Beware of Spiritual Bypass

A good reminder to be present with our feelings as we continue to grow spiritually, otherwise, we may find that our spirituality is taking us further into stagnation rather than evolution…

>>Over the years, I’ve become fascinated with the ways in which we try to feel endlessly good. We’ve gotten progressively more skillful in our methods: turning away from drugs or alcohol to alter our consciousness and turning towards things like self-help books, meditation, yoga, prayer, and special diets. In some ways, we are now spiritually distracting ourselves from our feelings, thinking that we are walking a healthy spiritual path.

This experience is called spiritual bypass. Spiritual bypass is a defense mechanism. Although the defense looks a lot prettier than other defenses, it serves the same purpose. Spiritual bypass shields us from the truth, it disconnects us from our feelings, and helps us avoid the big picture. It is more about checking out than checking in—and the difference is so subtle that we usually don’t even know we are doing it.

The shorthand for spiritual bypass is grasping rather than gratitude, arriving rather than being, avoiding rather than accepting. It is spiritual practice in the service of repression, usually because we can not tolerate what we are feeling, or think that we shouldn’t be experiencing what we are feeling.<<

~Ingrid Mathieu, Ph.D

Read the whole article here:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-sobriety/201110/beware-spiritual-bypass

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