Through the years I have met many who put themselves on pedestals, as if they know more than others. I’m not referring to someone who has just had more life experiences than others (that often makes them more humble). I’m referring to people who believe that they know better than you what you should do, or tell you that you are doing it wrong no matter what.
We are taught, many times, to do this with our parents. They tell us what to do and we follow their directive, not learning to think things through and handle them ourselves. For whatever reason, parents sometimes forget that the purpose of raising a child is not to create someone entirely reliant on them, but a free thinking, fully functioning adult that can handle any situation put in front of them. When this does not occur, the individual spends a significant amount of their life searching for individuals that will take on the guru role vacated by their parent.
There is no black-and-white, right-and-wrong way to do the experience of living. This life is your story, not anyone else’s. Each decision you make is yours alone to choose. Every obstacle you come against is yours to find your way around, over, or to be stopped by. There is no perfect way to do it, just the way that feels best to you at that time. This also does not mean to do things all on your own – the opposite extreme. Each obstacle is a space in which you can learn and grow making decisions from your adult by asking for assistance from others on things that you cannot do on your own, not expecting others to hand hold or handle the entire situation for you.
I saw this repeatedly with special needs parents where, early on, they acquiesce to what the doctor or medical specialist says instead of standing up and saying, “No, this does not fit for my child or our family.” These parents know much more than the doctors or specialists when it comes to the ins-and-outs of the day-to-day care. You are a specialist when it comes to your child, and on an equal playing field with the doctor or medical specialist. In fact, they are actually a collaborator with you in creating the best life for your child.
This is also the same with your own health. Just because a certain eating strategy worked for one person does not mean it is the one for you. Same with workouts. We are so determined that everyone knows so much more about our bodies than ourselves. Many times, we jeopardise our health based on what someone else experiences – but they do not experience what it is like inside our bodies
It boils down to becoming your own guru – no one knows you better than you. Try different things. Get really curious about them. Suspend your belief structure at times. Then, come back to you. Keep what works and leave the rest. There are many practices that I have learned that I keep in my tool box. I even have many different ways of looking at life based on what I am experiencing which ebb and flow based on life right then. There honestly is no single right way to do life.
If something is not working for you, great! Try something else on. This does not mean that the thing will not work for someone else, it might. Not every book in the world will be your cup of tea either. The only important piece is to really try whatever it is before making a leap to something else, unless you are experiencing very serious issues with whatever you are doing.
Many jump from one practice or guru to another dumping everything as starting over again thinking this next one will “fix” everything in my life. Here’s the thing, there is nothing to be “fixed.” You are perfect exactly as you are in this exact moment. Perhaps you would like to adjust things in your life, but that is different than “fixing.”
Overall health – emotional, physical, energetic – shifts over time through consistency. Each choice shifts it just a bit more. This is why, on a diet, you can eat something that is a “cheat” on occasions and still be doing fine. Not being perfect is one of your most awesome and endearing qualities.
Where do you see yourself placing individuals in the space of a guru instead of a collaborator in your life?