Oppositional Teachers teach you by negative example. They challenge you by doing or saying the opposite of what you need and want to hear. It may be hard to identify these people as “teachers” – most of the time they just seem like pains in the ass.
I often talk about my father as my ultimate Oppositional Teacher. He was a spectacular mix of loving, angry, abusive, brilliant, self-destructive, and wise. It was this special combination that motivated me in hundreds of ways to liberate myself from my past and pain and awaken to God and True Nature. He is one of the many reasons I do the work I do today. While there is no justification for his abusive behavior, I can simultaneously see the gifts of the roles he played in my life.
One of the gifts my father gave me was to teach me about Oppositional Teachers in general. I can look at difficult spiritual teachers, our current president, etc, and inquire – what are they catalyzing? What are they forcing us to see that we might not otherwise see? What are they motivating within us by negative example?
For example, I see how our US president and administration is motivating more and more people to pay attention to the issues, take action, and take a stand. He is motivating us to take back our true ownership and participation in democracy. Though there are many things I don’t love about this administration, how can I not love that?
Over the years, I’ve done hundreds of sessions focusing on difficult authority figures and oppositional teachers of various kinds. Inevitably, I’ve noticed consistent themes in these sessions. I see that Negative Teachers can catalyze you to:
* Own your inner authority. It is so easy to give your power away to others, and unfortunately it is the unconscious cultural norm to believe that we are powerless in the face of authority. Negative teachers can wake you up out of your victim slumber and take ownership and authority over your life in a new way.
* See what’s really true. When someone keeps saying things that are profoundly dissonant, it can catalyze clarity within you about what is true for you.
* Stand for what’s true. It’s not enough to know the truth; you have to put the power of your Heart, Wisdom and Life Force behind it.
* Take new action and step out of your comfort zones. Whenever you get lazy and slumber in your comfort zones and illusions, you can be sure that an Oppositional Teacher will appear in your path to motivate you to move.
Oppositional Teachers can take many forms besides people – illness, accidents, lack of money, difficult jobs, bad weather, organizations, etc – basically anything that catalyzes you to wake up, see the truth, and take new action.
I’ve learned that the best way to deal with an Oppositional Teacher is to learn the lessons fast. You may need to grieve, heal, etc., which is healthy. But if you wallow in the injustice or unfairness of an Oppositional Teacher, then the process just takes longer, and who wants to deal with a pain in the ass any longer than you have to? So it’s helpful to do some creative, focused and intentional Wisdom inquiry to quickly harvest the gifts of the Oppositional Teacher so you can move forward.
Who/What are the Oppositional Teachers in your life?
How are they unconsciously or unintentionally catalyzing you?
What is the truth you are called to see?
What action are you called to take?
I’d love to hear what your inner wisdom has to share. Thank you always for reading! If you know others who could benefit from this article, please share the link to this page, or share via Facebook.