Spiritual Bypassing and Positivity
In recent years there has been an abundance of talk about affirmation, positive thought and creating one’s reality. This has all been wonderful to begin to shift our consciousness from that of victimization to one of empowerment and be open to engaging co-creativity. However there is a downside. Many mistakenly believe all they need to do is create a new habit of positive mental chatter and they will magically enter the Promised Land of Abundance, Prosperity and Perfect Health….with lots of stuff to boot! Unfortunately this is not how we human beings work!
We have spoken here before about the shadow and how it can work in the background to sabotage our best intentions. So we need to attend to unearthing the old messages that can be impeding the progress we would like to make with ourselves and our lives. In addition we also need to embed new energies of the positive within our systems–we need to be able to hold the frequencies of the new we desire.
In 1984 John Weldwood coined the phrase “spiritual bypassing” to describe how many were using spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with the reality of their situation. This lands us squarely in the land of wishful thinking and does not do anything to further our life situation or our real spiritual development. The good news is that if we work at the level of energy we can remedy shadow issues, embed new frequencies of energy and face our selves honestly.
Spiritual bypassing manifests in many ways:
Exaggerated detachment, numbing and repression (who doesn’t want to be distanced from pain!?)
Overemphasis on the positive/avoiding or overlooking/rationalizing reality or the negative
Blind or overly tolerant “compassion” (not truly compassion at all!)
Weak boundaries; uneven development ( highly intellectual/mental w/a lack of emotional maturity)
Debilitating judgment of shadow elements
Devaluation of the human VS spiritual nature
Delusions of having arrived at a high degree of spiritual development
Spiritual Bypassing, Avoidance and the False Promise
Typically the promise of avoidance leads to the exchange of acute pain for chronic nagging life long burden and deep unhappiness underneath a facade of pleasantness. We can do better and be free! That is part of the gift and grace of living in the times that we do.
Fortunately we have entered a time when the fast food spiritual mentality is beginning to wane. People are far more open to doing what it takes to become more grounded, responsible and ultimately radically alive….to really integrate all aspects of self. The previous posts on the root chakra contain some information regarding the root chakra and how to begin to unpack its messages in order to be able to mature, to feel secure, balanced, self soothing so one can grow and expand in a healthy way. As I mentioned in one of those posts, root chakra work is not glamorous or exciting, but it is necessary to be able to meet reality, dwell in the present moment and be able to healthily develop the chakras above it.
Our recording Relaxation 101 is an excellent way to start; Balancing Your Chakras gives you a method of working directly with all your energy beginning at the root chakra. The recordings that are a part of the 12 Keys series include techniques as well as background information about a lot regarding healing the human, spiritual growth and development.
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