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Spiritual Bypassing

Spiritual Bypassing - the cancer of spirituality! We all fall into it at some stage of our spiritual Journey, but sadly, many never evolve out of it! The term 'Spiritual Bypassing' was founded by a Buddhist teacher and psychologist John Welwood in the 1980s. It refers to the act of avoiding our shadow side by using spiritual practices. As a result not actually diving into our darkness to heal and process our inner thoughts, emotions and behaviors. In today's world, we are told that negativity is bad, our dark side is bad and we need to be more positive, regardless of the situation. A common phrase used in therapy is to say that "we create our own reality and in order to create a positive reality we need to think with more positively". As a result the client then feels shame for thinking the way they do. We are told we need to act like we are above life's drama - but we are not! This practice of avoidance is what makes us feel; failure is bad, anger is bad, sadness, anxiety, depression and grief is bad! But this act of judgement is actually the avoidance of our spiritual growth! Some examples of Spiritual Bypassing are; phobia towards anger, emotional numbing & repression, blind or over tolerating compassion, weak boundaries (unable to say no), judgement or resentment towards one's shadow side. My personal favorite, the use of so-called 'spiritual drugs' to reach (temporary) heightened stages of awareness, without doing the emotional work to get there. The biggest one is the avoidance of physical day-to-day duties - like chores, family, community, political & environmental responsibilities. As we think we are too 'evolved' to be wasting time with human dramas. We must remember that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. Therefore, we must be present with our human responsibilities, equally, as we are with our spiritual responsibilities. Spirituality is NOT the focus of our light! But the dance between our dark side and out light side. Spirituality does not discriminate between the two. But creates space for both dark & light to co-exist. Darkness is not the enemy of our light! In its simplest explanation, darkness leads the way for the evolution of our light. The avoidance and resistance of our darkness is not a spiritual act, but ignorance of our spiritual growth. In order to honour our human and spiritual evolution, we must be willing to go into our shadow side, face our darkness, face our demons and take responsibility to DO THE EMOTIONAL WORK! Simply meditating our worries away does not work! Simply being more 'positive' does not work! Preaching unconditional love and harboring resentment, judgement and hate - DOES NOT WORK! DO THE EMOTIONAL WORK! Evolve your spiritual practice! Get ready to take a walk into your dark side!

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