Interacting with others while on a spiritual journey (part 2/2)

In the previous post, I shared how family , friends, and co-workers reacted to me when I shared my experiences from the spiritual path and my changed belief system. In this post, share how I experienced the interaction with other people who are also on a spiritual path.

Before I started blogging, I was particularly afraid of the reactions of materialists. Would they pooh-pooh my worldview and experiences? Would I have to argue with them, justify and defend my point of view?
But it turned out that even if I shared the link to my blog or the link to NDE stories with them, I would not get any reaction. So, I concluded that I must be somehow invisible to them and this fear that I would have to argue with them did not come true. Instead, an unexpected challenge arose, and that was interacting with other people on a spiritual path.

Travelers on a spiritual path

I met several wonderful and interesting people, not only online but also at work. I learned about other people’s life’s journeys and how they coped with partly tremendously difficult challenges.

I learned about several different spiritual traditions and also about many different forms in which people express what they have experienced and learned on this journey.

Some share books and youtube videos which resonated with them. Others share parables. Some create poems. Others are into photography and share their most amazing and beautiful pictures. A few people dedicate themselves to interviewing others. So, there are webpages, blogs, or youtube channels who interview only enlightened people, or only Near Death Experiencers, or only channelers. Some blog often and basically share their journal entries openly. Others package their story into fiction and create a book from it. And much more. There is such a variety of ways to share and contribute.

I got many new book recommendations for my long reading list. Also, I got plenty of encouragement for my writing and was very grateful for that.

I also learned which parts of my stories do and which do not resonate with others who are also on this path. That was valuable to learn.

But in addition to all the wonderful and enriching effects of meeting others on the spiritual path, there were also some aspects which were a bit irritating.


One thing that I needed to get used to was the language. Seems like people in every subculture (Buddhists, psychologists, lightworkers, Christians etc.) have their own language. Which is not a problem per se, of course. It can just be very confusing to suddenly be flooded with a multitude of terms from which the sender assumes that the receiver surely knows what they mean.

It becomes even more confusing when the terms sound like everyday language but mean something completely different. When someone used terms like ‘dharma’ or ‘metta’, I could look them up, but I remember how confused I was when a woman said that her task as a co-leader of a workshop was not to teach anything but to just ‘hold the space’. I had never heard that term before and tried to imagine what that would probably look like when someone opens their arms and grabs space with their hands and simply holds the space. LOL. It also took me a while to find out what people meant when they used the term ‘grounding.’

While I became used to the unscientific and ubiquitous use of the term ‘quantum’ in some lightworker texts, I still cringe when I read texts which state that our bodies are allegedly going ‘from carbon-based to crystalline’ ( – and in addition, some were seriously suggesting that the carbon atoms somehow turn into silicon atoms).


I encountered the need of others to put me into a certain box. For example, when I first started blogging here on WordPress, I was greeted with “Welcome and how wonderful to meet a fellow lightworker!” That other person just meant to say a nice ‘Hello’, of course, but at that time, I didn’t even know what the term ‘lightworker’ meant, let alone whether I would belong to that group.

Others had different types of categories into which they wanted to put me. So, I was asked whether I was a pantheist or a panentheist or a theosophist and whatnot. But I was not familiar with any of these categories. I only had some experiences to share about the beneficial effects of inner peace. My reading background was mostly books about personal accounts of other people’s stories of awakening and enlightenment as well as some channeled texts.

I wondered whether they expected me to look up all these new terms of lightworker, indigo, gridworker, pantheist, theosophist and so on in order to be able to answer the question in which box I did belong.

Unsolicited advice from various belief systems

I share my own experiences on this journey. And I share not only the good and blissful stuff, but also the ugly parts just to show what traveling on this path can feel like.

But sharing the more difficult parts has the side effect that compassionate people from all walks of life felt called to help and fix me and so they jumped in and offered unsolicited mental diagnoses and advice. It happened quite a few times that people of various other belief systems tried to offer their point of view to me.

For example, some people of Christian belief sent me emails regarding my blog telling me that my path was dangerous and that I should refrain from it and rather study the videos they suggested which talked about sin, punishment, and hell.

