When Someone Doesn’t Support Your Spiritual Path

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Note: Updated in 2018 for clarity and additional resources.

When we embark on a spiritual journey, so many awesome shifts begin to happen. It’s easy to become overly enthusiastic about them and want to share every detail with your loved ones. But the new developments in your life may not be easy for people to understand, especially if they’re not on a spiritual path of their own.

How to Deal With People Who Don’t Support Your Spiritual Path

It can be very traumatic when you’re excited about the amazing changes happening in your life, but those around you aren’t supporting that change. This has happened to me many times, and I’m sure you can relate.

In the video and post below, I’ll show you 3 tips you can start using today to ease the resistance in those relationships while continuing to nurture your journey.

Be the lighthouse

Just mind your own business and be the light | Gabby Bernstein | Judgment DetoxThe first thing I learned came from my great spiritual teacher and Kundalini mentor, Gurmukh. She is the woman who really inspired me to become a teacher and a student of Kundalini yoga.

I was so blown away by what I was learning in the midst of my teacher training, I would go home and want to tell my then-fiancΓ© every detail of the story.Β But every detail wasn’t as interesting to him as it was to me.

I started to get really upset he didn’t want to hear everything I had to tell him. But Gurmukh pulled me aside and said, “Don’t tell him anything.”

I looked at her and said, “What do you mean?”

She said, “Don’t tell him anything. Just be the lighthouse. Just be the light when you go home, and he will feel that light reflected back onto him, and he will reap the benefits without having to know why.”

Talk gently to yourself

Let people be who they are and honor their path | Judgment Detox by Gabby BernsteinEver since that conversation, I just let it go. I stopped trying to tell him every detail, and it’s become more of a genuine conversation.

When you practice this, you’ll begin to notice that when you don’t talk about it and people begin to experience your light, they’ll start to ask you, “What is it that you’re doing? How have you changed so much?”

When they ask, that’s your opportunity to share. But remember, it’s attraction, not promotion. Be gentle. Talk about it loosely and make suggestions, and say what your experience is.

Everyone has a journey

It’s important to remember that people are on their own path. They’re going to come to spirituality or personal growth in a way that’s authentic to them. They might find it through physical activity or through a book. Maybe they’ll find it through a coach or therapist.

Other people might not find their spirituality or personal growth the same way you did. Trust in their process, and let go. Allow them to have their own experience, and try not to interfere.

Remember to be the lighthouse. Let these tools guide you so you can honor and nurture your spiritual path and bring all the energy you need to grow and learn more.

Get more relationship guidance in my book Judgment Detox

Gabby Bernstein with the Judgment Detox paperback editionIf these tips helped you and you want more guidance on this topic, check out my book Judgment Detox. In it I offer a 6-step method for healing old wounds, releasing resentments, clearing judgment and feeling free!

The book includes spiritual tools like Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), guided meditations, prayers and much more.

Start your Judgment Detox journey today.

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  1. This was beautiful. My cousin started me on the path. How you ask? Well she was a very crabby person. Often times hard to be around but none the less I loved her. I had spoken to her to see how she was doing. She was going through a divorce and I thought surely she must be very unhappy. . Well to my aurprise all of a sudden she was so calm. She had a determination about her I had never known. Happy, glowing, and full of life and light. She had appeared to me to be a beacon of hope in this hurricane chaos of a life I had been living. Here I was wondering how she could be so calm? Who was this person who would lash out at people to angrily? I didn’t recognize her. But I was curiously drawn to her. She was my lighthouse. I wanted to be that light. I wanted to be happy like her. She started me on my path. I never would have expected this from my baby cousin. She was younger than me but seemed so much wiser. She decided to start life coachig and i was her first client! i happily agreed to let her guide me. So here I am. Living my life in the light and love of what it’s meant to be. I ooze love and light. It is a truly a remarkable journey. I am calm inside. I am able to focus on the moment and realize I am exactly where I need to be. I don’t struggle everyday against life like I used too. I have purpose and determination. My path has never been so clear. All I know is a year ago she was my light and my ship has come in safely. I am grateful for her and for my life. I was also led to you and your books by a friend who I had not spoken to in years. So the universe opens doors, and brings to us what we need at the exact moment that it is needed. I am blessed and I am a work in progress every day. Thank you for this beautiful post. πŸ™‚

