Have you ever fallen prey to someone you put on a pedestal? Entered into a relationship in which you worked to receive validation, to be worthy of their admiration and approval?
I spent decades pedestaling anyone I deemed prettier, smarter, or luckier. I had a terrible case of “I’m not good enough.” It made me the ideal client for self-improvement gurus.
In 2014, after recently discovering my abilities as a budding psychic medium, I found myself at a convention of spiritual leaders, the Super Bowl of spirituality for people like me. That’s where I met my guru.
What separated her from the rest was that she looked . . . normal. She was funny and lighthearted in her spiritualism, whereas other gurus wore crystals and scarves and looked like nineteenth-century psychics plying their trade with a crystal ball.
Having been born with the name Willow I’ve always strived to be “normal,” even—dare I say?—cool. This guru was the embodiment of that desire. She took the weird out of the psychic identity. She was my oasis of normalcy in this bizarre world. Her training course was just what I needed: someone to help me get out of my own way! Like many of her followers, I was full of hope and excitement for what this great woman could teach me.
That’s the thing about a guru: they’re only as important as their followers make them.
This is how, over four years, I learned that painful lesson.