A few people from Eastern spiritual traditions let me know that according to their beliefs spirit guides didn’t exist (and they suggested that I adopt their point of view) and people who heard an inner voice or had an inner vision should just meditate more. And, BTW, signs and synchronicities didn’t exist either in their opinion and so they advised me to stop paying attention to these things. (I want to mention, though, that I have also met people from Eastern spiritual traditions who do pay attention to signs and synchronicities. I have even read about someone who channels a Buddhist spirit guide.)

A psychologist who was also on a spiritual path said that it sounded like multiple personality disorder when I heard an inner voice which told me to do something which I didn’t want to do. In addition to the unsolicited, free mental diagnosis, he was so kind to prescribe a certain kind of prayer which I should do to heal that condition. Even though he meant to be generous and loving, I was pissed off. But then I tried to see his point of view and I could understand that someone who probably had never experienced the inner voice of guidance and in addition had been trained in psychology could easily come to the conclusion that having a discussion with a spirit guide resembled a mental disorder.

In an online forum, another guy wanted to draw me into a battle about my beliefs. He had the opinion (A) that spirit guides do exist, but all of them are either completely deluded or evil and (B) that we should not just agree to disagree, but discuss until someone had won the discussion. He was seriously thinking that this way he could do a huge service to the world, just discuss the wrong beliefs out of everyone.

No, thanks. I kindly but firmly refused to engage into a battle. In retrospect, I thought that this was a lesson about trying to withstand the urge to justify and defend myself.

Dealing with unsolicited advice

What should I do with this? Avoid all the interactions – the pleasant ones as well as the unpleasant ones – , withdraw into cave time again and shut up? Or set boundaries?

Whenever I felt irritated by this onslaught of well-meant, but unsolicited advice and didn’t know how to react to it, I was reminded of the following little story that happened with my one of my sons when he was about one year old and just able to walk. I was in the bathroom, upset and fretting about something. My child saw this. He couldn’t talk yet, but he had enough understanding to know that mommy was upset and feeling some compassion, he looked for a solution.

So, he went to his room and came back and brought me his pacifier, signaling to me, ‘Put this into your mouth. It has helped me to calm down when I feel upset. I am sure it will help you, too, when you feel upset.’

How cute! I couldn’t help but break into laughter.

Now, when adults did this, I found it not nearly as cute as my toddler trying to calm me with his pacifier. But it came from the same line of reasoning that what had helped them would surely help me, too. And therefore, in all their love and compassion, they felt the urge to give me advice.

And sometimes this advice was very useful. But at other times, it came across as “Oh, your path is dangerous. Don’t go there, this is sinful, or else you will suffer in hell.” Or a bit like someone telling me, “Don’t travel too far out in the world because I believe that it is a fact that the Earth is flat and I really want to protect you from falling off the edge of the Earth.”

So, while my fears about negative reactions from materialists did not come true, what did happen was unexpected reactions from fellow travelers on one of the spiritual paths.

Now, some more reflections on reacting to this.

Shadow work

Sometimes others can be mirrors of my blind spots and could be an invitation to do some shadow work. So, I asked myself whether I did that to other people, too, to offer unsolicited advice to them which might not be exactly right up their alley. And, yes, I admitted that I did that, too, sometimes and made a note to self to avoid that in the future. But that did not mean that the influx of unsolicited advice and unsolicited mental diagnoses stopped afterwards.

It says more about them than about me

Later something else happened which made me think. During one time period, three people made comments about what they perceived as character traits of me. Their comments came independently and out of the blue without me asking for their opinions. Two of them said that I have a lack of patience while the third one said that I was way too patient.

I thought that this was a lesson which was meant to show me that people would have an expectation of what is normal or what their baseline is, so to speak. And when I deviated in a certain way from their own baseline, then I was ‘too impatient’ or ‘too patient’ – in their opinion. Or maybe it was that they projected their shadow on me. I couldn’t decide, but I settled for the explanation that some of the reactions which people showed to my writing said more about them than about me.