  2. This is the first vlog I’ve watched of yours and wow, did it hit home. I’ve recently become Vegetarian and have been attending a few yoga based classes and I can already feel the path to a greater self happiness and enriched life beginning to unfold. I have struggled with the balance of wanting to remove the naivety of those around me without sounding ‘preachy’. This has been an especially hard balance with my fiancΓ© who, whilst being supportive, is not interested in joining me on this path. I can completely see now that I need to be the light and know that as my outlook on life and health improves he will benefit too and may even want to feel the same. Thank you, I look forward to learning more from you.

  3. So needed this because I just read an excerpt in The Course related to learning by teaching and was a little confused as to whether I should be telling everyone I know these beautiful messages. Lately when I do try and talk about it with others I feel frustrated and a little “woo,woo”. =) But now I understand and realize that everyone has their own path and pushing my beliefs on others actually only creates more resistance. I don’t want my loved ones to feel like I am judging them or am better than them in any way. Thank you so much for your advice, it is very helpful.

  4. This is absolutely true. The best approach is to allow each to find their own way, and know that their way is right for THEM. Your way for you, their way for them. This also takes all the pressure off you to feel like you have to hurry and tell everyone in order to try and change them! You can relax and simply enjoy YOUR journey. Love it. <3

  5. Wow, I really needed this. I shared it with my partner and promised to stop pushing spiritual tools on him. You’re so right that we need to let the success, freedom, and happiness in our lives serve as a magnet for others wanting to learn more and have that same happiness.

  6. Such a beautiful video, thank you Gabby. I’m very pleased that the people close to me are really accepting of all my ‘woo-woo’, but for some reason, telling friends and other family members is the big challenge for me at the moment. It definitely says more about me than it does about them…!

    Thank you again Gabby- will definitely share this video.

    Katie xx

  7. Ironic that it sounds so obvious and at the same time, I did not think about it that way. It is creating the interest in its simplest form, don’t volunteer any info, answer when asked. Thanks.

  8. LOVE this Gabby! Found it to be very helpful. After starting my spiritual practice i have found myself becoming anxious very frequently and being very sensitive to others’ energies (and those who are energy leechers). Do you have any advice for this? The anxiety is building and meditation only seems to help a little.

    Thanks! XOXO

  9. Also sometimes we need to let go of people who are outright trying to stop us from out path so that we can move forward. People who belittle and mock and try to stop you from your spiritual path. I know you’re not talking here about toxic relationships but I see alot of people stop this great journey because they’re partners bevaiour becomes so intolerable.

  10. Man, talk about the right info at the right time! Thank you. I just thought we have to share EVERYTHING with our significant other, but having them feel our light instead makes so much sense. It’s true that all we want is to share so that they can feel just as happy, but we end up actually pissing he or she off! Not the effect I was going for!

  11. Awesome post as always. I too was over sharing my aha moments and findings at the beginning. And I realized it was out of excitement but also to seek validation from others. I worked on releasing my fear of not fitting in and since then I’m just walking the talk and my friends are asking more questions than ever. Thank you!

