Great article on 10 different types of Spiritual Bypasses people use to avoid fully being with the painful areas of their life, that are often their biggest area of growth.
Some of the most common that I see are:
1) The positivity bypass (aka the bliss bypass)—The tendency to feign positivity/bliss in an effort to sidestep or rise above the unhealed shadow. Often associated with the ungrounded “It’s all Good” mantra”
2) The pragmatism bypass—That is, remaining perpetually focused on practical reality in an effort to avoid an experience of unity, the bigger picture. Often manifest in great success in the material world, but a spiritually bankrupt life.
3) The Karmic Contract Bypass—The tendency to attribute every single event on the planet to universal or soulular intentionality—that is, “you must have chosen it,” it was destined, it reflects your vibration, “everything happens for a reason”—in an effort to flee the painful, mysterious and misguided nature of many events and experiences. Those who participate in this bypass technique have a tendency to shame and shun their own experience, and to do the same to others where compassion and healing are required.
What this article doesn’t address though, is that if we aren’t to use these Spiritual Bypasses, what are we to do?
Be with your pain, as its the gateway to your spiritual growth.
“The only way out is through” – Alanis Morissette
“Trust that emotions are teachers for your own awakening.” – Judith Orloff
Be with your pain and discover what lesson is trying to teach you.
Once you have summoned the courage to plunge deep into its depths, observed it and discovered it most originating source, you can transform and integrate the lessons of your pain through cultivating the emotions of acceptance, responsibility, forgiveness, vision and faith.
Acceptance – Being fully present with what it is. Your subjective feelings. Other people’s subjective feelings. What actually happened in objective reality. All of it.
Responsibility – Whatever the source of pain, you played a strong role in allowing it to enter your life. You choose who you spend time with and consequently who you let hurt you.
Forgiveness – Other people are navigating reality as best as they can. Reality is complex. People make mistakes. If you can’t forgive them because what you believe they did was wrong and unforgivable, at least release your anger and vitriol for yourself. Let the past be in the past so you can move towards your future. “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain
Vision – If you want a life that is different than what you have right now, you will have to change. Change is hard, because in living life you have taken a lot shits. And if there were shits you didn’t want to deal with before now you will have to wade through them and clean them up. Most people are unable to change even if their life depended on it. They would rather go to the grave avoiding their shit.
What do you really want in life? What is your purpose? Really feeling that future as a real possibility is what will give you the energy to change. Then recognize all the challenges and setbacks you have experienced so far were signposts towards your destination. You thought last time you had the answer, right? And that things were going to “work out this time”. If they didn’t a large part of that is likely because you didn’t have the destination marked correctly on the map, or what you didn’t have what you needed to get there. Now you are one step closer to knowing what you need to do.
Faith – Just because you’ve failed in the past does not mean you will fail in the future. Your setbacks can make you stronger if you stay present with your pain and learn from it. Have faith if you’re putting significant energy on a regular basis towards the vision you have for yourself that you will get there. And that every chapter of your life if fully experienced and metabolized will take you farther along on your path and journey, even if the next chapter does not result in full realization — you are getting closer.
The alternative is to bypass and suppress your emotions and to continue to have the same unwanted situations repeat themselves over and over.
The pain you will endure by being present with your emotions will always be outweighed by the rewards of your growing soul giving meaning to your life.