Setting boundaries

While sometimes I could just ignore the irritating comments of unsolicited advice, at other times, especially when I expected the behavior to happen more frequently coming from the same person, I firmly stated my boundaries with as much kindness and politeness as I was able to muster.

I was aware that it would almost break the other person’s heart if I refused their advice. After all, they came from a place of love and compassion and they only meant well. And in addition to that, they were so darn sure that they were right. So, how dare I refuse their advice which was given in the spirit of love!

But I stated my boundaries anyway. And this turned out to be an important step on my journey.

It did not mean that afterwards everything was all roses with regard to the relationships with these other people. For example, one woman became upset when I said “No, thank you, I don’t feel like going to your spiritual teacher, even though you have already insistently told me many times to sign up for her class.”

But even if the other person was pissed off, I found that it was better to set my boundaries than to withdraw and shut up completely.

In addition to setting boundaries, I have learned not to invest in useless battle over whose viewpoint is right or wrong. After all, when my guides sent me to do this blogging adventure, the mandate was to share my experiences. But they did not say, ‘Go out into the world and proselytize everyone.’

In summary, this was a time of loneliness among family and friends, but also about finding enriching connections to others on a similar path. It was about being encouraged about my writing, but also a time of being challenged. It was about letting go of attachment to praise and also of avoidance of criticism. It was also about learning to resist the need to justify, defend, and prove my point of view.

19 thoughts on “Interacting with others while on a spiritual journey (part 2/2)

  1. I find the further down this rabbit hole I go, the stranger I seem to others and the less they can relate to me. It is a double edged sword at times but comes with varied experiences and rewards. You are doing a wonderful job walking and living your path/life. Thanks for sharing! <3

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for your kind comment and for sharing your experiences. I agree that it is double edged sword sometimes.
      You are also doing a wonderful job sharing your path and experiences on your blog. I have learned a lot from you ( just in case you are going to ponder again about the topic of you being or becoming a role model according to the Human Design chart; you already are one, at least to me).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent post! I like how you are able to recall and organize all these types or responses. I have many thoughts and reactions, but I will not share them now ( or here). However, what I will share is I applaud your honesty and your self-reflection. Also, while I also do set boundaries from time to time when people ( mostly online or via email) offer unsolicited advice, I recognize that this behavior is common and mostly accepted in the spiritual community. Even from people not trained to be helpers. I am so used to this dynamic, both as someone who has spent their career as a therapist and social worker, and as someone on this path most of my lifetime.

    big hugs,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your appreciative comment, Linda. I am glad to hear that you liked it.
      Thanks for sharing your experiences. This is interesting to hear that giving unsolicited advice is common and mostly accepted in the spiritual community. So, it is like a cultural trait and maybe I experienced some kind of culture shock.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Karin,
    I keep saying this in my comments but we are on a similar path. I am struggling with setting boundaries because of my narc father upbringing. I feel I need to please everyone. I am aware of it though which is great but it is deeply ingrained in my subconscious. If you have any suggestions, I am open to your advice. Namaste. Aubrey 😊👍🏼🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Aubrey, thanks for commenting and sharing.

      You are asking for suggestions. I can only share what has worked for me. Regarding setting boundaries, for me this was learning to be okay with other people getting upset if I set boundaries. I used to be afraid of other people’s anger and their pouting, sulking, and emotional blackmail.

      It was basically learning to say to the other person, “I respect my own needs so much that I won’t do what you are asking me to do. And if you get upset about that, well, then that is your problem and not mine.”
      And then not feeling guilty, but being okay with it when the other person throws a temper tantrum, which could take any form like choleric outbursts, pouting, crying, threats to me, or threats of suicide. But I don’t think I had to overcome the challenge of having been in a relationship with a narcissist.

      Regarding recovery from narcissistic parents, I have no own experiences to share. But I have heard that the Dr. Ramani videos on youtube might be helpful for the topic of narcissism in general.
      Maybe you have already come across this resource by yourself.