  12. I have found becoming defensive with the comments of others that I am just going through a phase or that it doesn’t work and then I remembered your message on defensiveness…”in my defenselessness my safety lies” I began looking inward and found my own issues that I had to take care of. Your words are always inspiring! Thank you for sharing weekly and keeping all of us spirit junkies connected and constantly motivated for love <3

  13. Awesome Gabby, I love how I can just totally relate to you and you talk about how to deal with every day situations in a spiritual way. So so helpful, life changing really… you make it easier to be a normal modern gal on a spiritual path in this world. I’ve been manifesting you for years you know, haha! Namaste sister xxx Come to Sydney you will be welcomed with open arms! πŸ™‚

  14. Thank you so much for this Gabby. As always, your advice always comes at just the right time. I love my partner, but sometimes I get frustrated that he doesn’t seem interested in or as interested in some of the things I am doing with my life, particularly my spiritual path and the positive changes I am trying to make to my life. I will keep your words of wisdom close by.

    Much love xx

  15. Gabby! This post is awesome!

    I’ve really learnt a lot about not only being on my own spiritual journey but allowing others to find their own path.

    Sometimes we forget that we’re all different and find our bliss and zen in different ways – and that may even mean using different ‘non-spiritual’ words.

    I think it’s a lesson to us to not only be more accepting of our own path and being OK when others aren’t interested in hearing about it, but also to accept that other people have their own journey too!

    Lead by example through action! LOVE THIS! Thank-you!

    Rachel X

  16. Love you Gabby! This topic applies to my family relationships especially and helps me to gain greater perspective into understanding and appreciating the individual spiritual journey each person takes. Most importantly, loving ourselves and sharing our light and love with the world is the best way we can help create a highly spirited world! You’re vlogs are always helpful. You are excellent. Your work is powerful and appreciated. Thank you Gabby. I adore you. And not just because we have the same name πŸ˜‰

  17. Ahhhh, LOVE it Gab!!! So beautiful…BE THE LIGHTHOUSE. Having just moved to an area where I am most certainly more “woo woo” than the average bear, it’s been a struggle for me. I use all my tools daily and try to stay focused on watering my own garden, but it gets hard sometimes. I miss having a spiritual community around me, but having everyone at the click of a mouse helps. Thank you, Love! xo

  18. Gabby,
    You are most definitely a godsend. You speak truthfully and eloquently. Words cannot fully express my gratitude for your knowledge and wisdom. No matter our spiritual practices and beliefs as individuals you touch the hearts, minds, & spirits of many. You are truly blessed and a blessing to me and numerous others! Keep doing all that you’re doing. It is by no coincidence that you speak such profound words from the universe that touch my spirit and ease my mind exactly how and when necessary to my life situations. Thank you & the Uni-verse! πŸ™‚

  19. Holy moly!! This is exactly what I was talking to my supervisor/ mentor about today! I’ve really been struggling with my partner’s attitude and I had been feeling that if he could just be as interested in my spiritual tools that he’d be happier and more fulfilled.
    Love this message – definitely came at the right time.

  20. Thanks for doing this Gabby! This VLog is spot on on what I am dealing in my life and spiritual journey and discoveries I am making at the moment.

  21. THANK YOU for this reminder. I just received my Reiki II attunement the end of May and “expected” my best friend to embrace receiving Reiki and that she would be the FIRST official Reiki receiver and she wasn’t interested. I was crushed and it rocked our relationship to a different level. We have overcome the unsettling portion. She did receive Reiki on her own time from me and it rocked her world and I am sooo happy that she was open to receiving and that it was a positive experience. Keep spreading the word and reminder…be the Light House….the rest will happen on it’s own. Thank you!

  22. Gabby this is a great message and one I really needed to hear. I have this issue with my boyfriends family and I really struggle expressing my opinion around them because they get very defensive and it usually makes me get defensive… talk about egos getting in the way..

  23. I really need to focus on being a lighthouse in my own house so that my loved ones are drawn to me not away.

    I feel so passionate about what I’m learning or doing sometimes that I think I push too hard on my loved ones to do the same.

    But I’m starting to realize that maybe they just aren’t into it and I need to be OK with that.

    You spoke right to me Gabby.


