Letter to a New Spirit Worker

Dear you,

I can’t imagine what you are experiencing right now because your growth process is unlike any others. This is the first and greatest and perhaps most difficult lesson of all: You walk this path alone. You will have allies and companions and perhaps even friends along the way who will offer support and care but you will always ultimately be alone. This truth is difficult to manage but becoming comfortable with solitude will give you the mental space required to puzzle out the challenges that come ahead. Your longing for teachers and mentors is not just a desire for guidance or meaning or even instruction; it is a desire for validation and empirical support as well as the comfort of someone pointing out what you have done well and what you need to improve on. This will not happen. Whatever teachers and mentors this path makes available to you will serve their purpose and then move on. You will gradually learn to be honest about your desires and to acknowledge the self-serving aspects of your goals and ambitions as well as the more altruistic ones.

Since every spirit worker’s path is entirely unique, looking too hard at the practice of anyone else isn’t helpful. You will learn from your peers and they from you but no one will be forced into the position of a teacher through voyeurism. Looking for more of that validation from your peers isn’t helpful and is likely to cause a lot of problems in your education.

These first several years are going to be marked by poor decisions. You will learn to take responsibility for your choices the hard way. You will gradually hold yourself to a higher standard. You will grow a sense of ethical compassion or you will continually find yourself alienating the very people you’re supposed to serve. Falling into the position of self-sacrificing martyr or brittle and grumpy outsider does not place your service in reach of people who need it. This is also true of Gods, spirits, and all the rest. They will not be able to find you or catch your attention if your effort is bleeding out in gushes or bricked up behind a wall. A middle path must be created that allows your efforts and energies appropriately measured expression while still protecting yourself from exploitation. Ethical compassion is the hallmark of this achievement and will be continually developed and refined.

This path is difficult for all kinds of reasons but you will find that it develops into your greatest comfort and support. The validation you look for from other peoples will eventually come to you from the path itself. The rhythm of your practice will uplift you and its unfolding expression will point the way. This path has an inherent intelligence that will impart its lessons directly to you as they are needed. Trying to know the whole picture now is pointless. There is no big picture (except, perhaps, the advancement of compassion and liberation). There is only a pattern that weaves through you and with you. You have the precious opportunity to become a conscious and vital part of this ever-expanding pattern. Just try to relax and focus on today. The Work will show you the rest.




17 thoughts on “Letter to a New Spirit Worker

  1. draupadi says:

    Today was a really rough day, and I was questioning every decision I ever made as a spirit-worker. (I’m definitely a n00b at this.) I journaled a lot about it. Then I found this letter and this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for this.


      • EmberVoices says:

        I will indeed, and would be delighted to see you again!

        Although, PCon is admittedly usually kind of a crazy setting to catch up with someone for more than 10 minutes at a time…


      • Silence says:

        Ah yes, that makes sense. I’ll be arriving in SJ early Thursday morning if that’s helpful. If we don’t manage to connect or to connect for very long, perhaps we can work something out for the future. If finances allow I want to spend some time in/around Oakland sometime later in the year but I’m not sure when exactly.


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