5 INSIGHTS ON SPIRITUAL BYPASSING
- Spiritual bypassing is when you put a spiritual spin on a “negative” experience to avoid uncomfortable feelings. We judge something—a feeling or event—to be “non-spiritual”, so we gloss over it to get to the “positive” part.
- Before we jump to find the “gift in the pain”, we have to face the pain in the gift. Until your feelings are addressed and integrated, you can’t come into balance.
- Spiritual bypassing can make it look like we’re taking the high road. Not stopping to be angry or disappointed. Noble, right? But the real spiritual work is to wade through the muck of dark emotions, and STILL choose Forgiveness or Compassion.
- Pretending to be harmonious actually takes us out of our hearts. It seems ironic. What we think we’re doing in order to be more pleasant or positive actually creates more separation. Fake love is… fake.
- The most harmful part of spiritual bypassing could be that it categorizes everything as either “spiritual” or “non-spiritual”. And that’s like saying only some of us are divine and others are not. Or that only some of our feelings deserve recognition, while the rest should be relegated. It’s heartbreaking.
Suppressing and condemning our feelings create chaos and pain. Everything under the sun—including our rage and discrimination—wants our loving attention. This is the practice of consciousness: to observe all that’s arising within us. When we avoid our pain and our perceived shortcomings, we’re delaying our awakening.
A short spiritual bypass + relief story:
I felt guilty that I was resenting a friend for being such a drag during their dark phase. I was feeling super non-spiritual and shamey about it.
But because I wanted to be an endlessly patient, yogic, and evolved friend, I “acted” endlessly patient. Of course extending patience to another person is what Love does. But telling yourself that you only feel light about the heavy lifting is just self-deception.
So I had a confessional talk with myself while loading the dishwasher one night. You know the kind, domesticity as introspection. And without any rancor toward my suffering friend, because I so truly Love with them, I turned my patience on to myself and admitted, This no-fun sh*t was wearing me dowwwn.
I told my secret to myself—with Compassion.
And instead of feeling more guilt, I felt a surge of relief—and Love—for myself AND my friend. And that wave of energy helped me to resolve to keep Loving my friend through what they needed to be loved through.
Self Compassion melts spiritual bypassing every time. And it flows outward to others. Directly.