Let’s talk about standards. Let’s dive into what we are and are not willing to accept from our spiritual lives. I’m known personally, for having extremely clear boundaries and a yardstick that can deeply trigger people. It’s not that I’m rigid in my beliefs, or in my way of moving through the world; it’s that there are a definite set of parameters very few people, or institutions, will survive if they breach. And by ‘survive’, I mean be allowed to access me, or my life, in the same way again. It sounds militant, but I’ve made the decision that my temples (of emotion, thought, behaviour) are entirely worthy of respect and security. From the serious to the fickle, if it doesn’t meet with the measure I’ve set in relation to it, then I’m out.
This way of life can provoke people for a number of reasons. It may be they have guilt around not feeling empowered enough to put their own requirements first, or they feel shame knowing they continuously accept less than true self-respect would tolerate. It can feel scary having clarity over what you want and complicated sometimes when asking for it. The opposite however is also true; that honouring high standards is simply the difference between making do, and asking for what you really want because fuck it, you want it. It’s often the mental chatter and self worth programmes we’re running that mix in the unnecessary layers of complexity.
I’m writing about this because there are a lot of people in the world who settle for mediocrity and if this standard is applied to your spiritual life, it will be like driving with the handbrake up. What’s worse is that you’ll find yourself in situations where it’s not even your handbrake, it belongs to the people around you who are supposed to be helping you grow. They won’t be intentionally holding you back, but not all teachers are adept, or comfortable, with acknowledging when their students need to move on. It’s your job to know when this moment arrives and how to act accordingly.
As you step closer to fully connecting with your soul and listening to its needs, having the wherewithal and strength of character to say no, this isn’t good enough anymore is vital. Refusing to enter into a situation (or knowing when to leave one) is a skill with which not everyone is naturally gifted. When you evolve, learn, and have more experiences, your needs will adjust in the same way they do in regular life. Sometimes you’ll outgrow a teacher because your knowledge begins to supersede theirs, or on other occasions you’ll be called down an alternative path that demands different levels of support. This is applicable not only when you’re interacting with those here to lead you, but also when under the care of other service providers.
You will get to the stage where it’s no longer as easy as just booking a Reiki session or a massage with someone you haven’t fully researched or aren’t intuitively drawn to. The same discernment will apply to spiritual groups, or wellness events; this is because your depths of insight will begin to mean that anyone who isn’t strong, skilled or conscientious enough to hold your power will likely be wasting your time. There is a spiritual bar that must be set and if you have any residual issues with appearing high maintenance, they will only stifle your growth.
Regardless of your background, social class, or even your spiritual inclinations, you have probably experienced times when you’ve questioned whether you’re asking too much from a situation or person. When the answer to that question is yes, the action that follows is usually compromise on your part. Note to yourself: a spiritual journey is hampered by too much of this.
Being able to heal yourself and meditate your way toward answers will help you discern who in your ‘squad’ is genuinely helping you progress and who is helping you to stay stagnant. If you choose a lower bar for what you’ll accept, my advice is to ensure you are conscious and accountable to your reasons. On the flipside, if you set a high one, feel no shame in asking to have your needs met. Don’t try to be satisfied just because someone else thinks you should be. If you want a better spiritual ride, go get it.