  24. I know how blessed I am that my husband and family fully support my own spiritual path. My husband (in very few moments) struggles to completely understand what I have been thinking/believing but he also says that if what I’m doing makes me happy, then that’s a huge win for us both.
    My dad has had experience of Angels ESP as when he had a bad crash a while back, he gets the same feelings I do when I know that their energy are around.
    However, some of my clients do not share my understanding or thinking about some situations and have even mentioned they like it cos I’m not woo woo! Whoever came up with that term….geez!!
    Anyway, those who mean the world to me support me & that is my blessing. Truly grateful for that πŸ˜‰

  25. I love this! Thats exactly what happened with me and I was so frustrated that my partner obviously would tune out or distance himself when i would start on about my meditations or spiritual aha’s!! Thank you Gabby πŸ™‚

    1. Love your photos.. I am a mom of 8 New to the photo world.. Did some small stuff with mloeds Want to get into the wedding biz . Your photos are an inspiration Love love love your work!!!!

  26. this is really insightful, Gabby, thank you! i realized while watching how i have really leaned to the other side of the spectrum… towards wanting everyone to discover for herself what spiritual path, worldview, meditation, etc. to practice, and only hesitantly sharing my own experience, if at all. now i’m realizing the extent to which this is also a trap of sorts!

    you drive home for me that the genuine willingness to share is essential.. “attraction not promotion.”
    mmm! simply AWEsome!
    maha thanks, sat nam πŸ™‚

  27. That really was amazing. True enough be the lighthouse. Interestingly enough though for me I can be the lighthouse but it seems most people in my life except for 3 friends I have appreciate my light. The rest are completely unaffected by it whatsoever. In fact what I see is the opposite, many of them shun my light and seem to drive themselves further into the darkness. Which of course only makes me want to help them more. Being an empath I can so feel that. I’m learning now. So be their way and if they never find their light or ever decide to walk a spiritual path all I can do is bless them and let it be.

  28. being the lighthouse – that’s the best ever!
    and thank you for overlaying a few seconds of actually real, tasteful, and beautiful music, not like most others in the spiritual field who ruin the message with unthoughtfully selected “new age” soulless background soundtracks. greetings!

  29. For me your timing is always amazing THAT is the miracle! Be the lighthouse ..interesting that my profile pic for many years has been a lighthouse hope that I do shed a bit of your light ..my light out onto this wonderful world..Thanks for being the truly generous soul that you are.

  30. Great post! I have to tell you my cat loves you. When I watch your videos, she sits in my lap, watches with me and purrs! We love you!

  31. This is a great message. The spiritual path is very exciting and it is difficult to contain at times when my heart and soul are singing. Being the lighthouse is a wonderful way to shine! Thank you.

  32. Hi Gabby,
    Just a follow up question to my previous post – have you ever had to walk away from a relationship because they could not provide you the support you needed? If so, how did you justify it?
    Peace Love Bliss
    Sat Nam

  33. Great message, Gabby. I know I am constantly trying to engage my husband in discussions about my journey of growth and self-discovery, and I constantly get SO disappointed when he comes off as disinterested, unsupportive, or straight up cynical.
    And so many of my clients get dispirited by the same kind of response that they get from their loved ones.

    I think the message of just being the lighthouse is spot on. Whether it be a spiritual journey, or a journey towards a healthier lifestyle or relationship to food, living the message is what really gets people in your life excited for you and on board. They may even join you when they see how happy and healthy you are!

    NU Health & Wellness

  34. Gabrielle, I used to love Gurmukh and yoga but had to back off of teacher training and a classroom experience of it for health reasons. Perhaps I shall revisit soon. You reminded me how wonderful she is.

    OT I know. would love to know the name of the painting and artist in the background of vid.


  35. Hi Gabby,
    Thanks so much for sharing this! I LOVE Gurmukh and will be attending her “Radiant Power of Women” Retreat at Omega next month (for the third time). She has been a great mentor for me as well. As difficult as it is at times, I know this is the best approach to take. Thanks for the reminder. As usual, it was very timely for me. Love what you said “be the light”.

