The Catalyst

I was hovering between life and death. There was something terribly wrong, and yet the doctors misdiagnosed me. None of them agreed: they tossed around diseases like MS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and anxiety as if they were sharing multi-colored M&Ms at a family picnic.

To my horror, I ended up spending three years being practically bedridden. The arrow that broke my heart wasn’t the physical pain as much as it was the abandonment and misunderstanding of those closest to me. Since no doctor agreed, then maybe it was all in my head.

In a paltry whine, I asked my dad how I could have helped so many people and yet there seemed to be no one there for me. In fact, to make things worse, a lot of the people who I had helped in the past were thriving. His eyes twinkled as a smile tickled his lips.

“Do you know what a catalyst is?” he asked.

“Kind of,” I answered, feeling exasperated by this seemingly silly question.

Dad explained that a catalyst is usually a chemical that, when added to something else, changes it. He instructed me to get a bowl of water and some food color. I did as I was told. Oh, okay, but what does this have to do with my feelings of utter despair, I thought to myself.

He asked me to put two drops of food color into the water. I chose blue because it is my favorite color. The blue drops, or catalyst in this instance, cascaded into the clear liquid. Then, Dad asked me to stir the water until it was a light blue and so I did.

With a wisdom that can only be described as uncanny, Dad asked me to retrieve those two blue drops of food dye!

“I can’t do that!” I exclaimed.

“Exactly! You can’t remove a catalyst from the thing it affects. You are like those two blue drops in all of the lives you have touched. There is no way to remove the impact that you had on all of the people that you have helped. Whatever they do, you’ll always be part of that. And, whatever you do, they’ll always be part of that.

This was my “in awe” moment! Something at the core of me changed. I realized that, no matter what, my energy was out in the universe and would be there until the end of time.

I have learned so much from there to here, and my greatest wish is for you to know that you are like those two blue drops. Sometimes it is impossible to see with the naked eye, but you do matter! You always will.

Deborah Weed

About the Author | Deborah Weed

Deborah Weed is a self-described catalyst for change. She is a speaker + producer + writer + artist. Her mission is to show people how to thrive in an ever-changing world.

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3 comments to "The Catalyst"

  • Deborah,

    How inspiring to see you’ve applied the two drops of blue. To you.

    I can’t imagine a more worthy recipient.

    And, furthermore, by doing so, you’ve enabled yourself to be of even greater, grander value to me. And everyone else touched by your wit, wisdom, creativity, insight, curiosity, wonder, and excitement.

    Thank you for leading the way. And thank you for holding the lantern high enough for me to find you on the path.

  • Deborah your words were so deeply honest and sincere. What a wonderful message to all who have the honor to read about your experience. Thank you for sharing and reaching out to help others. You are marvelous.

  • You inspire…your blue drops turn our world bright blue and put big smiles on our faces and hope in our hearts… We love you and your charming characters.. Especially Paisley the Fashionista Porcupine whose smile keeps me smiling all day long every day… Remember to “wear a smile!”