Once we decide to consciously take the path of personal growth, if we aren’t fully mindful and aware, we can run the risk of becoming what I refer to as a “Spiritual Snob.”
I refer to growth of any kind as Spiritual. It’s not some “woo woo” concept that only yogis and gurus are privy to. To me the word “spiritual” is a broad term for the seeking of a better way; for wanting more from life. So please don’t let the term throw you off if it’s not a term you’d use to describe yourself.
Growth comes in so many different forms that there is no way we can say one is better than the other. It’s a personal adventure. However, when we find a path that excites us, we can often develop blinders and start to think that “this is the way.”
When we see exciting and amazing transformation in our own lives and parenting, we can’t help but want to shout it from the roofs tops and have others share in our happiness. This is natural, and of course, a great thing!
It’s fantastic to want to share in our joy, BUT when it comes with attachments it may end up falling on deaf ears…and with a bit of resentment. And the reason for this is because, in essence, the message that your attachment is sending is that you don’t love and accept them for who they are and where they’re at. This is where Spiritual Snobbery enters…
From my viewpoint, these are the 3 main forms that Spiritual Snobbery takes:
1. My Way is the Right Way – It’s human nature that when we find something that works we tend to generalize and assume that it will work for everyone else too. You can begin to analyze what’s going on in others lives, or analyze how others are parenting, with the belief that you’ve figured out the “right” way and if only they could jump on board, their lives would be so much better.
But we’re all unique, we all have different paths. And what works for one, may not work for another.
2. Fixer Mode –As you become more aware, you start to see and have a deeper understanding why others may be suffering…and you want to fix it. The excuse often used is that “you’re only thinking of them and want to help.” But the bottom line is you are attached to them creating change too. You see what isn’t working for them and it’s like an itch you can’t resist scratching.
The hard fact with this is that you are judging them. You aren’t valuing their own personal journey. Just because it doesn’t look the same as yours, doesn’t mean they aren’t growing as well. You are attached to “how” you think their growth should look.
3. Expectations – Because you’ve made the choices you’ve made, and enjoy your growth (even with some of the bumps in the road)…you expect that others would naturally want to do the same. You find it difficult to understand why someone wouldn’t want to take the same steps you’ve taken.
What can also happen is that because you don’t want to lose any relationships as you grow, you expect them to grow with you, and at your pace, so that you can retain the safety net of having those relationships.
Now, I want to make it clear…I’m NOT saying don’t share and invite them to experience what you have learned and grown from. In fact I VERY HIGHLY recommend you do share and invite them, because often that’s all it takes is to have that seed planted…and then you may have your friends joining you on your wonderful journey.
BUT what I am saying is, share and invite without attachment or judgment. If they join you awesome! If they don’t…that’s okay too. Their growth may take other forms.
“It is more loving to release your friends than to put yourself around them and inwardly criticize their behaviour.” ~Sanaya Roman
When you can truly get to a place where you no longer are attached to outcomes and what others are (or aren’t) doing, that is when true peace of mind exists.
Don’t lose heart, or judge yourself, if you’ve recognized yourself in some of the above. As we evolve and grow, we all can fall into the trap of being a Spiritual Snob from time to time, but through awareness we can nip it in the bud!
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