  36. Thank you. This is excellent and much needed advice. I find myself wanting to share with my husband to get confirmation, approval and acceptance. I just need to let my light shine and be still.

  37. Ooooo this is such a hot topic, one that is close to my heart…

    It takes a lot of courage, strength and integrity to get our life purpose out into the world especially when we don’t have support. Looking for like minded peeps, connecting with our deep inner guidance and aligning our inner GPS with Goddess helps tremendously.

    Thank you for shining your light bright Gabby.

  38. Gabby, great advice and so pertinent to me as I don’t know many people on the same sort of spiritual path as me and appear plane crazy to my friends and family πŸ™‚ my burning question though is where can I get me one of those beautiful pyramid crystal necklaces I’ve seen you sporting lately?

  39. Thank you Gabby! Perfect timing!
    I stopped sharing with my partner some time ago, but I didn’t know what to do next. I love your work Gabby! Thank you for you!

  40. Thank you for sharing this with me today. I was in a very anxious place today ,but I feel so much calmer now. Thank you

  41. PERFECT advice Gabby. The more I’ve gotten familiar with your work the more impressed I am by it πŸ™‚ I’ve found this same thing to be true…and I totally feel you on wanting to share every detail. But it’s better to just “be the light” as you said and LIVE everything we’ve learned. Thanks for a great video πŸ™‚

  42. Thank you for sharing Gabrielle! I completely relate to this. I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for many years.
    I’ve just had a baby and, for some reason, have been feeling more and more drawn to the yogic paths lately, not only as a means of getting back into shape but also to ensure I the much needed emotional balance to raise well my little girl.
    As it happens, my husband is not interested in the subject and not particularly keen to join in. Your advice comes at a great time!

  43. Hi Gabby!
    Thank you for sharing this. You are one of my major mentors on my own spiritual path so I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I began my intentional spiritual path a little over a year ago. I’ve had so many internal shifts that my outside world has been changing significantly as well.
    I began writing my first book at the first of the year based upon my own awakening. I slowly started to share these shifts with friends and family. They thought at first that I was losing my mind. So I stopped talking about it and just continued to find my way.
    I started my blog spiritlauncher.com a few months ago to encourage others to find their path in whatever way they can in order to live their best life now.
    I can say that just recently, the people who initially resisted my experiences are seeing the miracles in my life and asking what it is that I am doing.
    We just have to be patient, focused and driven and life will show itself to us and the world around us.
    Much love,

    1. Beauty journey! Deep momtnes of listening which many of us run from, can bring such wisdom when we walk through the door of fear, loss, sadness and whatever else needs to be revealed and after all, its only feelings which aren’t the whole picture. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story!Ruth

      1. Awesome post! Great reminder to not give up, even when life gets heticc. Love hearing about your personal growth. Often,when people achieve certain milestones, complacency sets it. Glad you are continuing your process!

  44. I learned 25 years ago when I did an impossible thing in some peoples eyes and They could not support me because as you said they could not see it. I did it and was so successful that it inspired so many close friends.( It helped THEM to be brave too)! I thought it was jealousy, but sometimes it just not there journey. Thanks for the AH HA moment !!!! Gloria

  45. Amazing post! I struggle with this with friends and partner, they try to show interest but clearly I over share! I always wonder whether others path is as amazing as mine, as I am constantly learning new things. Interesting to think that others are coming to it from other angles. Thank you as always!

    1. Elisabeth – I totally over share, too, and it’s tough for me to keep all my excitement and “ah-ha” moments to myself sometimes! But that’s a very powerful approach, Gabby. You’re right, when you don’t cram spirituality and person growth down other people’s throats, they will naturally be curious and open up the conversation organically. Great shift in perspective!

    2. I agree, lol. Do you ever feel like you are the only one in your local area that is enlightening? I know that’s not the case, but I feel like I have to go online to connect with others because I don’t know anybody personally. Be the change you want to see, right πŸ˜‰

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