1) The Falling
You will find your teacher. You will discover that their teachings speak to your heart. You will desperately want to be a part of their community. You will believe this is your true spiritual path. You will sense that you never really understood anything till now. You will decide this is what you were born for. You will know this is Love.
2) The Commitment
You will take vows, formal vows, in front of the whole community, your new family. You will renounce all that has come before. You will give sizeable donations to the new building campaign. You will pledge your first born if you have one. You will buy the required ritual gear. You will wear the proper uniform in the proper color. You will buy everything in that color. You will get a tattoo in a language you cannot yet read.
3) The Betrayal
You will travel far and often, to be near your teacher. You will begin to notice that you seem to have near death experiences after being around them. You will ignore this. One day you will work up the courage to ask for something from the teacher. They will tell you they need to get to know you better. They will not give you a timeline for this. Instead they will require something more of you. This thing they will ask will violate the tenderest place within you. It will be the thing you shared in total confidence, your darkest failing and greatest weakness. Then they will wave goodbye and tell you they love you for the first time.
You will find yourself saying you love them too. You will not know if they heard you. Your heart will break. A line will have been drawn, you will have drawn it, here and no further. For a long while you will grieve. You will believe you do not know what has happened. You will blame yourself. You will be more alone than you’ve ever been. You will likely cast about for a new path and a new teacher. This time you will catch yourself. You will see what you really are… a spiritual junkie. Eventually you will wash up on the other shore. And your innermost self will know their betrayal to have been their real gift to you.
4) The Gift
Then someone will ask you to be their teacher.