Guess Who’s Coming to Your Spiritual Gathering (Part 2)
Interesting photo from Danny Hammontree; creative commons license; please check out his incredible photographs.
This article continues the series of “Guess Who’s Coming to Your Spiritual Gathering” about the different types of people who often show interest in your circle, coven, church, or other spiritual get-togethers. Here’s the next batch!
4. The Yeah-Butter. This person seems honestly interested in self-improvement and the sacred path. He asks questions, you (and others) offer suggestions. Good suggestions. Too bad none of them will work. He’s too mired in negativity and reason why not to make any changes. Yeah, he could probably manifest all his hearts desires but there’s always some reason why he’s held back. He lacks time, money, resources, friends, the right group, the right rituals, etc, to get going on his spiritual path. There’s always some reason not to take the action for self-improvement that he wants so badly and no matter how many great ideas you offer or how many people in the group have overcome the same obstacles, something will always keep him stuck…that something being himself.
Advice? He’s probably truly stuck and doesn’t know how to climb out in spite of all the help that’s offered. Truthfully, he’s not ready and he won’t be until he decides it’s time for a new mindset. If he’s with your group regularly, he will drag down everyone because eventually his negativity will infect the rest of the group. If he can ever make a breakthrough, he may become a valuable addition to your circle. Meanwhile, all is not lost. His 1000-reasons-why-I-can’t-follow-the-sacred-path-I-want can be a good occasional reminder to the rest of the group of how far they’ve come. He becomes a point of comparison for the positive experiences and growth of the others.
5. The Older, Wiser Seeker. This person is usually a woman in her 40’s or 50’s who has just recently discovered a new form of spirituality or is trying to get back to something she set aside years ago in order to be more accepted. She’s in a state of deep inquiry but doesn’t know where to start or how to get there. She tends to be open-minded and quiet, and now has a lifetime of experiences to draw from and see in a different light.
Advice? She’s usually a keeper. Eager to learn but without all the drama. She’ll learn on her own and share her knowledge because she’s at a place in her life where she appreciates people who share their knowledge and understand the value of balance and exchange.
6. The Critic. This person either has chronic foot-in-mouth disease or makes herself feel better by putting you (and others) down. Her comments may be loud and bold to the entire group or mumbled solely to you. My second circle had a member who would make bizarre comments that had the effect of water dripping from a tap. By the fourth meeting she attended, I was ready to rethink my position on human sacrifice. Seriously, the last straw was probably the lightest straw of them all—a snarky comment about the cheap but colorful and fun dinner plates I used to feed my dozen or so guests before I began a workshop because I didn’t mind if they got broken (which happens). It’s just bad form to tell your hostess she’s tacky, you know?
Advice? There’s always the possibility that this person has no idea how annoying her constant criticism can be. Give her a chance to find out and improve, but if she can’t be less critical, it might be best to let her go. It’s easy for resentment and negativity to build toward this person or between other members of the group.
7. The Cheaters. These are the people who use your gathering as an alibi to cheat on their significant others. It starts simply enough with two people meeting up at a get-together –the dead giveaway is that they already know each other and they’re already in committed but unhappy relationships. They progress quickly to holding hands or touching and then rush right on to groping in public. Then they’re late for Open Circle and someone’s husband is calling to ask why you’ve insisted his wife spend the night at your gathering when she and her lover never showed up at all…or they excuse themselves from a workshop, only to be overheard moaning in your bathroom during a talk on the virtues of Universal Laws. I’m probably a little extra sensitive to this one because my all-time favorite circle broke up because of two cheaters whose marital drama and physical escapades took centerstage—and the other circle-mates didn’t feel comfortable smelling sex at every meeting we had.
Advice? Recommend a cheap hotel room. Keep in mind that even if you kick them out of your group for excessive groping in public, you might be subject to phone calls from disgruntled spouses wanting to know when their errant mates are leaving “the meeting” at your house. They’ll keep right on letting their spouses think it’s your fault they’re staying out so late.
Watch for the next post in this series!
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