Spiritual bypassing is a phrase first used by psychologist John Weldwood to describe the practice of using spiritual principles and practices to avoid dealing with our evolving human development, unresolved issues, and painful feelings.
Here are some signs that help identify the process of Spiritual By-passing
Emotional numbing/suppression/repression masquerading as detachment
This includes all attempts to side step emotions with employment of spiritual concepts espoused in snappy epithets and phrases.
Over stressed focus on being positive
With the advent of literature/research on positivity there has been the rise of an almost obsessive/addictive attempt to remain positive with a resultant undertow of both control and avoidance. There is a lot to be said for a truly positive state or approach, but not when it is used as an escape hatch to fully owning, healing and living our complex psycho-spiritual selves. Through developing emotional intelligence and a true capacity for real emotion we open to the possibility of authentic spiritual embodiment that cannot occur with a bypass.
This area involves many hazards for us, but specifically in spiritual bypassing it appears often as ill-informed or overly tolerant compassion. True compassion it turns out is the result of a process of occupying our authentic selves more fully. It is not simply a get out of jail free card that allows misbehavior and trampling of another’s being.
Incapacitating assessment about our negative side or traits
We are human and emotions are part and parcel of who we are! Learning how to manage, express and release what does not serve us in terms of negativity is more the goal than erasing our feelings. There are times that emotions are a signal to us, contain valuable information that helps us to grow both within ourselves and within relationships.
Judging our humanness to be less valuable that our soul or spirit
Our human vehicle is a container for our spirit. It is different but no less valuable.
Delusions of being on a “higher plane”
Truth is the way to our authentic selves, not deception of any kind. It is the lies we tell ourselves without even knowing they are lies that may create our biggest blocks to embracing the fullness of our spiritual nature.