One of the most important foundations that will determine your ability to succeed on the spiritual path is Self-Authority. It is hard to stress out how important it really is. In my group teachings and 1-on-1 sessions I always encourage my students to develop this most important quality. It will determine how far they can trust and be a light unto themselves throughout life and particularly – the spiritual path.
Are You a Follower?
It is expected of all of us to accept and follow the social rules and conventions without questioning. If you dare to stand out and act out of the box, most likely people will raise an eyebrow. And despite the fact that on the surface of things individuality is our current God, in our depth we strongly lack self-authority. Normally we all think there is someone out there who knows the answer. Of course that someone can’t be us…but well…that guy, far over there. This is a deep seated conditioning that makes us into sheep. Or in other words: followers.
Followers don’t dare to change or challenge the status quo. Better shut up and be nice. But the price is high. Even very high. We loose our core, our true power which is self-authority. Without it we have no real backbone and true inner strength. Our word is not a word and we can’t rely on our own wisdom, discernment and intuition and make remarkable and accurate decisions.
Self-Authority is your foundation for Freedom
On the spiritual path to liberation you must learn to rely on yourself. You have to enjoy being alone and trust yourself. People rely far too often on others, especially authority figures. We abdicate our power without activating our intelligence and without considering the consequences. Who are those authorities? Are they reliable? And if they are, what makes them an authority? Is being an authority limited only to special people? My answer to you is sharp and clear: absolutely not! Self-Authority is your birthright and should be developed if you want to taste real emancipation, freedom and centerdness in your life. Otherwise you’ll always remain like a lost child waiting for another lost child to give you an answer.
Freedom means you are alone. And you enjoy it! In aloneness you learn to listen deep into yourself moment to moment. In that listening you move with a spontaneity and strength that belong to you and to you only. They aren’t borrowed from another. Self-authority means you are literally the author of your life – writing your own story without copying others. This is the beginning of true power and freedom.
Be a Light Unto Yourself!
These were the words of Gautama the Buddha 2,600 years ago and they still reverberate with resounding truth to this day. You may be following wonderful teachers, therapists or friends, but in the end of the day you are alone. Nobody promises you that your teacher will still be there tomorrow. And once they’re gone, will you be able to be your own guiding star? If your answer is no, then you must put your energy into birthing true self-authority. It is of paramount importance to your success on the spiritual path to liberation and wholeness. All great Souls on this planet have demonstrated a solid sense of self-authority and that’s what made them original and brilliant.
But you don’t need to be a Buddha in order to be your own author. All you need is to realize that all the wisdom you need lives abundantly in your own being. I’m not stating some inspiring idea here, but rather a simple fact. Check it for yourself. The reason most people stay followers is not because they lack the ability to be lights unto themselves, but rather because they don’t want to pay the price of deciding for themselves. From the perspective of society’s expectations, making free choices means not being part of the herd. Few are willing to pay this price and prefer to stay socially accepted prisoners.
Self-Authority means Growing Up
If you want to be a free emancipated adult, a happy person, you must embody self-authority. When you are a child it is natural to depend on your parents and on the adults, but as you grow up, you should set the example. Same goes in the spiritual dimension. In the beginning it is but natural to seek out for a wise and authentic spiritual teacher. But as you progress on the path you must become increasingly more independent and free. Being a follower forever makes you handicapped. Perhaps in the beginning stages you’ll feel a bit insecure to walk alone. Maybe you’ll fear the reactions of friends, family and colleagues. But fear not! As you advance and your self-authority becomes stronger, you’ll realize that you make better choices and slowly everyone notices your strength.
Not that it matters if people see or don’t see your strength. It’s just a sweet little bonus. What matters is that you take full ownership for your life, freedom and growth and that makes you a happy person. And is there anything more worthy than being truly happy, content and peaceful? I think not.