Modern Day Messiahs

If I told you what it takes to reach the highest high you’d laugh and say nothing that simple, but you’ve been told many times before messiah’s point you to the door though no one’s got the guts to leave the temple.
~Pete Townshend

Saving the world is a thankless job. Ask any messiah and they’ll agree that it’s thankless, especially when no one believes in you.

They usually don’t.

In fact the level of their belief tends to fluctuate in direct proportion to what they want (or don’t want) to hear. So the belief level is especially low when the result of your deliverance is a vicious rearranging of their environment, beliefs, or thought processes.

In fact – they can get downright nasty when they think that you’ve worsened their situation or brought unnecessary chaos into their life.

Now here’s the rub…if you look at the word “messiah” what does it mean? Translated it literally means “deliverer” or “one who is expected to deliver.” But deliver what?

Usually the word is applied in the context of a person who is expected to do something to better a situation for a person or a group of persons, and has been adopted by the religious world to mean someone who delivers the world (or at least a group of people who adhere to the tenants of that particular religion) from evil.

But if you take it literally – a messiah could be anyone who takes you out of one situation and propels you into another – be it a better or worse one. Hey – they’ve delivered you from your situation, right? Who said that it had to be an improvement on your previous situation? They delivered you. End of story.

In some circles these people are called catalysts – because they bring about (or bring together – or attract) circumstances, people and even situations that bring about change (be it good or bad) in the lives of those they come in contact with.

It’s still a thankless job, for it still means change, and very few people welcome change so profound that it turns their world upside down. In fact, they will fight this change with every ounce of energy that they possess. They will struggle with their last breath to maintain the status quo; to keep themselves safe from the dangers of the unknown and when they go looking for a scapegoat; someone to blame their present set of circumstances on, a catalyst makes an ideal target, and believe me, there is more than one way to get crucified.
You find catalysts in the strangest places, and most often where you least expect them to be (that’s the whole point of a catalyst after all, to take people by surprise and shake them out of their routine). In fact, it takes most catalysts by surprise that they are catalysts. They can go for years (even a whole lifetime) without realizing who or what they are and may just assume that their life is naturally full of drama or chaos and that strange situation just gravitate to them for some unforeseen reason.

If you are a catalyst – a modern-day messiah -if you tend to attract those people, circumstances and situations that tend to change people’s lives, then you probably already know that you don’t really have control over who you influence; those people show up in your life whether you asked them in or not. You don’t even have control over the circumstances or situations that occur to enact the change. There is, however, one thing that you DO have control over, and that is how you view the kind of change that you enact.

If you keep a positive attitude and view those circumstances, situations and people that appear in your life in a positive manner, then you will tend to propel others into positive change (though they may at first view it as negative – since it IS a disruption of their status quo). If, however, you maintain a negative attitude and view the seeming chaos and disruptions as something to dread, then you will tend to propel those around you into anger and fear.

Of course in the end, it is the decision of the person you are affecting that will decide how they take the changes that have come into their lives; what they do with the things that they have learned. You could have been as upbeat as it is possible to be, and they still let the disruption to their way of life pull them down into despair and hopelessness at what they have lost.

Whatever you do, resist the urge to become attached to their decisions. You cannot help being who and what you are, and it is not your fault if the ones you influence decide that they cannot handle what you have shown them. If you’ve kept a positive attitude and tried to explain the changes as best you could; if you’ve shown the changes in the best possible light; you can rest assured knowing that no matter what the outcome, you did what you could.

And sometimes, for a modern day messiah, that has to be enough.

The Chrysalis Effect

There comes a point in the life of certain caterpillars, when they have eaten enough; when enough nutrients have been stored, then the caterpillar reaches begins to spin a silk pad on a leaf or twig and proceeds to hang itself upside down from this pad.  Slowly it begins to molt its outer skin, leaving itself encased in its green chrysalis.

The creation of the chrysalis itself is an incredible process, for this is not just some special substence that the caterpillar excreets for the job; what it is is the caterpillar’s own skin transformed into this hard green shell.  The caterpillar willingly unraveles itself so that it can allow the change to occur.

Inside the chrysalis an amazing transformation takes place. The caterpillar’s body does not just undergo a complete and total physical transformation; its body completely breaks down into a “soup” of cells which, over the next few weeks reconstruct themselves into a butterfly.

The caterpillar doesn’t resist the pull of change; the instinct to stop eating and begin the next stage of its journey. It doesn’t lament what it will lose by ceasing to become a caterpillar, nor does it try to justify why it should continue its existence as a caterpillar when its heart is telling it that it’s time to let go. One other thing a caterpillar does not do is to worry about helping other caterpillars to recognize and listen to their own instinctual pull.  Instead it simply acts on its instinct and trusts that this is the best thing that could happen at this particular moment in time.

No, the caterpillar does not resist.  It simply stops what it’s doing; no matter what it’s doing.  It stops with no fanfare mid crawl; mid bite; and begins to spin its silk pad, letting everything it was dissolve into nothingness, trusting that the universe will take care of the details, and proceeding to move on to the next state of existence. It surrenders to its heart and in so doing begins the most important transformation of its life.

So too does there come a point in the life of every individual when they are prompted by signs from the universe; indeed by the urgings of their own heart to simply stop being who and what they are; to surrender themselves to the transformational power of their inner-being.  When they do heed the signs they begin to undergo an incredible transformation; a spiritual evolution that will turn their world upside down.

This transformation is not always pleasant.  In fact, sometimes it can be downright painful, for the changes involve breaking you down; stripping you of every thought, every belief, even those relationships that you associate with being you.  It will strip you of everything; reducing your ‘self’ to a protean soup of possibilities, and then will reconstruct you into the ‘you’ that you were always meant to be.

But here is the amazing thing, instead of losing your ‘self’ during the transformation, you emerge on the other side more ‘you’ than you could ever have imagined being, and with an understanding and a perspective that would have been impossible in your old way of being.  Suddenly you can see what it was that you were missing; why it was that your old life never seemed completely satisfaction.  And once your wings have dried in the sun of understanding, you will shake them out; spread them wide; and begin to fly.


©Stephanie S. Henry 2012