“Guidance is for the ego, and the Divine’s way of reminding us to ask for assistance.”
“The whole guidance thing is really unnecessary, because there is only Spirit. There is no one to ask outside of yourself; hearing guidance is only a trick of the mind.”
These two statements (paraphrased) came from two different sources: the first from a lovely spiritual teacher and coach that I work with, and the second from the spiritual teacher of a good friend.
Are these statements true? They were thought provoking to me, so of course I wanted to write about it, and explore with you.
So What is Guidance?
If you’ve spent very much time in woo-woo circles at all, you’ll have heard people say “my guides told me” or “my guidance was”—something along those lines. I’ve uttered those words many times myself, in fact, because I regularly work with a variety of guidance such as spirit guides and the Masters/Teachers in the Akashic Records.
My experience of working with these sources of guidance is very real, helpful, and not just like talking to myself (which I do also!) Am I crazy? Borderline something? Well, you only have my word for it, but I think I’m mentally pretty stable and healthy! So why and what are these voices I hear, and are they “real?”
First let’s define guidance. For me, the word means any kind of prompting or information that you get from intuition (gut instincts, knowing, synchronicities); dreams, meditation, or practices like channelling.
Is all guidance created equal? Well, I am not in a position to judge the quality of anyone’s guidance other than my own. But there are a few rules of thumb to clue you into whether you are accessing real, helpful guidance, or just your mind (or other unhelpful sources).
- True guidance is loving and compassionate at best, or neutral at the least. It is never judgy, negative, hateful or incites you to violence, shame, or harm. Your guides may have personalities and opinions, but they will not say things like “so and so is a bitch and you need to get revenge for how she hurt you.”
- Guides and Masters/Teachers will not tell you what to do, merely suggest and support
- Guidance does not usually include predictions about the future. Sometimes you will get information that is suggestive of possible outcomes, but since the future is in your hands, your guides et al will not be able to speak to that.
- Guidance does not automatically support your own biases, desires, or thoughts about something.
- Guidance can come through any of the “clairs;” I happen to hear and know mine, others receive more somatically or through seeing.
Is Guidance A Crutch for the Ego?
So I honestly don’t know the answer to this one. Some spiritual teachers say it is, like in the examples above. Others support the use of guidance for developing a positive ego. I am not in the business of ego-demolishing, as some teachers are, and am not anywhere near enlightened. That being said, there are some instances where the use of guidance seems wonky and disempowering, rather than a helpful process.
I have come across people who absolutely live their lives by the guidance they receive, whether or not the guidance makes sense or is really practical. This might include abrupt cross-country moves, taking a particular supplement, or what color to wear each day. In my humble opinion, this is not a healthy use of guidance. It’s an excuse to not take responsibility for one’s actions and life. Have I done these things? Yes, I have, in times past. So I know from where I speak.
There are also the folks that tend to have guidance for all of humanity, or for their neighbors, family members, or strangers on the train with them. I’m skeptical of this type of guidance, because usually one’s personal spirit guides don’t have insight into someone else’s life. Yes, there are people like Esther Hicks who channels Abraham, and they have general guidance for humanity, but it’s usually quite practical and understandable. There is a lot of channelled guidance on the internet that is obtuse, couched in esoteric language, and swings between apocalyptic and scary to vanilla unicorn spiritual bypass.
For many people the ability to use their high sense perception is a total ego trip, and an excuse to meddle in other people’s lives. It can be a prop for the ego and a way to feel special. Those of us that work with guidance have to be aware of these pitfalls.
Can guidance be proved as “real?” No … you will have to use and apply it with discernment in your own life to be able to tell if, how, and when it works.
Do We Need Guidance?
I believe everyone uses their intuition at a basic level. Those of us who have practiced and use intuitive tools professionally do so with a lot of awareness. Guidance is helpful for big decisions and dark times … not for picking out clothes or determining your every move. Your guides don’t need or want to micromanage your life, ditto Masters and Teachers.
We need to use our common sense and our accumulated wisdom to live. Guidance comes into play when we are stuck, confused, or scared. Mere curiosity often does not generate reliable guidance, though playing “what if …” can open the door to intuitive flashes.
I think we can talk directly to our divine sources, and there doesn’t have to be a guide or Teacher. We can just pray, just ask and listen. It can be that simple. As my teacher suggested in the first statement above, when we are feeling alone, lost, desolate etc., this can be a simple reminder to reconnect to our Source—no special techniques necessary.
If you like the idea of working with spirit guides, we all have them and they provide another perspective that is perhaps more relatable to, and accessible for people than the idea of God. I do it all—pray, talk to Source, work with spirit guides. I like it; it’s fun, but I also know when to get off the cushion and go take action inspired by my own wisdom and common sense. I’ve had to learn this of course, and to understand discernment as well. I’ve been practicing for years.
Learning to use and access guidance is a choice, and there’s no penalty for not doing so. But I find it is a source of hope, comfort, and help … so I choose to access guidance in the forms that I have learned.
If you are going to access spirit guides or Masters/Teachers, do so with integrity, discernment, and not as a substitute for personal responsibility.
If you choose not to, or don’t feel you need guidance in your life, that’s all good too, of course. But don’t shut the door on your intuition—stay curious. You might find you need it some day!
Do you work with guides, Teachers, Ascended Masters? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.