“Authenticity is the highest state of being that a spiritual practitioner can achieve. In fact, in the years to come, authenticity will become the replacement for enlightenment as the true goal of spiritual practice.”
– Teal Swan
BEHOLD! Spirituality and Religion are now making headlines as one’s own AVOIDANCE strategy! Most of us turn to spirituality because we want to feel better, but then all too often spirituality becomes the tool in which we use to AVOID looking inside at our core issues. Then blindly, it becomes the dangerous bandaid that we use that does not allow us to heal properly – using spirituality as a basis for avoiding our psychological issues. THAT’S WHY SO MUCH OF OUR SPIRITUAL PROGRESSION HAS SO MUCH TO DO WITH US FACING OUR PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES. We must first be able to admit to where we are.
Teal Swan also describes this as “Pulling out a map while you are on a hike, and you want to go in a certain direction, but you are unwilling to admit to where you are. You’ll never be able to chart that distance of where you are and where you want to be. If you are unwilling to admit to where you are, if you are avoiding where you are”
In today’s society we have very little tolerance when working through one’s pain. With all life’s distractions and chaos we’d prefer to take a pill for it. When we turn away from our pain, we are ultimately AVOIDING and RESISTING ourselves, which guarantees that WE or THAT particular issue, will continue to POP-UP in our reality. Meaning that this issue will continue to mirror itself by becoming MORE and MORE obvious. UNTIL you have NO OPTION to avoid it.
Authenticity holds a numerous amount of definitions. However, the one of most relevance now I believe is that it is a particular way of dealing with the external world, being faithful to internal rather than external ideas.
As placed as a question to you “Without the incessant need to be right, can we begin to live our truth?”
Are we fully prepared as humanity to release our past conditioning into one that fully embodies the truth of all in that we are? Our feelings….To our internal heart, soul, and core. In our most purest expression towards expansion? Without the indoctrinated rules of societal, cultural, and even spiritual/religious conditionings that sometimes, can lead us away from love. Avoiding us way from our truth…..
It’s something that The Spiritual Catalyst Teal Swan calls “Spiritual Bypassing”, or as she says in other words “The Cancer of the Spiritual World” a disease that has run rampant in religious and non religious circles. Which is the act of using spiritual beliefs to AVOID your unmet needs, deep pain, and unresolved wounds. Which is a form of avoidance, which is a form of RESISTANCE. IN fact the SHADOW SIDE of spirituality….In my opinion; ANNOYING and LETHAL ways of being…
Each religion, whether it be Christianity, Buddhism, Hindu, New Age, Islamic, and even self-help can provide ample justification for living in total inauthenticity. They can all provide ample justification for one to avoid their feelings, and state of being, in what one considers to be a MORE ENLIGHTENED STATE. Even the famous “Keep calm and carry on” is truly a glorified term of spiritual bypassing.
Some examples of Spiritual Bypassing Include…
#1. Anger Phobia
#2. Exaggerated Detachement
#3. Emotional Numbing and Repression
#4. Blind or overly tolerant compassion. “Forgive and Forget”
#5. Weak or “Too Porous” Boundaries. Almost quite like huggin’ a cactus, yea?
#6. Using Cognitive Reasoning to Escape Emotional Feeings.
#7. Debilitating Judgements about One’s Negativity or “Shadow Side”.
#8. Devaluation of the Personal relative to the Spiritual.
#9. Avoidance of physical Day-to-Day life. I’d rather be meditating than doing laundry!…Really?
#10. Delusions of Having Arrived at a Higher Level of Being.
#11. Over emphasis and attachment to THE POSITIVE. To the level that there is a great deal of resistance to anything negative, “just stay positive”.
Every religious practice and spiritual tradition propagates it’s fair share of spiritual bypassing.
-Catholic confession; which is supposed to effortlessly “wash” away ones sins and alter someones negative behaviour.
-Buddhist pre-mature transcendance; Which is to act above and beyond the messiness of life’s drama. When the truth is one is NOT.
-Meditation is also frequently used to escape life’s unresolved situations. For those IN DENIAL of their personal feelings and wounds, meditation reinforces the tendency towards detachment, disengagement, and personal distance.
–The use of spiritual drugs. Can be used to avoid getting one’s hands dirty in the work when looking at ones personal issues. It is easier to spend time in an altered state of consciousness than to spend time facing one’s pain.
There is a HUGE difference between being authentically positive than forcing positivity to AVOID what is actually being experienced on a soul level.
Earlier I mentioned that I believe spiritual bypassing to be LETHAL, now let me explain….
