"Fear not the future as it enters you before its time for the rest of world to see. It is the pain each visionary has to bear."
Several times throughout your lives you will have to change your friends. Mainly because your friends don't recognize that you have changed and refuse to see you differently. If they can't see you differently, you are better off making new friends that can accept the new being that you have become.
Many times the old friends say, in not so many words, "Oh come on, where is the old you, the real you." Yet they don't quite understand that the real you has always been evolving and even when they knew you in the past, you were evolving. But your friends may have mistaken your old package as you, instead of understanding who your are really as the evolving being inside.
In a way you can't blame them from doing this, because we all need to have something permanent to hang onto, especially with people we know. But everyone grows and changes, some for the better some for the worse. This is one of the biggest reasons it is hard for parents to let go of their child's image and thus their children as adults sometimes have to create a barrier, in order to morph into their new being.
This is also particularly true in the spiritual community, (for lack of a better term). They see you as a student and perhaps a follower, but don't see how you metamorphosed into a leader and a teacher. They may even question your validity.
Although I have some good friends, as few as they are, that have appreciated my growth, there are still others, who want to invalidate me. In fact I know of a person, that was never actually my friend, never knew who I was and certainly doesn't know what kinds of things I have been through in the last 30 years since I saw them last, yet they are hostile towards me because of some complete illusion of me past and present. In fact the things he asccuses me of is exactly what he was and still is.
So I say this to them:"Is it what I am saying wrong and you disagree with it, or is it simply the fact that 'I' am saying it and you feel it is my inflated ego?" But if what I am saying you agree with and simply have a hard time accepting it from me, then maybe it is your inflated ego and not mine that is creating an obstacle in our friendship. In fact, if you feel like I have no right to actually evolve and teach, what does that say about your own level of evolution? Why haven't you evolved yourself? Why should I be held back by your judgement of me because of your slow or nonexistent level of growth to change. Why should I wait for you to catch up while impeding or climbing over me on your way.
You see, people can only see what their own minds are capable of seeing. They cannot see above or beyond that level and judge others based on what their motovations would be if they did some actions or said some things, not based on what your actual basis is for your actions.
So each of us need to progress and not let others limited percetions of you keep you back from evolving. Sometimes this means eliminating or minimizing these people and move on. in the end, even if you are wrong, at least you tried and opened up more new opportunities than if you did nothing.
As the saying goes: "You don't have to be good to start, you just have to start to be good."
Besides, what visionary in history didn't have their detractors? Einstein, Copernicus, Galileo, The Wright Brothers, oh the list goes on and on, they all had to deal with even their own friends and family telling them they were wrong, crazy, unqualified, or whatever.
We are all vain idiots. The biggest vanity is to act humble. As Lao Tzu says: "Misfortune comes from having a body, without a body, how could there be misfortune." As long as we are human, we will be vain idiots and have an ego. The Dali Llama once said, "Some ego is important. If we didn't have some kind of ego, what would be driving us to evolve?" So to invalidate another person and claim they have nothing of value to teach, simply because it is 'them' and not what they actually have to offer, is a sorry reflection of your own lack of progress. Besides: A beginner needs to learn from a master, but a master can learn from anyone, even a beginner. And, although it is important to be sure, it is the right of passage of every master to claim their being so, in whatever area and not the opinions of others.