How to find the perfect guru for you
Grant was struggling in his marriage. For the past six months, Janeen had become increasingly harsh and volatile. She got under his skin like no one else could.
Michelle hated her boss, Lynnette. She was pushy and critical and never gave Michelle credit for anything.
Denise was ready to sever her relationship with her father. He had never supported her in anything. No matter what she did, he had a way of finding something to criticize.
Dan was fighting with a neighbor, Jerry, a cranky old widower who complained about everything.
The four of them, weighed down by emotional strife, were attending a private seminar with the world’s most renowned spiritual guru, for which they each had paid $10,000.
“Why are you here?” was the guru’s first question.
Each of them responded in the same manner: They laid out their relationship troubles and said, “We have come seeking answers from the wisest guru in the world.”
After they had all answered, the guru responded, “I am not the guru for you. You have come to the wrong place. I have no answers for you.”
The attendees were stunned.
“But we just paid you $10,000 to give us answers!” Grant protested. “Are you going to give us a refund?”
“No refunds,” the guru said with a smile. “At least not yet.”
“What?! You’ve got to be kidding me!” the attendees exploded in anger.
The guru waited for their protests to die down.
“I only said I have no answers for you. I did not say there are no answers for you or that I can’t tell you where to find them.”
He paused until he had their full attention, and then continued.
“The gurus you seek are not spiritual masters or saints. They are not found in monasteries or on mountaintops. They do not speak peace to your heart, nor do they have all the answers.
“The greatest gurus in the world are the people who blow your cover — who trigger your emotional defenses and expose you for who you really are underneath the masks you portray to the world.
“Your best teachers are the people in your life who cause you the most stress and anxiety, who spark you to anger the fastest, who hurt you and cause you to withdraw into defense mechanisms the easiest.
“This is why Christ taught to love your enemies, for they can teach you more about yourself than anyone else.
“Go home now. Sit at the feet of your greatest gurus. Learn everything you can from them. If you do this sincerely and learn nothing within one year, come back and we’ll talk about a refund.”
And with that, the guru arose and left the room, leaving the attendants speechless.
They all left outraged at the $10,000 they had just blown. But over time, they pondered the guru’s words and began opening up. They each decided to do what the guru said.
Grant realized he had left Janeen emotionally years ago by working far too many hours. He started seeing all the ways he had failed in their relationship. Whereas previously he had only seen her flaws, now he only saw her unmet needs. As he began meeting her needs, she reciprocated and their love was rekindled.
Michelle discovered that she was addicted to approval. As she healed that, she found that she no longer needed her boss’s approval.
Denise found that she was her own worst critic and that she was full of shame. As she released this burden, her father’s words no longer had any effect on her. In fact, she developed a deep compassion for him as she saw his wounds and the burdens he carried.
Dan realized he had been a horrible neighbor. He had never reached out in friendship to any of his neighbors. In fact, he noticed a feeling of arrogance inside himself — the he felt he was too good for his neighborhood — and he saw how that had affected his relationship with Jerry. He and his family made a sincere effort to connect with their neighbors and their relationships were transformed.
None of them asked the guru for a refund; they had been rewarded handsomely by their real gurus.