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Choosing The Path Of The Spiritual Warrior

Click for a free psychic reading at PsychicAccess.comWe live in a time of extreme sensitivity, liability, victimhood and ultimate political correctness. Say the wrong words, use the wrong tone, do the ‘wrong thing,’ and you may be instantly branded as a predator, abuser, at the very least mean, or even legal action material. Sigh. How do we get authentic feedback in such a culture? How can anyone truly learn and grow when so many teachers, supervisors, leaders and mentors are all walking on eggshells?

In this respect I consider myself quite lucky. I have had ample access to honest feedback for growth and healthy arguing (discussions with passion). And people who care enough to speak up have always been a part of my life.

The culture I grew up in was one that expected people to speak up, have opinions, and care about what they were talking about. We were expected to research our point of view, present it, learn from others, teach others, be willing to disagree, sometimes agree to disagree, and still love, hug and stay loyal to each other.

As an activist in the peace and social justice movement, I learned to participate in critical self-assessment groups on a regular basis, with the aim of helping each other stay on track, stay mindful, be challenged to grow, and become bigger and better on the path to freedom.

As a performing artist, I learned early on that critiques, criticisms, reviews and feedback are an essential and welcome part of the creative process. In this field people often get hired for productions because they know each other, because the work process demands an intimacy, a freedom to talk, to say anything without retaliation (unless there is truly an abuse of power). In drama, dance, lighting, costume and set design, hair and makeup, music, choreography and artist performance, you rely on a certain level of critical scrutiny to ensure the production, the artists, and the creatives involved, will grow, shine and be better.

Some people walk through a hallway with covered mirrors– the hallway is lined with mirrors but there are blankets covering each of them. They go through life believing in an image of themselves that isn’t real, and an image of themselves standing in the world and relative to the world, that isn’t real ~ C. JoyBell C

As a professor, students said they counted on me ‘to be straight’ with them, with great love, and enthusiasm for their future and their potential to be more than they were at the moment. Of course, some students found that extremely annoying and I learned to suggest to those students who did not really want to learn, but instead preferred to ‘just get through’ the class, that they rather transfer to another professor. Luckily, they usually would!

My supervisors all loved the truthful and direct approach I brought to teaching, and I became both mentor and trainer to many of the faculty, across various departments. Due to my popularity and effectiveness with students, I was tasked with teaching professors how to give effective feedback, how to challenge students to step up and grow, by providing a balance of encouragement and very specific feedback for improvement.

Being a catalyst for growth and learning has been my teaching style forever. It is also my cultural background, and it is even in my astrological chart!

However, working with such a catalytic agent, be it a mentor, teacher, or healer, is not for everyone. Some people need unwavering validations, with no hint of anything else. Some people do not do well with any kind of pressure, or any teaching that might offer the slightest hint of what might even smell like confrontation, or demanding a kind of honesty with your Self that some might call excruciating. And all of these preferences are completely valid, for each individual.

What is not healthy, however, is to live as a victim. In my opinion, the culture of being a victim is predominant right now. Say one wrong word, and ‘have an attitude.’ Make a clumsy joke, or inaccurate speculation, and you are an abuser, a racist, a sexist, and so on. Victims currently rule. Crying out that you have been victimized has now become a form of control.

I am not saying people aren’t victimized, or that racism, sexism, and so on, don’t exist, because they sure do. In fact, I am still an activist for human rights, social justice and peace. However in the culture we live in now, some are using the cry of victim as a form of control.

These days professors, teachers, counselors, coaches and healers must be constantly on the lookout to not upset anyone, to the extent that this concern is now taking priority over the actual job of teaching, guiding or healing. Threatened with all kinds of outrage, people in the helping professions can no longer simply ‘help’ without first considering if they will be misunderstood, criticized, or even sued.