Spirituality is a concept that is meant to bring wholeness in and of yourself. When walking the path of spirituality (which is intended to be a path of integration) one could walk on a “split” idea of what this path is meant to be…a division between where you are, and where you think you should be. Lying to ourself and deluding ourselves, living through the eyes of a projected false self. We cannot heal unless we can admit to where we truly are. Almost like breaking your arm and being unwilling to admit that, that just indeed happened. Placing a band-aid over a compound fracture, and then trying to continue functioning the same. Could you imagine the level of danger that would come to someone who did that?
Spiritual bypassing does the SAME THING yet on an emotional level, that a compound fracture does on a physical level.
We need to take time to move through, to heal, to transcend our emotional pain and unresolved wounds in order to move forward emotionally. In the same way that we need to face that our arm is broken, reset the bone, and allow our arm to heal, in order to move forward physically.
Often our Spiritual Identity will cover up that deep down we have IMMENSE insecurities. Because we have an idea about how a spiritual being “should be” we are not taking the time to heal and address. We have such a deficient sense of identity – we are not our race, nor religion, we are ourselves and we should come from our hearts instead of plastering on seperateness.
Our religious or spiritual practice can be used as a form of denial or defence. Creating split personality disorder….
Here are 5 questions to find out if you are Spiritually bypassing…
#1. Are you avoiding the fact that you feel like you are deficient and not good enough…or bad…by creating a persona of a spiritually transcendent persona?
#2. Do you use spiritual beliefs to avoid your pain or problems?
#3. Do you (or others) notice that the “spiritual you” is different than that of the embodied you?
#4. Do you use spirituality to justify insecurity within yourself?
#5. Do you use spirituality to avoid looking at things in your reality that you would rather think did not exist?
Also, are you addicted to Food, Smoking, Drugs, Drinking, Shopping, Sex, Work, Distractions and focusing on others? These are often ways we turn to bypassing to cope with our internal pain and suffering.
For all the texts and stories in the world will not save you from yourself if you cannot LIVE what you have learned. HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE. Know thou self and break the cycle.
This translates deeper – beyond me. Look at what is happening in Palestine – all in the name of Religion. When on a innately human level – don’t you think if these “holy texts” were followed and lived correctly these wars could not go on. JAY Z even SAID IT in one of his songs (It’s called Beware of the Boys) – “Only love kills war when will they learn.”
We are human, yes, we make mistakes. But to some degree – how has blanketing ourselves with the false protection of a book, going to yoga classes or seminars (which are great tools by the way, but a tool is only useful if it is USED.), spewing out stories, spinning in avoidance circles and considering someone higher than us as our master really helped us towards achieving what the real reason we are here for is?
We are here to sort through the contrast of your experience…coming here to truly transform your unresolved wounds.
We must be brave enough to authentically express how we feel, brave enough to admit to what we want and don’t want, what we like and don’t like, willing to admit to who we really are and how we really feel EVEN IF WE FEEL LIKE WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE FEEL IS NOT OKAY. Authenticity is more sustainable than avoidance. Think about that…
To begin resolving we need to APPLY what we have learned to our lives. Here are some tips from Teal to begin walking with more authenticity
#1. We need to allow our traumas, wounds, and pain to surface healthily with love.
#2. Let go of the fear, judgement, and suppression of emotions.
#3. Make peace with being uncomfortable: if you are avoiding and numbing yourself then this is a “breeding” grind for other issues to harbour and manifest.
#4. GET TO THE ROOT OF YOUR PROBLEMS.
The truth is, we are all spiritual – simply just having a human experience. Each and everyone of us. Where Our spiritual expansion is similar to that of a butterfly;
“When a butterfly crawls itself into a space so that it can cocoon. What will happen is that butterfly will dissolve within that cocoon. Into a soup, which is nothing but pure genetic material. A butterfly had to breakdown COMPLETELY in order to become a Butterfly instead of a caterpillar. Not like the caterpillar simply grew wings.”
Marina Love is a Spiritual Psychotherapist and leader in the fields of Nutrition, Herbalism, Longevity, Entrepreneurship & Personal/Spiritual Development. Marina studied extensively with The BodyMind Institute and has become an entrepreneurial power-house in Feminine Empowerment Medicine. Marina offers Goddess Circles, Cacao Ceremonies and Individual therapy sessions & Programs in addition to her projects Goddesspreneur Academy, Love Movement, Guiltless Chocolates & Goddess Beauty. Her heart’s mission is to holistically empower women by all means possible in the spirit of sisterhood, non-competition, embracing the Goddess within and holding space for surrender.