing but to serve God through Jesus by helping the world to know what she has come to know through Jesus’ message of love – that we are all ONE and that we are ONE with each other through LOVE/God.
Mastery Work: Then, when I am done with my grieving, the true mastery work steps in. I see this all for what it really is – AN OPPORTUNITY TO HEAL MY OWN FEAR OF REJECTION! It is not a coincidence that the “haters” are showing up now as I am about to step into something magnificent. As I’m being given an opportunity to step even more fully into my Soul’s purpose, here are those rejecting me and me reacting to their rejection by feeling rejected. The “mastery” work reminds me that everything showing up in our lives is here for our own evolution. So those who are showing up reflecting back to me the fear of rejection are here as teachers, giving me an opportunity to see the wound that is not yet healed within me so that I can do the work of healing it so that I can take the next BOLD step toward the purpose of my Soul. Thank you haters! And here is the prayer that I will be employing to assist myself in healing the fear of rejection and in doing so, helping them find healing for theirs as well:
I’m sorry (to the part of my soul that is feeling rejected)
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Lauri Ann Lumby offers empowerment training for those who want to change their world. To learn more call (920) 230-1313 or email email@example.com.