      I found this 17 min video by channel Lisa Wechtenhiser very moving. It might also be something you can relate to. She shares how she discovered that her mother was a covert narcissist (contains further links in the video description; she also offered that people can reach out to her)

      Regarding making sense of difficult life situations and finding some peace with it, I found the books by Robert Schwartz helpful:
      Your Soul’s Plan
      and Your Soul’s Gift.
      But I do not recall whether they have chapters about narcissistic parents in them.
      The books talk about pre-incarnation planning of life’s challenges with real-life case studies. They were eye-opening to me.

      Wishing you all the best for your path.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Karin,
        I just found your wonderful reply as I am getting ready for bed. I am so sorry I didn’t see it until now. I love your posts and they RESONATE like crazy with me. I will reply more tomorrow. Thanks so much for caring about me and this awakening experience I am having. Aubrey

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Karin,’
        Thanks again for your deep comments. I am going to be honest with you because I think I am on a simliar path with awakening. I am at the point where I believe my soul’s path was to overcome the narcassistic abuse by my father and I am working on forgiveness to move forward on my path of awakening. I am not in contact with my father which is wonderful so I am now thriving versus surviving.

        I am in the School of Awakening by Eckhart Tolle and his wife Kim Eng. I started awakening last year after reading The Power of Now and A New Earth among a host of books I have been reading during the Covid crisis. The pandemic has directly led to me finding my soul’s path in life. I am able to be present as just Awareness at times during the day and am working on surrender in the present moment to stay present in my body. Nature is absolutely brilliant to me and I can get lost in it very easily. I sit on our porch every morning and even eat lunch out there. No more social media (since November) and I have days where I don’t even check my email. I am using technology in a positive way like finding you and a few others on WordPress.

        You seem much more along in your journey as I am only just beggining. I am trying to watch who I interact with at the gym. i am a triple bypass survivor who had a 99% blockage of my “wdiowmaker” and two other 70% blockages. There is only about a 10% chance of surviving a widowmaker and the doctor said my great exercise habits saved my life by using the strong open arteries to compensate. Since that fateful day, l knew God had a plan for me and now I think I know what it is. I have been reading a book called Frequency about vibrations and in it, the author counseled a guy who had it all. Great career, family, money, etc but he had a heart attack like me. He went on to have a total change in life and became a spiritual counselor. The author explains that if your heart is not in alignment with Universal Consciousness, it will react and lock up so you will be drawn to your true life purpose. I read that over the weekend and it TOTALLY resonated with me. I LOVE awakening as just some guy living in the suburbs of Charlotte, NC.

        I am doing yoga every morning and evening and I work out at the gym like a beast. I have more energy than ever before. I read a book about Kundalini Awakening and feel that is happening to me. I have very weird awareness of my body these days. I have weird sexual energy happening as well. I have read that it is part of the awakening process and not to be feared or be ashamed of which is why I feel comfortable mentioning it.

        I don’t want to be around many people these days. I love my alone time. I would be interested in if you experienced these “symptoms” as well. I have glimpsed DIvine Power in my meditations and it concerns me for my heart and mind. Thoughts?

        Thanks so much for caring about me and my journey. I was meant to find you.


        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Aubrey, for sharing your story and your spiritual practices of forgiveness, presence, yoga, and reading, etc. and also your symptoms of awakening.
          You have gone through a lot with your narcissistic father and the triple bypass.
          And now you are on your soul’s path which is wonderful.

          You asked what I experienced during awakening. Here comes my list:

          Forgiveness is also something which was important for my path. Or at least coming to inner peace about a situation which made me angry. I have found that coming into inner peace causes the world around me to rearrange itself. This is because we are consciousness, and our beliefs and thoughts coupled with emotions are literally creative. So, what shows up on the outside is often a mirror of what is on the inside (in our beliefs, thoughts, and emotions).

          Presence was not so much part of my practice yet. Instead of being in the present moment and focusing on sense perceptions, my practice was more the Awareness Watching Awareness meditation which turns the focus of attention back on awareness itself.
          (For more details, you can read this post
          But being in the present moment is a useful practice and my guidance is nudging me to practice this more.

          I can relate to the need of being in nature. But I always loved that even before awakening.

          I also need a lot more alone time.

          I journal a lot, about my dreams and about the synchronicities I encounter in daily life and reflect about their meaning.

