Spiritual Bypassing our suffering is incredibly pervasive in our modern society, which is why it's important to bring a level of intention and awareness to it.
I've been reflecting on spiritual bypassing. To be honest, it's actually hard *not* to spiritually bypass in our modern culture, you know? It's so pervasive, which is why it's important to bring a level of intention and awareness to it.
Just recently, a friend was telling me that yet another new relationship that she'd been very excited about had unexpectedly ended. This eclipse season has been rough for many of us!
It would've been so easy to launch into our *expected* spiritual platitudes. eg: He's obviously not 'the One'. He 'obviously' needed to leave to make room in her world and heart for the 'right One'. Yada, yada, yada.
Even knowing about spiritual bypassing, my initial, immediate reflex was to say such things. Ugh. But, I realised in time. Thank goodness.
Instead, I affirmed how excited she'd been about their relationship, and how it had filled her eyes with such joy when she'd spoken of their new romance, and her dreams for their future. I told her how sorry I was to hear that it had ended so suddenly, and affirmed that it must really hurt. She thanked me for being "so very understanding," and spoke of her deep pain and anxiety around the unexpected loss.
We spoke about giving herself time to properly grieve the abrupt ending and the pain, rather than just picking herself up, dusting herself off, and striding on, as though nothing had happened. Our culture has forgotten how to be present with difficult, complex emotions and grief. We tend to deny them; medicate them; distract ourselves from them via addictions, incessant scrolling on social media, and workaholism ... or we spiritually bypass them with "sophisticated" spiritual platitudes.
By creating a safe space for deeper exploration, my friend began to realise connections between her latest relationship loss and the earlier loss of her long-term partner. Being present with one loss was granting access to an earlier, unprocessed loss. It served like a portal inviting her inwards ... She was so grateful.
This is a simple example. But without mindfulness, our conversation could've easily taken the route of spiritual bypassing. It very nearly did. Being 'woke' doesn't preclude or negate our grief and pain, nor does it eliminate our spiritual work. In fact, our suffering brings a deep wisdom with it. Can we trust it enough to stay present and listen?? Can we, individually and as a society, again learn to navigate what the ancients called our 'night consciousness'?
To paraphrase Jung, for our branches to reach to Heaven, our roots need to descend to Hell.
Many blessings, beautiful people. xoxo