Spiritual Bypassing Tendencies And How to Not Fall in This Trap?

The lingering uncertainty in the spiritual world.

Photo by John Bakator on Unsplash

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

In the world where we are living spirituality is a light guiding us all towards humanity, the ultimate reality, and the universe. The desire to know one’s own soul and find a purpose in here and now beckons us all towards this road — the road where everything has a purpose — the road where each experience is a blessing.

A spiritual journey, as we all believe, is subjective. Since we all are at different stages of growth, we all perceive spirituality differently and that’s why confusion finds its way to embrace the conceptions of spirituality.

Spirituality which shuns away all the darkness sometimes becomes a mask when we fail to draw a line between the real and perceived picture of an experience.

Spiritual bypassing, as psychologists believe, is a tendency to dismiss the hard feelings and experiences with spiritual explanations — the explanations that blur one’s vision in artistic ways. Since the uniqueness of this journey makes it hard to identify things, we (sometimes) unknowingly take shelter in spiritual bypassing.

Ingrid Mathieu, the author of Recovering Spirituality: Achieving Emotional Sobriety in Your Spiritual Practice writes,

“Spiritual bypass shields us from the truth, it disconnects us from our feelings and helps us avoid the big picture. It is more about checking out than checking in — and the difference is so subtle that we usually don’t even know we are doing it.”

The distinction is hardly apparent, as the psychologists put it, but when we turn back towards ourselves the weight of unfinished emotional business feels *too* heavy. It seems like anguish is whipping one’s throat, the invisible weights are pulling one towards an abyss. So when we turn back towards ourselves after spiritual bypassing, emptiness lingers.

When I started my spiritual journey, everything started to make sense. I found signs and omens, surprises and bewilderment, compassion and healing in every tread of my life. The void that had chained my thoughts started to fade in the background of happening and I started living a fulfilling life.

The problem of spiritual bypassing, however, continued to chase my peace and I wasn’t even aware that in this serene journey there can be such an invisible trap waiting to catch us off guard.

Darkness defines light, as they say, but spiritual bypassing — our uninvited companion on the road to love and healing — is harder to identify.

When we, as spirituals, believe that each experience is a blessing — the coincidences are the omens — the mistakes are the benchmarks of growth, we begin living life to the fullest.

The peace and serenity might tempt us to believe that as spirituals we cannot afford darkness, we cannot label something as good or bad for us but the responsibility of this conception is too heavy.

Each experience becomes a blessing only when we allow the energy brought by it to move through us. Feeling low is a sign of self-worth, it tells us about our boundaries, it tempts us into aligning our ways when we feel betrayed by life.

As I had been there, I believe to live each day to the fullest — to fill our lives with compassion for ourselves and others — we do need to know the emotional cascade of each experience. The glaring darkness of emotional pain turns into a tranquil sense of spiritual growth when we embrace an experience as a totality.

As Neil Blumenthal has said,

“Details matter. They create depth, and depth creates authenticity.”

Photo by michael joiner on Unsplash

Despite being aware of one’s spiritual bypassing tendencies, it remains harder to find a balance between spiritual growth and the subtle deviations from it because we are just fragile humans with limited perceptions of life.

We might fear that dwelling on darkness even for a little while may pull us out of the path but the little spark of spiritual light will always be our guide. Each instant is full of possibilities but we can only see them when we row our boats through the darkness of negative emotions.

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.” — Khalil Gibran

Every positive experience has its own way to enrich our lives. At the same time, every positive experience has a subtle and unfathomable downside. Being aware of these nuances can help us in cultivating meaning and growth in our spiritual journeys.

Spirituality is a lifelong practice, a lifelong journey. But on our way to light, we must ask ourselves why we are doing what we are doing? Whether to find a solution to blur the problem?

The reconnection to the essence of our experiences might be difficult but being aware of one’s tendencies is the first step to change.

Thank YOU very much for reading! I wish you a blessed day!

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A nyctophile, truth-seeker gravitating towards human nature| Writing is my way of unlearning the patterns.

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Fiza Ameen

Fiza Ameen

A nyctophile, truth-seeker gravitating towards human nature| Writing is my way of unlearning the patterns.

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