Your complaints, your drama, your victim mentality, your whining, your blaming, and all of your excuses have never gotten you even a single step closer to your goals or dreams. Let go of your nonsense ~ Steve Maraboli

For example, nowadays one has to leave the door open and be visible at all times when talking to students or patients, or consultations need to be documented via video surveillance. You can no longer touch anyone, in any way (and don’t people need hugs?). Several colleagues I know, working in the spiritual field, require all their clients and customers to sign liability forms, stating they know that what they are participating in is for ‘entertainment purposes only,’ as a way to protect themselves from potential legal claims.

How do you learn, and grow, and evolve, without the insight, honest input, loving help and direct challenges from others? When we lived tribally we had elders, shamans, women’s councils, men’s lodges. We had many built-in resources for the members of the tribe to receive feedback, critiques, suggestions, challenges, teachings, as well as support and validation. We no longer have that as a modern society and we have to now search out and find those rare individuals who can help us become bigger than who we currently are.

How else are you supposed to be held accountable, be challenged, have your stuck beliefs and behaviors contradicted, so that you grow… grow beyond what you can possible achieve alone with the thoughts in your head? How do you learn to believe in your Self if you never allow your Self to be challenged or asked to take risks?

Instead the culture that has arisen is one of being a victim or taking offense. And now the predominant choice is to blame someone for saying something to you that you don’t like… and then suing for pain and suffering. What happened to having a strong enough core, a belief in Self, so that the opinions, thoughts, critiques or suggestions and sometimes even the behavior of others do not rock your world?

We know from the natural world that absolutely nothing grows without struggle and stress. The seed violently breaks apart to fight its way through the soil to the sun. Chicks literally fight their way out of an eggshell. Mammals struggle to breathe and move once born. Muscles only develop through physical stress. Healthy stress is needed to stay alive. Challenges and struggle make you strong and stronger.

In Psychology we know that when one gets defensive, it means the person feels threatened, and unless there is a real threat presented (abuse of power, physical violence) Psychology instructs you to use your defensiveness to discover what is broken inside of you, that made you feel scared, sad, angry, or hurt. But these days, if you feel defensive, you are encouraged to call the person who ‘made you feel that way’ mean, bad, abusive, cruel. So, those who were destined to help others grow now get controlled by potential victimhood, and are forced to kowtow and even legally protect themselves from the accusations of instant victims.

Students have told me stories of them ‘crying victim’ in high school about, well anything, and that would guarantee them getting a good grade in that class, even if they never attended another day! They also told me how they now regret it, because they were so far behind in learning, because all they had learned was how to manipulate the system.

One has to beckon the spiritual warrior inside oneself whenever it is deemed necessary for the task at hand. Courage is the fuel. Healing is the direction. Forgiveness is the balm. Love is the atmosphere Divine ~ Donna Goddard

One class of high school students came in together as freshmen, into one of my college classes. The first week I really fussed at them, for not living up to their potential, for being the worst version of themselves. The next week a spokesperson for them all stood up to thank me for caring enough about them to get on their case. They were sickened to realize that they had learned to manipulate an educational system, which then passed them through all their classes to keep the peace and to avoid lawsuits. They said they were so humbled and honored that my passion for their growth came through, and I was willing to risk upsetting all of them, and take the risk of getting written up for ‘victimizing’ students, in order to best serve them and their personal growth.

If you truly love people, if you passionately love and are committed to helping people wake up, and be all they can be, you will have to offer people challenges, healthy stress, and successful risk-taking. If you want to be a source of so-called unconditional love, support and validation for others, that is a different set of choices, and it may be for you. Many, many people left my own teacher to follow Bhakti teachings instead, where your guru showers you with the darshan energy of divine love.

The work I do is the path of a Spiritual Warrior. You need to enjoy taking risks, of being challenged and believe that true love is when your teacher and fellow students care enough about you to pay attention to the choices you make in order to make intelligent observations, comments, support, and give critiques when asked as well as hug you and validate your growth and progress. As you develop as strong inner core, based on a deep intimate relationship with your Self, your Higher Self, Spirit and Source, you lose your tendency to feel attacked, criticized, belittled, or afraid of what you might hear from someone else about your Self, your behaviors, and your choices.

