The Disempowerment Plague of Spirituality

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The answer is inside you. You've known it all along!
Has someone ever said these two extra obnoxious things to you?

Or how about:
- just meditate on it
- go into nature you'll receive your answers
- ask your Guides, they know what's best
- have you prayed about it?
- trust your instincts

*Shudder*

If you are like the majority of the people I know, you've been at the ass-end of the disempowerment plague that haunts the journey into activating your intuition. Well-meaning or not, these statements are of no help to someone who is already feeling lost, disconnected, and has no idea which way to turn.

Likely, this person is also in the same category of not hearing or being able to connect to their Spirit Guides (yet). In that same breath, meditation is likely a struggle, and a busy brain doesn't afford much stillness or insight to drop in.

So what are we doing when we say to people, "I can't tell you (that), only you know the answer." Or, "We shouldn't be looking for guidance outside of our self. No one knows what your solution is, only you do."

We make them small. We create a tailspin of overlapping thought that cascades through the same loops, fears, and judgments they normally encounter. We encourage this querent to wonder why they aren't as clear, powerful, knowledgeable, all-knowing, in-tune, etc., and add in a myriad of other words, like us.

We disempower them.

Further shut down. Closed off. Adding to the layers of trauma. Encouraging them to forget connections - they only hurt, not heal. Spiraling further into isolation.

Let's be better WayShowers, friends.

Here are the 7 steps I use when someone asks me a question:

1. Listen intently to the question of the story at hand.

2. Considering for myself:
- How does this make me feel? I'm watching for my visceral reactions. Does my stomach flip flop? Do I get butterflies? Warm fuzzies? Examine the responses of the body.
- What is this triggering in my consciousness field?

3. What am I hearing in this person's tone?
Their emotion? What is their body language curating? What do I want to fill in between the lines?
I'm becoming hyper-aware of the energy behind their stories. What is potentially not being shared? What perspective are they choosing to frame this story? Victim? Intimidator? Interrogator? Play Aloof?
I let imagination fill in the blanks for a moment, to give me questions that I could ask to get a deeper understanding.

4. I speak:
"As I was listening (or tapping into) your story, my own body responded with ___________. I noticed that emotionally, I felt ___________________. I observed that the tone felt like it was coming from the perspective of (victim/interrogator/intimidator/playing aloof) and it had me wondering ____(ask a question here for deeper understanding)_____?"

5. I listen again for the response to my question (this whole process sometimes gets repeated).

6. When it's time to share my perspective, it could sound like:
"Understanding more of your situation, I wonder if trying on the idea of ________ or working through this kind of process feels like it could be supportive for you?"

7. Bring the choice back
We empower people by listening, engaging, showing compassion, and helping them sort through their thoughts to get to a simple next step. By providing some options and ideas, we give them the creative control of the HOW they make their next move.

By walking them through how you examined your body, studied your feelings, witnessed your thoughts and then translated all of this into a state of wonder, you're showing them how to start unwinding the next thing that comes along on their own.

They may forget a step; they may start and not know how to get to that end goal. But we are demonstrating the process. That is a gift and the purpose of a Wayshower. To give movement back where there was none.

So consider your words. Consider your motive. Are you the elusive spiritualist who is secretly participating in the disempowerment projects? Or, are you the WayShower who is actively striving to be the space of giving the gift of voice, space, and choice back?

I hope that I strive to be the latter in every interaction. I'm human, imperfectly perfect, and not always going to get it "right." But, I'm sure going to try because you and I both deserve the space to be heard, supported, and loved along this crazy ride we call life.

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