Many people come into our life to help us grow up along the way...family, friends, professionals, strangers. If we're fortunate, we'll also come into a connection with those who can help us wake up.
There is a difference between growing up and waking up. In growing up, we learn on our own and with the help of others how to move from a lower level of functioning to a higher level of functioning in life but we remain under the unconscious influence of the ego self. In the process of waking up, we move beyond the ego limitations and return to our essence which requires a specific type of guide to help us navigate the challenges of this demanding path.
While the journey beyond the ego self and back to our true nature is ultimately an individual experience, we need help along the way. Dante had Virgil, Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz had the good witch Glinda, the Israelites had Moses. If you are serious about waking up, it is imperative to move beyond cognitive thoughts and ideas about transformation and enter into a relationship with one or more living intercessors who know how to be a catalyst for your movement from your mistaken identity of the persona to your true nature.
There are specific qualities of a person that can be of assistance in your personal journey of awakening. First and foremost, this person knows the path of waking up intimately because he/she has been intentionally and consciously engaged in their own process...most likely for their entire adult life and quite possibly longer. They will ask open and honest questions to help you go deeper into your understanding of reality. They are not afraid of their own shadow, yours, or the shadow side of life...no matter how bizarre or intensely it presents. They will help you see the truth in all areas of your life. Wherever you are on your path, they will meet you there. They have the capacity to "see" you beyond your persona self...they "know" you already. They recognize the initiatory experiences you are facing and thresholds that you need to cross...and will offer guidance and inspiration for the safe passage of those challenges. They will call out and expose the lies, maladaptive coping strategies, and fictional stories of your ego self. They will be catalysts for the necessary movement from awareness and insight to generative action, They will help increase your tolerance for fear and change. And, the primary quality of a true guide is that they know themselves to be called to this work...it is their vocation...their gift to this world. They do not discriminate who they help because they know that all have the longing and the yearning within to return to their true nature...to come into union again with the source of life. Their ultimate desire is to lead others to as far as they have gone on the journey of awakening or beyond.
You don't have to be concerned about how to find a guide. If you are on a committed path of waking up, trust that they will show up in the right time and manner. They want to find you as much or more than you are looking for them. They will come from all walks of life and be engaged in living in this culture and society just as you are. You will know when you have met them. It will be a personal encounter...a personal relationship that will change your life. And they will know when their time with you has come to an end and bless you on your way.
While the ultimate "guide" in life is direct knowing and experiential connection with the Source of life in each moment, our journey to get to that place can be enriched and inspired from others in the human family who know a legitimate path and have walked that path themselves...or at least are ahead of us.