A reflection on riding coattails and the Imposter Syndrome
When I first quit my corporate job few years back, I had actually no idea what to do. I knew that my side business of tutoring would become a main source of revenue while I figured things out. After mingling with a few ladies who threw the idea of attending Glastonbury's Goddess Conference, I took a leap of faith and went on my discovery journey there. Upon returning, I was inspired but the road ahead was still foggy. Turned out I had a lot of bush whacking to do. From physical purification to de-programming a lot of high strung, anxious, scattered behaviour from corporate days.
By this time, I was invited out on the pretext of lunch to assess my compatibility of joining an old friend’s spiritual business. The job was mine on a part-time basis. I jumped in quickly and immersed almost immediately. Yoga twice a week even if it meant driving 40km one way to avoid rush hour traffic. Check. Attend all the classes that was taught by the friend even if it was on weekends and sometimes coincided with my tutoring days, check. Familiarise myself with new alchemy products so that I can assist clients, also check. I revived the newsletter and established rapport with a small magick shop in Glastonbury to bring in their fabulous essential oils and candles. By this time, I worked 7 days a week with Mondays specifically focused on tutoring.
All along with this I regained more of my freedom and myself. But I still had not really worked deeper within. I had no personal goals per se. Yes, I was psychic, had sensitive empath capabilities, and burgeoning clairolfactant senses but so what. I was content with helping to drive the business as directed and champion the brand identity of the healing centre.
Opportunities were given for me to host my circles there. Alas, my voice was not my own. It was just a parroting of my teacher and everything else I gobbled up voraciously without truly living it. How much of what I impart is me and how much is from the programmings of others? Within me, there was a grey area. My clients would be happy and leave uplifting feedback, but I had my doubts if I was truly that effective or that I was just an adept canary.
The more I hosted these circles, the greater the challenges became. Write-ups were harder to do. I became extremely tired after the events. I was running on empty. The real me had only so much to offer. For the work I wanted to share, I had yet to truly immerse in it truthfully. Every other teacher around me had invested their own time and money and found a guru, follow a structured course with discipline & dedication, and even obtained certification. Me? I was just the childhood friend who got lucky and rode on the kindness & sentimentality of another and preened upon the brand name of an established exclusive healing space.
When the walls of morality shake and the bubble of illusion wavers, an unease grows. First it starts like a niggling doubt. Your conscience asking questions. You start to wonder about your true worth as a practitioner. You start to question this time portal you stepped into where a Neverland is so skilfully created that you never leave and face the other reality of life out there. Yes, the spiritual world is wonderful but in it lies its other forms of trappings as well. As the lies within me surfaced, the ivory tower I was living in collapsed. It had to. There was no other way. Only I knew what I needed to get away from, to get rid off on a larger scale. It was not for another to tell me to forget about the work and that I am not fit to be a priestess. I had to figure that out on my own without someone breathing down my back expecting monthly clockwork circle write-ups, getting 4am messages rank with insecurity and fury, and playing me off other people. Who said politics is non-existent in the spiritual business?
When I look back, I wondered how I endured all that screaming tirades, being called a prostitute, being branded the ‘worst of them all’. I now know my answer. Firstly, when your teacher screams at you, you take it. There was never an equal footing no matter how much the supposed decades long friendship was marketed. I was the employee, the student who did not know as much, the youngling with barely enough life force to protect her own space. Secondly, this behaviour was normal to me. I had experienced it throughout my childhood and I knew that I can take it. Wrong or not, I could not discern. To me screaming, shouting, and uttering scathing vulgarities was something I was used to receiving and as a child nobody told me that this was abuse. So I manned up, buckled down and let that rain on me. As though I deserved it. As though my worth depended on someone else dictating a twenty point manifesto on why I am a piece of shit.
I spent the most of 2021 being mad at myself for not putting my foot down. For not walking away. For tolerating all that spiritual narcissism, and extremely subtle gaslighting over the years. But as I gradually remove myself from the turmoil and understood my way of processing things, I know there is nothing and nobody to blame. It is what it is and we all move on. The wheels of time turn, the threads of fate weave, we live, we die, we live again. So it is.
If I were to ever discover my own worth and path, it is something I had to work on my own and not through handouts; however altruistic they may appear. Also, if you ask me to choose between a monster and the devil, I’ll choose the monster as it does not wear a disguise.