When we are heading on a spiritual journey, especially during our Awakening, we are often drawn to people who inspire us. Eventually, these people can become like mentors to us – we look to them for advice, for guidance, for spiritual direction, or even for lifestyle choices (what books to read, what card decks to use, what shows to watch, etc).
Unfortunately, mentors are human, and sometimes these people we once looked up to can begin to let us down. I can say it’s happened to me – I used to look to Kyle Gray as a spiritual leader in my own life, but power and popularity lead him down a path with an inflated ego and conflicting guidance.
So, what can we do when the people we once saw as teachers along our journey begin to let us down? I have some advice to help you handle the situation, or to help you kick start your own ideas on how to manage this disappointing change of circumstances.
Remember: They’re Human
It’s important to remember that we shouldn’t hold anyone so high up that we forget their humanness. The problem with being human is that our ego can take over at any moment. Often, people we admire love being in a position of power or spiritual leadership and forget how to treat others when they start to gain followers or “worshippers” (as I like to call them – echo chamber, you’re so great, commenters). They take opposing ideas as challenges against their authority, and rather than managing them with a calm, cool, and collected spirit, they take it personally.
In addition, humans are prone to be pulled into a fear mentality, and this can often lead our spiritual mentors down the ‘conspiracy’ path. It’s crucial that we forgive them for this and remember that they’re on a journey as well. They’re not perfect; they are endlessly growing and learning, just as you are. They likely have their own mentor. It is human to mess up. Keep a mental tally of these “mess-ups” and when your tally gets too large, reconsider looking to them as a spiritual leader.
Call Them Out (Politely)
If your mentor respects you as you do them, they won’t be offended if you call them out on material they’re sharing that you believe to be offensive, words they’re preaching that you think they should re-evaluate or reconsider, or even just sharing an alternative viewpoint that make them think about their ideas in a new and refreshing light. Even teachers don’t have all the answers or contain all the knowledge, and if they are genuine and compassionate and eager to grow, then they’ll welcome your alternative thoughts and thank you for them. If they turn away from you, delete you, or become passive-aggressive in their following posts, then you’ve learned enough about them to know to avoid them.
Speak to Them Privately
A spiritual leader or teacher should be someone that you feel comfortable enough with to message privately and share your thoughts with, openly and honestly. If you can’t do this, they’re not a mentor, they’re just someone you idolize (and that’s not healthy on a spiritual journey). Take a moment to open up to your mentor in a private DM or conversation, and tell them what concerns you. Ask them to explain themselves, or elaborate on ideas that confused you. Ask them if they’re doing okay if you notice their posts seem to be filled with fear, conspiracy theories, or negativity. If they’re truly a leader in the spiritual domain, they’ll see this conversation as an opportunity of growth and not confrontation.
Unfollow Them & Find Someone New
It’s sad but sometimes it has to happen: sometimes the only solution is to unfollow the person whose content no longer serves you. It’s okay to find new mentors and teachers and people to look up to when we are on our spiritual journey. We are changing, and so the people who we need and vibrate with also change. It doesn’t mean the person is bad, it just means you’ve learned and taken what you can from this person and it’s time to move along your path. Don’t look at the moment of hitting the unfollow button with sadness but with gratitude, and from your heart-center, wish them the best and hope they gain clarity as they proceed down their own path. Someone new will appear when you least expect them, and it will be exactly the connection you’ll need at this point in time.
Do you have any advice that I’ve missed? Please leave a comment for everyone to see — you never know who may need to read it.