          Regarding social media, I have not been on social media to begin with. Only recently, I had to get a facebook account in order to be able to participate in an online class.

          Regarding the heart acting up when one is not in alignment, I can share that I also had various physical symptoms when I was not in alignment.

          Regarding the weird awareness of the body you mentioned, I can share that I had a phase when I experienced the body from a slightly detached point of view, as if I am moving my avatar around in this virtual reality game. It felt a bit unreal like in Depersonalization/Derealization (DP/DR).

          I am not sure whether I am qualified to talk about Kundalini. I don’t think I had very noticeable energetic things happening. But then, Kundalini symptoms can be much broader than feeling energy running up from the bottom to the top of the spine. Some say, that sudden gifts of getting visions or hearing an inner voice do also belong to Kundalini. I have also read several times that this can feel very sexual if it is felt in the lower chakras.

          Great that you have glimpsed divine power in your meditations. I hope that this power will take care of everything and that there is no need to be concerned about heart and mind. But, yes, the thought of surrender feels scary, I can relate to that.

          I hope you find this answer to your comment. WordPress usually gives notifications when you receive an answer.


          1. Karin,
            I am so glad I just read this reply. I have been sporadic with my WordPress use because it is technology that I am trying to be very careful with as you now know. OMG. I am having the most incredible dreams and I started speaking into my iphone last week before I get out of bed. I am going to post my third blog in the next day or so about my first huge mystical experience so I hope you will look for it. I have had many strange experiences of hearing from my guides but this was the biggest and clearest. I was put in touch with a doctor who does energy work now full time and we have had one meeting in which she said she said I was going to work with her in the energy healing space which blew my mind if you knew how I found her. She heard from my deceased mother. We were supposed to have my first healing session this week but she sustained a concussion so we are on for the last week of July. She said she was my spiritual advisor too which shook me up but I have been looking for a spiritual advisor if you can believe that. The synchronicities are astounding but I am getting used to that now. I was full of incredible energy when we zoomed together. It took me an hour to come back into myself if that makes sense. She sensed that I have a problem with my sacral chakra but she used a different name for it than the Indian version. I have quite a bit of business experience and she said we were going to work together. Hopefully, that will clear up my sexual energy problem. Needless to say, I cannot wait to meet with her again. I am surrendering daily to all the incredible things happening to me and just waiting for the Divine to give me my marching orders…Supposed to help others as an awakened being. Namaste

            Liked by 1 person

  4. It is an interesting journey indeed dear lady, it will touch us in so many directions so that we can find ourselves. I tried to heal the world for quite a while until I finally realised it was only me that needed healing, I could only ever give from what I was…and what a mess.
    I had much work to do and plenty of time to do it so I focused on all those things that upset me, finally realising it wasn’t the ‘other’ person but my reaction to it. And beneath it all accepting who I was. Our happiness is but that acceptance and love of who we are. Many directions for us all to find the same thing…and they all work, eventually. Thank you for sharing your journey 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love all your observations and they absolutely resonate with me. The lingo has been a biggie. While I’ve been going through a dramatic Kundalini awakening, trying to describe it to people I know who have no frame of reference, and even talking about it to people who’ve been through it has been challenging because of having no shared language. And when it comes to unsolicited advice, I’ve been guilty of giving it. Being on the receiving end I’ve finally learned how to express my gratitude, being thankful that they care about me, while simultaneously letting them know if something doesn’t resonate with me. And beyond that, it’s their issue. This can certainly be a good litmus test for who to allow in or not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting, Susan. I am glad to hear this resonates with you. Thank you for sharing your experiences. That is an important point you brought up that there is a problem for the sender of the message when the receiver does not have the shared vocabulary. I have heard NDEers have a similar problem trying to communicate how the love felt on the other side or how it was to be in no-time.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very helpful post. One of the things I have loved about your sharing of your path is how open you are to many interpretations. You remain authentic to your own experience, rather than allow teachings and cultures to dictate the meaning. I myself do not resonate with all you experience, but have found ways to see through your description, what it compares to in my life. There is always enough to show the path with clarity. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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