Sigh…Here we go again. I feel like every few months I’m reading another article about some child abusing Guru from abroad who just can’t keep his hands off his followers, …children and adults alike. I like to think that by now we all know the bogeyman is not just the strange looking, menacing, person you can obviously tell your children to watch out for. Today he is the priest, the Guru and the trusted friend too. But alas there is another wonky Spiritual leader who just can’t keep his hands off his disciples and this time it’s kids. And what’s even worse…the parents supported it!
Prakashanand Sarasawati is just the latest Guru or spiritual leader who’s had inappropriate behaviors towards their disciples. Bikram has several accusations of rape, Amma was said to have physically and verbally abused her staff, and the list goes on and on. Belief and power can be very intoxicating. If your power and belief becomes displaced to someone outside yourself, the results are often devastating.
Personally, if I hear anyone claiming to be a ” God on earth” or ” an enlightened being” then advising me to do this or that, you’ve already lost me. I’m running for the hills or at the very least ordering you a cocktail to a reality check. And I believe in a lot of new age elements that would make many people roll their eyes back and smirk. But here is what I believe most of all…
Outside of my crystals, healers, interest in in the cosmos and all that new age “stuff”, Learn how to own your personal power. Don’t freely give your personal power away. Ever. Instead, take actions to nurture and and strengthen it.
People have a need to believe. It’s human nature.
The problem arises when our need to believe is used as an escape for our sufferings. When our need to believe robs us of accountability and responsibility for our actions, reactions and choices. It’s so much easier to believe in a supernatural being or a person who has more power than we do! This absolves us of any stress, worry, struggle or work that needs to be done! It requires much more work to learn how to move through your struggle than to simply pass it onto your Guru.
You must learn how to become your own savior and maintain your personal power. You are way worth the time and effort it will take.
We all need a helping hand from time to time. And there is nothing wrong with guidance from a friend, a family member, a therapist or anyone else in your support system( your spiritual leader included). But the goal should be to figure out how to become your own Guru. (Dispeller of Darkness or Bringer of light). This happens by doing the hard work needed to get through your struggles instead of running away from them.
Don’t sell yourself short! And if you have children, you want to teach them to do the same.( It certainly beats the choice of having them submit to some 86 year-old Guru’s “enlightened, loving touch”).
We must be able to discern who is a sleezeball and who isn’t. Not all spiritual leaders are bad and not all ashrams are funky. But, to be able to make the right choices we have to have our minds and emotions in balance and intact! That takes daily effort, like eating, drinking water and sleep. The mind needs daily maintenance too! Make it part of your routine today. Make today be your day one in learning how to reclaim your power.
In learning how to reclaim your power, start small. Baby steps. Learn to love yourself, especially the “stuff” we feel is unlovable deep inside the shadows of who we think we are and would like to be. Take more quiet time. If your thoughts and feelings are overwhelming, grab a pen and paper or (a computer) and write it all down. Doesn’t have to make sense. Just get it out. It will help you get clear. The clearer you are, the more likely you are to make empowering choices.
Also, remember to take deeper, longer, slower breaths more often through out the day and during times of stress. This type of breathing will directly effect your central nervous system to get you to calm down. Being calmer, helps you make better, more empowered choices. Emotionally fueled decisions aren’t the best. Wait till you’re calm and can see clearly before you choose to do anything, especially in choosing your support system.
If you can learn to develop better trust with yourself, you will have a better, more empowered relationship with others. The best changes happen inside,not because your Guru or spiritual leader said so.