Spiritual bypassing is an attempt at pain management. It’s like any other strategy or addiction that we mistakenly perceive as holding the key to our emotional relief or “happiness” (even though it may work for a little bit in the short term).
The thing is, when we use “spirituality” as a rescue from our pain, we’re skipping over the very territory that we need to enter into if we want to grow in an integrated and sustainable way. The seeds of transformation will not sprout if we bury our anger and grief under false calm and “peace”, even though these seemingly positive emotional states can be so alluring when contrasted with the emotional chaos we’ve likely endured up until that point.
In my opinion, the biggest tragedy of spiritual bypassing is that the more we commit to the bypassing and disqualification of our experience, the more we’re actually abandoning ourselves, which likely replicates what we got way-back-when in our attachment relationships (which ironically is the origin of the pain we’re trying to cover up in the first place). Shutting down how we really feel in favour of the “spiritual mask” merely creates an internal environment of secrecy…….and shame thrives in secrecy. There, we can beat ourselves up all day and no one will know……no one but us. Where does this leave us? Alone with our pain, rather than in connection with others. And we don’t heal alone, we heal in relationship.
So let’s work on reconnecting with ourselves as whole, integrated human beings, instead of attempting to mitigate our pain under the guise of “spiritual enlightenment”. Ironically, a healthy sense of spirituality will naturally arise when we do the work, look in the mirror and learn to show up in the world vulnerably as all of who we are……perceived flaws, messiness and all. We are all imperfect creatures doing the best we can with what we know. It’s time we honour that.