― C.G. Jung
As we dive deeper into the meaning behind this phrase we are asked to look directly into our hearts and lives and notice how we are intolerant of the 'work' required to
become conscious beings. This shadow side of spirituality materializes in many ways. Masters identifies the shadow pieces as, "exaggerated detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or porous boundaries, debilitating judgment about one's negativity or shadow elements, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being."
Take a breath my friends! Over the past two years I have been engaged in noticing my own spiritual bypassing escape routes! I for sure can raise both my hands and acknowledge how I have participated in these events rather than leaning into my conversation with life. In short, my teachers have taught me that spiritual bypassing is a lack of grounding. In essence we abandon ship in the hopes that we won't have to feel the magnitude of our experiences. We paste on our frozen smiles and quote positive thinkers, we stuff our anger into a quart of ice cream, we continue to chase people to fill our empty spaces, and the laundry list of behaviors goes on and on.
Spiritual bypassing might sound a little something like, "Just pray about it!" "Don't worry about it, you're a great person." "Everything will work out for you, I know you believe." These phrases often take us out of the intensity of our emotional experiences and in essence minimize the impact that life is having on us. We begin shaming ourselves for feeling anger and suppressing it. We gloss over our hurts and refuse to let ourselves get real with the cavern of emotions living just behind our hearts. We lose sight that as spiritual beings we are continually being called to bring our darkness into the light.
The best advice that my teachers have shared is, "GET REAL!" As you grow your container of compassion, understanding, wisdom, authenticity, and love, you begin to embody the human and emotional experiences of living. Victor Frankl offers us insight into this container as he so brilliantly stated, "What gives light must endure burning." This heat leaves us raw, tattered, real, and perhaps shaking to our very core. It becomes our journey to create a more intimate landscape with the happenings of our lives.
The work of Masters suggests that, "Spiritual bypassing distances us not only from our pain and difficult personal issues but also from our own authentic spirituality, stranding us in a metaphysical limbo, a zone of exaggerated gentleness, niceness, and superficiality."
I could go on and on about this topic, but in an effort to keep things short and sweet, I just wanted to introduce you to this concept that has continually been of great assistance in my own personal growth work. May you take in what jives with you and leave the rest.
May You Sweetly Seek:)