Are You Kidding Me?

By Rev. Diannia Baty

There is a sticky spider web of untruth and perception about being a spiritual leader and I want to correct it hopefully once and for all. There are many misconceptions about spiritual leaders, life coaches, ministers, therapists

and anyone else who is leading, counseling and assisting others to improve their lives. The biggest one I find is that we are perceived as having no problems or emotions that are negative. We are supposed to instantly heal any situation and move on like Pollyanna ignoring anything at all that has blocked our path in any way and be totally blissful every moment of the day. Are you kidding me?

I would like to know where in what book does it say that? I would also like to know where it came from and I think I have the answer. Many of us in these types of chosen paths put forth a misconception that life is perfect for us and I am here to tell you that it is not true. In fact if you have had a life where you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, had perfect parents and an idyllic life with no problems and issues, then you are not really qualified to give real advice and counsel to others. If your advice comes from reading books and going to classes and getting a degree and nothing else then what you are offering to others is not authentic. If you are telling others that you never have an issue to overcome then you are not being real.

I would never go to a marriage counselor if they had never been married. I would never go to a life coach who had never overcome difficulties in their own lives. I think you are getting the picture.

Life experience is what it is all about. The more bad stuff someone else has overcome and risen above, the better and that includes those who are helping others to do the same. We all have days of frustration, anger, disappointment and sadness. It is the human condition and life is just that way. Some of us find our own way out of it. Some of us take longer than others to move ahead. Some of us leapfrog ahead and move on. The only way out of any given situation is through it.

Yesterday I received a call from a young woman who is a leader in her field and a life coach and she was having some problems and needed spiritual counsel. During our conversation she told me that she had shared her feelings with someone who gave her some guff about it. It seems this person thought that she should never have such issues at all because she is a life coach. I repeat are you kidding me?

I have had ministers and members of the clergy come to me for assistance and guidance for their problems all the time. One pastor was so overcome with family problems that he was considering leaving his church. He told me that he had to be very careful who he talked to because his congregation would go right for the jugular if they saw any sign of weakness. I explained to him that I felt it was false thinking to believe this. I said that if he had done his job well with the teachings of compassion and love that his church members would rally around him and to give them a chance to show him what they were made of. I encouraged him to take a leap of faith and share his sorrow and anxiety with them.

The following Sunday he did just that within the guidelines of his sermon, he went for it. He called me later and told me it was stunning what happened. There was such an outpouring of love that it overwhelmed him. He became more real to all of them as he revealed his humanity with all its twists and turns. What he thought was a weakness turned out to be strength. There was no judgment from anyone as they rallied around him to help. He had taught them well and today he is still leading his congregation.

Some time ago one of the members of my class told me that she envied me being so calm and peaceful all the time. I immediately corrected her impression of me. I told her that I also went through the gamut of emotions and thoughts that everyone else does. She was taken aback. I explained to her that being a strong spiritual person did not automatically mean that you never had any problems to overcome. I explained to her that the difference is that most of the time you just move on quicker and more powerfully using spiritual practices to get back to the place of peace and joy. I reminded her that every spiritual person regardless of title has issues to overcome. Jesus, our greatest spiritual teacher of all time went through periods of doubt, sadness, anger and disappointment. He had help and guidance from God and he always went to the right source for assistance. He did not go it alone ever.

It took me a long time to finally arrive at a place to know that my creator is there always and had never left me because I am one with God and the universe. It was the way I was created to be even if at an earlier time in my life I did not know this. I am also one with every single person. Many times in the past when I thought God had abandoned me it was in fact me who had exited stage left…not God.

I do not have infinite energy to do everything. I get tired. I do not have all the answers and I will be learning as I study and teach. It is a never-ending journey. The minute I have arrived and think I am a bag of chips and then some I had better start all over because the universe will show me that I am not all that. I strive hard to remain strong and not allow my ego to overcome me. It is a daily struggle and learning process. I share openly with all of you my life, struggles and upsets. I also share the victory, triumphs and joys.

Every so often I get caught up in the spider web of life experience and I also struggle to get free and I always get free.

Just as the saying goes, I put my pants on one leg at a time.

I am human. I burp. I eat too much sometimes. I get gas. I snore. The occasional swear word may cross my lips. I leave my bed unmade most of the time unless company is coming. I forget an appointment. My dog, Hector has to remind me to feed him when I get caught up in writing. I get frustrated and angry at the hate and ugliness in this world. I cry when I see an animal or a child mistreated on a television show. The commercials to promote their cause tear at my heart. There is nothing I love better than a great burger and fries but I eat it sparingly. My skin is dry but my hair and nails are great. My stomach is not flat and never will be. I detest panty hose and will do anything to get out of wearing them. My eyesight is poor without my glasses.

Some of my body parts are moving south as I get older and I am okay with it. I may let my car get to four thousand miles before an oil change instead of the recommended three. I may even scratch myself in public if I can get away without being seen. When I go see a movie I drop popcorn everywhere. I am human. I repeat I am human.

So I am not perfect, never said I was but one thing is for sure. One thing that I am clear about is that I am a spiritual being having a human experience not the other way around. Every time I think I am not too good at this human stuff I remind myself that I am real good at this spiritual stuff and that is what sustains me.

This is just something to think about!

You can see more of Diannia’s work at www.makeachoicenow.com and at www.myspiritletters.com . You can contact her directly at ladydiannia@makeachoicenow.com

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