ASK ABDI: WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THAT A TEACHER IS BEING CONTROLLING?
QUESTION: It's been a crazy year; all the change in my life is taking some getting used to. I have been in a major transition, I am experiencing more peaceful days, followed by some extremely tough days. A lot of change is taking place, and to be honest, there is a lot of fear involved. I have also started to see that certain spiritual teachers I have had in my life for some years may not be so good for me. I think codependency is being severed; I am also beginning to stand up for myself like I have not done before in the past. What are the signs that a teacher is being controlling?
ANSWER: What you are experiencing is common to all of us now. There is an intense amount of rupturing going on in all relationships that do not serve us. Facing these changes consciously will make it easier, and the separation more graceful. Turning our back on them will blow them up more violently. So as with all things, conscious awareness is the key. Fear is always present with true change, that is to be expected. And to be pushed through.
As for signs of someone being controlling, take that back to yourself. Why do you ask that question? What feels off? Why are you looking for the answer outside when you already know it on the inside? If something feels off, then examine it. We grow and outgrow teachers. That should be the natural progression. Be thankful for what they taught you, take it in, and integrate the teachings. When you are done, move on. One does not keep the training wheel on one’s bicycle once one has learned how to ride. Nor does one keep braces on their teeth once they are straightened. One day at a time, with internal honesty and conscious vigilance as your companions.