A Clergy, A Critic, and A Coach


A Clergy, A Critic, and A Coach

A clergy, a critic and a coach walk into a bar...hmmm that would be interesting! I wish I had a joke… BUT… I don’t. What I do have are wonderful journey lessons from each. Recently, I had conversations (well sort of) with all three. Each conversation moved me deeply, reiterating the Sacred’s presence in my life.

A clergy: One evening I was sitting on my chaise lounge, resting a moment from the day’s activity, and received a pleasant and much needed (though I didn’t know it at the time) call from a clergy sister, friend, and colleague. She had been on my mind for quite some time, and my intent was to reach out to her. As fate would have it, she beat me to it. We spoke for well over two hours about deeply personal and professional issues. I can not adequately articulate how profound her words of insight, encouragement, and understanding were to me that evening. Our conversation reminded me of the deep spiritual connection that I have with someone dear to me; the importance of sharing our situations with others, for without sharing there is little opportunity for enlightenment or healing; and the bountiful blessings of having friends and support in our lives. I am in gratitude to the Sacred for these reminders and the uplifting and lasting relationships that strengthen me as I travel along.

A critic: I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a “cry for help” from someone. I don’t usually like to comment publicly for a number of reasons, one being that social media is rarely the space to have the deep open dialogue that is needed for critical issues. In this case, I felt compelled to respond. This individual wrote that she had been diagnosed with depression, and medication was recommended. She, along with many others, commented that she would rely on God instead of medication for her healing. Mind you, none of us knew the gravity of her illness but that didn’t prevent an overwhelming response that God would surely see her through her sorrow and that’s all she needed. I responded from a place of experience, sadness, and quite frankly horror at what I considered to be poor theology, gross misinterpretation of scripture, and limiting beliefs about the MULTIPLE ways that the Sacred manifests healing in our lives. I simply advised her to seek professional help and encouraged a different understanding of depression and the Sacred’s healing of this illness. A critic attempted to drag me through the mud for such a belief and accused me of comparing myself to the Almighty as well as trying to swindle money from the individual. The critic’s concern saddened me even more, not because of her harsh words to me, but because it demonstrated even more the deep, deep wounds of religion. Not only was she giving damaging advice to the friend who clearly was wounded but her lashing out demonstrated disdain for clergy, even while she also espoused that “Jesus suffered and we must suffer as he did.” Somewhere along the line, she had been taught that she must suffer and one wonders about the pain she might have experienced at the hand of one who professes to be religious.

A coach: I was talking with my business coach during our monthly call about my retreat in October. There is a great deal of work that goes into planning such an event, and my coach is invaluable with helping me to strategize about various details of this preparation, who my target audience is, and the type of service I will deliver. What I love about our sessions is that I always feel energized, determined, and even more passionate about the work that I am called to do to move folks out of the realm of their wounds and into a place where they feel supported and connected. Her questioning, sincere desire to help me manifest the best parts of me, and guidance on the ways to share my purpose with others, help me to stay grounded in my purpose. It is a reminder that I can’t go it alone, especially when entering a new arena in my life. And, I am reminded that I don’t have to. There are people ready and willing to help me when I put forth the effort and intention. And, I firmly believe that the Sacred connects me with those people.

So, I wonder. Do you have a clergy, a critic and a coach? I don’t mean literally but figuratively.

Do you have a person that reminds you of your soul connections and with whom you can share deep personal facets of your life without fear of judgment but with assurance that they will elevate your thinking in the process?

Do you have a critic that both challenges and reinforces your belief system? Are you able to move past their criticism and find the lesson?

Do you have an individual who guides you in a focused and knowledgeable manner (which means they know much more than you) to help you achieve your goals, someone who wants you to succeed because… well they’re happy for you and realize that when one person succeeds, so many others benefit from that success?

I invite you to think about who you have in your circle. If you don’t have a clergy, a critic and a coach, it might be time to get them.

Peace, love and blessings.

Dr. Terrlyn

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