Who can you trust?

True confessions time: even with my healthy skepticism, even with all my intuitive abilities, even with my guides (who are a *lot* of help), sometimes I’m not sure if I can trust someone. It’s hardest with people who are completely congruent, that is, they totally believe what they are saying –  they aren’t lying, they’re just wrong.

I do trades with a few people whose abilities & integrity I trust, some for psychic reading types of things, some for more NLP/hypnosis types of things. Some of these are very regular, some are very occasional; some are formal (I do a session for you, then you do a session for me), others are informal, more like conversations where we both bring all of our selves and all of our guides. Some are planned, others are accidental — I have clairvoyant friends whom I’ll call just to chat as friends do, and occasionally those conversations morph into a joint channeling session.

So last week, when I did a trade session with a friend I’ll call Patrick, I had every expectation that things would go well. Our sessions are intended to be joint channeling ones, where each of us brings questions, and all of us answer. Patrick is an engineer by trade, with several patents in his name, trained in several spiritual traditions, so he is a smart, hardworking guy. He has only the best of intentions.

But something was really amiss. Patrick said, before we even started, that if I didn’t do something (I don’t remember what), he couldn’t continue working with me. And he said it in a way that implied I’d be losing out if I didn’t continue to work with him. That should have set off alarm bells. 

Given that this was a joint session, why did it feel like he was teaching me? And that he was not open to learning from me, at least not much. I had this ‘one down’ feeling, like he was somehow better than me.

I know from experience that he tends to be in his ego, that is, on a sort of power trip, and that everything is always ‘not working out’ for him. He’s tried many ways to make extra money to solve a perennial financial problem; all of them seem to end with him fighting with someone, or him being ‘taken’. Since I haven’t looked at most of these situations, I don’t know what really happened, but still, it should be a clue that something’s off.

The problem is, he ‘sees’ some things I ‘see’ — so I tend to expect that everything he ‘sees’, even the stuff I don’t ‘see’ — is right. That’s just not true! No psychic is 100% accurate, no channel is 100% clear. Particularly with channeled information, you always have to filter the information through your own BS detector. (This, by the way, is a standard propaganda tactic — mix the truth with lies, so it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish which is which.) 

More than that, he used his knowledge of my own greatest desires and greatest fears to get me to do what he said his guides told me to do. I’m not sure any of that ‘channeled’ instruction was true — even though I believe he believes it.

So, how do I avoid this in the future? How do you? (And I’m not just talking about spiritual teacher here — the pointers below are just as valid if you are hiring an accountant or a plumber.)

Here’s what to watch out for:

  • You feel coerced in some way — The truth doesn’t need coercion to succeed (Qaddafi needs guns to stay in power, the protesters, who have the moral right on their side will eventually win in any case).
  • Something rings false – Maybe it feels wrong, or sounds wrong, or doesn’t jibe with things of which you are sure. Time to check in with yourself.
  • You are discouraged from thinking/evaluating for yourself — By definition, anyone who says, “Trust me, I’m right” is not to be trusted. Sometimes this is simply the person’s ego talking, and sometimes it is an intention to disempower you, or cheat you. (This last comes from a friend with whom I shared my story — she had a much more toxic experience with a ‘teacher’.)
  • You feel bad about yourself — Spiritual teachings for developed souls should not make you feel bad about yourself. That is the province of religious teachings (hellfire & brimstone) designed for less developed souls, who need clear lines drawn between right and wrong.

I’m going to take my own advice, and not work with Patrick unless/until I can find a way to do it safely. 

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.