Have you had someone accuse you of ‘not being spiritual’ because you would not give them advice or support when they asked for it? Or have they suggested that you were being spiritually selfish because you said ‘no’ to their request for your time, energy, and efforts? It has happened to me too and it makes me laugh, although I think it’s very inappropriate, especially among the spiritual community, because it’s a judgment that no one can make and it is a negative reflection on the accuser, not you. Spiritual shaming is the new black and it’s all about your energy boundaries. It’s a form of manipulation which implies that your spiritual connection, talents, and abilities are in question if you do not use them in the way someone thinks you should or expects you to.
It’s our natural response to look for advice and support from people we think have it all together or who are not struggling like we are (although appearances can be deceiving). We want what they have (or what we think they have) and for it to feel good and remove the chaos and anxiety energy we are in. And we’re desperate. So if they do not give it to us we feel betrayed and angry. Of course, we expect this behavior from a two-year-old, we do not expect it from other adults and certainly not those who call themselves spiritual teachers, mentors, and guides. And yet it is happening very frequently now even though it is a strong judgment and it’s just plain wrong.
First of all, no one can call your level of spiritual connection or spirituality into question because they have no way of knowing and there is no ‘spiritual standard’. Whatever spiritual connection, ability, or power you have is between you and Source and no one else.
Second, how is it possible for someone to accuse you of not being spiritual just because you are not giving them what they want? I am going to coin a new phrase to explain this behavior, being a ‘spiritual brat’. In a recent interaction, after I declined to give someone free business advice and instead, told them that this would be explained in my upcoming business program which they were invited to participate in, I was accused of not being spiritual. And here is the manipulation part, they said that their ‘higher self-guided them to ask me for advice.’ So I replied that I hoped their higher self-guided them to take my business program. And as far as I was concerned the conversation was over.
Not only was it an imposition on my time, there was no exchange here, nothing was offered to me in exchange for this information. I do have a very successful business which I run very well because I have 25 years of corporate experience, 4 business degrees, and 15 years of experience running my business. I spent time and effort learning how to do this and I am committed to helping others but not when it is expected of me and demanded from me through spiritual manipulation and then, when I say no, through spiritual shaming.
A curious aspect of our 3D/5D integration is being self-empowered and that is an extension of our energy boundaries and our energetic sovereignty. If we have been leaking energy, giving our power away, or allowing our value to be determined by others, then we are an open target for blame, shame, guilt, and manipulation. The 5D energy will uncover those areas of our life and give us the tools to make some changes. That may not make us popular with some people, but it will bring more balance and integrity with our own energy into our lives.
There is a difference between being spiritual and being ‘nice’. You can be nice and be spiritual, but that also depends on how the word ‘nice’ is defined. To some people, it means to do what they want. I prefer to define nice as being considerate, respectful, observant, and committed. But that doesn’t include doing whatever others want me to do, without regard for my time, energy, and other commitments. How do you define ‘being nice’?
What do you do when someone shames you and accuses you of not being spiritual? Do you feel bad and give them what they want or do you realize what is happening and acknowledge your value and that you are under no obligation to give away your advice, talents, abilities, and experience to anyone who asks you for it? If you do it once you will do it for everyone and that can soon eat away at your time and productivity, not to mention your self-esteem and confidence.
You will resent the people who impose on your time and energy in this way and you will resent yourself for not having clear energy boundaries. And that is what this is, an energy boundary issue.
You are probably intuitive enough, as I am, to recognize the difference between the people who have a genuine need in that moment and those who are simply trying to get information from you. I do share a lot but I get to determine what I share and do not share. And I do not respond well to manipulation, intimidation, or spiritual shaming, and neither should you.
How do you manage your energy boundaries to create energetic balance and avoid being manipulated by spiritual shaming? Here are some guidelines:
- Recognize your energy boundaries and don’t let yourself fall into the trap of manipulation or spiritual shaming. You are a wonderful, talented, fabulous person who deserves to be respected and valued for who you are and what you do.
- Be clear about what you will share with others and what falls outside of that boundary. That way when you do say no you can steer people towards an option that will respond to their question without you oversharing, overgiving, or not being compensated for your time, efforts, and energy.
- Don’t let others dictate your self-worth or self-confidence. Someone’s judgment of you is no more than their opinion and when it is stated in anger or fear it probably won’t be very good but that is their issue, not yours. Have your own energy boundaries about who you are and what you deserve, and make them iron clad and Teflon coated so they don’t get blown apart every time someone is angry with you because you are not doing what they want you to do.
- Make your ‘no’ firm and not subject to discussion and do it for everyone. If you are afraid that people won’t like you if you say no, then you will say yes to everyone, even when you don’t want to. Be firm when you say no, again this is about energy boundaries, and make it stick. You can’t say no one day and yes the next, then you do not look serious. You know you must be consistent with everyone or they won’t take you seriously.
- Respect yourself enough to value your time, energy, talents, and abilities. What did it take for you to get where you are today? Probably quite a lot. Respect yourself by honoring your own path and if you do not want to do something, don’t do it. You do not owe anyone a long explanation, a simple ‘no’ is sufficient, or you could say ‘not right now’ and suggest a more convenient date or time, or ‘I have a program that provides a solution for you’ issue and give them the website URL.
Finally, ask yourself this important question, “If I say yes am I going to resent myself or regret it?” If the answer to that question is yes then say no. You will ultimately feel more respected, more appreciated, and more valued when you recognize your own energetic sovereignty and learn how to control your energy flows. It’s better to have someone try to spiritually shame you than to feel taken advantage of, disrespected, and angry with yourself at not being able to say ‘no’ when you want and need to.
It’s unfortunate that spiritual shaming is a response from people who should know better by virtue of who they say they are but these are challenging times and everyone is feeling a little off. I would never tell someone they were not spiritual, no matter what they were doing because that simply is not my call and I cannot possibly know what their level of spirituality is. But I also don’t get too distracted by someone who tries to shame me spiritually because I know that it is a mirror of their own energy and not a barometer of mine. And those people are quickly reminded of my energy boundaries and shown the door because we all get to control who is part of our energy field and only those people who can ‘love, honor, and respect us’ need to be included in that place.
Be aware of your own energy, where you want it to flow, and how you want to interact with others and them with you. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ when it’s appropriate for you and if you are spiritually shamed for your response, just smile and know that as long as you ‘love, honor, and respect’ yourself that is all that matters.
Copyright (c) 2017 by Jennifer Hoffman. All rights reserved. You may quote, translate, reprint or refer to this message if you mention the author name and include a working link to http://enlighteninglife.com