Tactics of Escape: Spiritual Bypass

Often when we have a lack of acceptance in the conditions of our life, the challenges we face, the emotions we don’t want to feel, the reality we don’t want to see, the healing on ourselves we don’t want to do….we face the temptation of spiritual bypass.

Spiritual bypass is a tactic of escape.  And one that does not work, really, because ultimately if we are truly doing spiritual work on ourselves, the truth always comes out.  The feelings always come up.  The issues become exposed and the dirty laundry is aired, at least to yourself 🙂 But instead of welcoming the clearing or healing process, we think we are making a mistake, because we don’t “feel good.”  This is where spiritual maturity comes in.  We are spiritually mature when we understand that we do not need to constantly chase down the “feel good” feelings.  That no matter what is happening, we are always connected to Source, pain and all, and that we can handle facing the reality of our lives rather than escaping.  And we connect to whatever help we may need in doing that.

All true change comes first through acceptance and awareness of what is happening NOW.  Spiritual denial occurs when we try to use spiritual practices, spiritual principles which are mental ideas or constructs, to deny and avoid our human experience, our pain, our issues, our emotions, our past, etc.  An example might be not “allowing” emotions to come up in meditation because we are supposed to “clear our mind of all thoughts.”  Or thinking that “anger” is not a spiritual emotion, therefore we must repress it.  Or reading spiritual books and gathering information intellectually without actually applying principles to the circumstances of your life (intellectualizing.)  Even going to many psychics until eventually the “right” answer (read: easy answer) is given.  Our egos can also get lost in our ideas of ourselves and our spiritual identity to the point where we think we are “too advanced” to make mistakes.

Spirituality is not a drink you can take or a drug you can ingest to “think positively” and keep all your real problems at bay.  It is truly a deep look at self and requires a good amount of honesty, self-evaluation, humility, and willingness to do the healing or emotional clearing work that is needed in order to grow.  That includes making changes in our lives when changes need to be made.

Have you ever wondered why some “spiritual” people are just cruel, mean, selfish, living in their head concepts and not their heart, or seem to make the same mistakes as everyone else, even with all of their book smarts, classes taken, gurus followed, daily yoga or meditation practice?  This is why….being spiritual or religious does not necessarily make one a better person or develop traits of character.  You have to be willing to have the courage to do the work that a spiritual direction CAN and really should lead you towards.  That being said let’s end this on a positive note:  if you are going through a spiritual process, awakening, healing, ego death, re-birthing, etc:  do not try to bypass what may be the difficult parts of the journey.  Welcome it as your teacher, flow with the changes Source is birthing through you, accept your humanness and imperfection, seek support so you are not alone, release the idea that you must appear to have it all together in your spiritual community, and use your spiritual tool kit as a way to support you along the path, not to bypass the beautiful journey that it is.  ❤