Self-love is developed through a real spiritual practice. When you deeply believe in your authentic self, when you can clearly see your own shortcomings and character defects (to use 12-Step vocabulary) as well as your gifts and strengths, the opinions of others cannot and do not disrupt your relationship with your Self. You can hear what is being offered with detachment and curiosity, with a desire to learn and expand.

When you are weak inside, when you do not know your authentic self, almost every comment can feel threatening to you, because you already doubt your significance in this world. When you are weak inside you already have feelings of worthlessness, self-doubt, self-hate, and unbelievable fear that others will see what a ‘worthless’ piece of humanity you are and any insignificant, even irrelevant comment, can set you off into a tailspin out of pain. Once triggered that is when the unawakened person, the unconscious, fearful, self-hating person will lash out at the person that just accidently bumped into the gaping wound of your unhealed psyche.

If you are badly wounded you may not be up to this kind of growth right away. You might need years of validations, hugs, and ‘super positive’ feedback to reclaim the parts of you that were crushed. Those are fine choices, but while healing be aware of your wounded ‘hair trigger’ that allows you to feel ‘hurt’ the moment someone looks at you funny, or doesn’t look at you enough, or whatever. There are many healers, coaches and counselors out there that love this kind of supportive work. They will tell you that you are a super sensitive empath, or an indigo or rainbow child, who is overwhelmed by the brutality of this world, and encourage you to create an identity around that. They will teach you how to make people respect your super sensitivity and validate your need for special attention, healings, and accommodations of all kinds. And perhaps you are all of that. Go find out. Choose helpers who will give you what you have identified as your “needs”.

We are each warriors of our own times. When we step out of our protective shell, we each encounter forces much more powerful than we are. What we learn through testing ourselves on the combat zones of our eon becomes the textbook protocol for how we shall live out the remainder of our life ~ Kilroy J. Oldster

However, if you want to be a spiritual warrior, if you want to get truly strong emotionally and energetically, at some point in your healing and growth journey, you will have to learn to embrace feedback, critiques, and disturbing or challenging questions in order to give your Self opportunities to rise to the occasion. But do not do this with people who have physical, financial, or emotional control of you. In those cases, get strong enough to leave, so you can be free! Also do not do this with people who have not worked on themselves.

If someone tells you that you have green skin and purple eyes you would laugh. Why? Because you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you do not have those attributes. If you are a bit unsure, you might double check what you look like in the mirror. However, you definitely would not go after the person who made those comments as mean, critical, attacking, or abusive. When you are deeply intimate with your authentic Self and love all of you, your strengths and your weaknesses, your authentic Self, only then are you able to not be triggered by other’s feedback, critiques, challenges. In fact, you will become curious to see if those kinds of comments can teach you more about your Self and your path. You will respond with an open mind, filled with curiosity, not fear. You will definitely no longer be a person who is waiting with a hair trigger to be ‘hurt’ by the observations of others that you enlisted to help you, heal you, guide you and teach you.

The work some of us do is for honesty, authenticity, risk taking regarding spiritual growth… and it is for warriors. Choose wisely.

About The Author: Nonna

Nonna lives in Southern California, and is a professor of psychology and a teacher of psychic development, energy work and meditation, who has recently finished her PhD. She has been a counselor for both humans and animals for thirty years, removing energy blocks through her expertise in the spiritual arts. She also has numerous years of study and practice with classic psychological therapeutic models, family work, twelve-step processes, nutritional and body/mind/spirit healing, complementary, alternative, and quantum medicine. Nonna is brilliant at unearthing the gems in every client's soul and polishing them to a fine finish. To release your own soul's sparkle, contact Nonna at

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