sunrise, yoga, nature

Spiritual Bypassing

I spent much of last year spiritually bypassing.⠀

And let me tell you, it felt good.⠀⠀

If you don’t know what spiritual bypassing is, my quick and dirty definition is using spiritual practices as a means to avoid difficult emotions or personal challenges. If you want to learn more, check out this article. ⠀

It first started with an hour of meditation as soon as I woke up, then two, then anytime throughout the day when things got to be a bit much, I’d go right back into meditation.⠀⠀

A Means of Escape

It took me away from my reality, pain, and any intense emotions. When I meditate, I sometimes have out-of-body experiences, but normally I go into a different state. I can’t really even put it into words but it feels like a different realm.⠀⠀

It is peaceful and serene. ⠀⠀

On top of my growing meditation practice, I would lose myself in visualization exercises, and reading spiritual books to see what else I could learn and add to my daily practices. ⠀⠀

I started turning to others to give me readings or guidance that they had accessed, buying crystals, anything that could keep me in what I call “out there” .⠀⠀

I also focused a lot of energy on staying as high vibe or positive as possible. This is a concept that has been growing and while I can manifest very quickly, I can got caught up in the idea that I have to always be on. To always be joyful and to reject or suppress negative emotions, especially anger.

But those negative emotions, which for me were anger, sadness, frustration and the problems and memories that I was trying to escape didn’t actually go away. ⠀⠀

They waited just outside the door. And then they would rear their heads at any point sending me right back into the need to escape. ⠀⠀

zen, garden, meditation

In my humble opinion, there are many ideas and practices out there that encourage spiritual bypassing. A quick side note is that these practices and ideas are actually very useful, but like everything, there are light and shadow sides.

Ideals such as “what you focus on grows” or “positive vibes only” are the most common things that I see.

These are true and great but the dark side of them are that they can make you feel less than if you find yourself going down rabbit holes OR you will push negative experiences or feelings down to continue to keep your high-vibe.

The Turning Point

I don’t know at what point a light switch turned on and I realized this wasn’t healthy or sustainable.⠀⠀

With a growing business, it isn’t as doable to go into meditation in the middle of the day. ⠀⠀

I learned that I had to actually face what I had been running from in order to go higher, grow, evolve.⠀⠀

While I believe that we are spiritual beings taking human form, I believe it’s necessary to acknowledge the two.⠀⠀

To sit with those emotions we have labelled as wrong.⠀⠀

To face those problems we would rather avoid.⠀⠀

I sought and continue to seek support from coaches, therapists, and to express myself, and to learn more about integration. ⠀⠀

Spiritual bypass became a coping mechanism for me. ⠀⠀

So it’s definitely a process. ⠀⠀

Uncomfortable in many ways.⠀⠀

Do I still find myself escaping life through spiritual practices? 💯 ⠀⠀

Does it feel good when I do? Yes!⠀⠀

But in my quest to live fully, I want to experience life in both my human and in spirit.⠀⠀

Acknowledging the Human and Spirit

Don’t get me wrong. I still meditate in the morning and before falling asleep, I still read and study spirituality, but the intention is different. I feel more healthier spiritually and emotionally and much more supported. And I am taking the time to get to know those parts of me that I was trying to avoid and the part of me that wanted to stay in meditation all day.

I can see and appreciate that those parts are trying to keep me safe. But this isn’t the approach to life that feels the best to me.

If this resonates with you, let me know your thoughts.