I’ve been a minister for 33 years. I’ve been the leader of 3 Centers, one that I started. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
In the early days of my ministry in Hawaii, I found myself at a board meeting being accused of taking money from the offering plate by one of my practitioner students. This student had gone behind my back, telling her story to the board members. They began to have secret meetings and there was whispering in the congregation. The story grew from my taking money out of an offering plate one time, to questioning how I was handling the money in general.
During the meeting, I felt attacked and betrayed. My integrity was being questioned. I had made change for someone from the offering plate one Sunday. I didn’t handle the finances – our administrator made the deposits and paid the bills. The board knew this.
Having founded the church, I had put more money into than I got out of it. The board knew this as well.
I’m not one to get angry easily, and yet this day, I was livid. I found myself yelling at the student. One of the board members said I scared them – I had no right to be angry. Which of course made me even angrier.
To tell you the truth, I don’t remember all that was said, but I do remember this. Part of me was ready to quit and the other part of me KNEW everything was going to turn out all right. No matter how mad I was, and how hurt I felt, I knew I had to be fully present. I called on that Presence Within to help me.
At one point, the student said I reminded her of her sister. I knew they did not have a good relationship. I suddenly realized this was a healing moment for her. She could carry on with her abusive stories, or we could heal them right then.
I took a deep breath and asked everyone to go into sacred silence. Inwardly I treated to know the right things would happen.
After a few moments, I was guided to apologize. I argued with myself about that, as I hadn’t done anything wrong, but the urge became stronger, so I apologized for yelling. I told the board our administrator would always show them the books & the Sunday deposit sheets if they desired. I told them I knew all of us had the highest good in mind for our Center and were doing what we thought we should do. I expressed my sorrow that the situation had grown so big and asked for agreement for more open communication in the future
One by one the others apologized as well. The meeting ended with a group hug and a great Treatment. My student and I met later to talk about the healing she needed because of her past.
This experience taught me about “triggers” – and that it wasn’t about me at all, it was about my student’s need to get back at her sister. It also reinforced my faith that everything happens for a reason and things come up to be healed, tho not always the way you’d like them too.
Though a part of me wanted to tell the story of not being appreciated, of being hurt because they believed I would steal, of being angry for being told I wasn’t allowed to get angry, and anger at the student for treating the situation as she did, I never brought up the story again, except to my journal, and with this writing. Whenever the feelings would come up, I reminded myself that my only job was to love her and the others that participated because of her.
It also reminded me I could trust the Universe!
Thank you for letting me serve you in this sharing.
Rev. Angelica Jayne Taggart