As a practitioner, I am an expert in some things. I’m an expert in Chios Energy Healing, the modality I practice. I’ve continued my studies in it and hold two certifications in it. I’m an expert in channeling, at least the channeling I do. I don’t know if I’d call myself an expert in the effects of trauma and trauma recovery, but I’ve studied quite a bit about them and know a good amount.
But I don’t know everything. Not about any of those topics.
When you possess skills and gifts that can help others, it’s easy for the ego to take over and start thinking that you’re the be-all, end-all expert. To start becoming arrogant and believe you’re the only one who knows certain things, and to trample over clients or other practitioners who disagree with you.
In yoga, asmita, which is roughly akin to what we might call the ego, is the part of you that simultaneously believes you’re better than everyone else and can never be as good as anyone else. This is the aspect that gives rise to arrogance and arguments. (I’m not an expert in yoga either; it’s been years since I studied it. So if I’ve got that wrong, please leave a comment to correct me so others will see it as well.)
No one knows everything. My guides, who are beings with an extremely broad perspective and wide range of knowledge, say that the only being who knows everything is the Ultimate Source. But some spiritually-based practitioners want to believe they know everything and, more importantly to them, make others believe it.
I have fallen into that trap in the past. Fortunately, my guides called me on it and reminded me that I am good at what I do and don’t need to convince anyone else of that. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. And I’m not in this practice to make money or receive praise and applause (though of course money and praise are nice things to have); I’m in it to serve and help others. Which is something I’m not doing if I’m ignoring what other people say and acting like I’m the only one who knows anything.
Having knowledge and skills, even at an expert level, doesn’t equal knowing everything. It doesn’t give someone the right to deny others’ beliefs and experiences that disagree with the practitioner’s. And it doesn’t mean you can–or should try to–support everyone, because there are some people with whom you are simply misaligned.
When you seek a practitioner to work with, be mindful of how they speak to you and the sense you get from them. Do they argue with and refute things you say, or do they listen and share their opinion without denying yours?
Of course, that only applies to things that are actually subject to opinion. Some things, such as trauma effects or gender or sexual orientation, are facts and aren’t open to “differing opinions,” so be mindful of that as well. If I, as a nonbinary human, went to a practitioner who said, “I don’t agree with this nonbinary thing, you’re either one or the other,” that would definitely not be someone I would want to work with. Nonbinary genders exist; it isn’t open for discussion or debate.
Be mindful also of whether a practitioner says or implies that you don’t know anything or that they know more about the world and how it works than you do. They likely do have a good amount of knowledge in certain areas, at least hopefully in the areas they practice, but they don’t know everything. Most importantly, they don’t know you as well as you do.
To some extent, it’s human nature to be proud and even arrogant about skills and knowledge you’ve gained. It can also be human nature to defer to “experts” or people who appear to be in authority. But in all areas of your life, and especially in spiritually-based practices both as a practitioner and as a client, you need to balance the natural reactions with the recognition that the practitioner is not the only one who knows things, and that no one can be an expert in someone else.