Don’t bypass the good stuff!
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. We’re deep into talking to someone about the difficult time we’re having, the shitty situation we’ve got ourselves into, the new heart break that has beset our lives and we get ‘ah well, life’s just a lesson isn’t it’, ‘never mind sweetheart, at least you’ve got a roof over your head, some people don’t even have that!’, ‘just breathe it out, just focus on the good stuff… don’t you know that if you continue to think negatively then negative things will come’. I had this literally the other day, so you know, you’re not alone.
What I would like to just shout out here for a sec is… this is BYPASSING, and it is CRACKERS and although it may make you feel better in the short-term, in the long-term it will do absolutely nothing for your sense of self, self-esteem, growth or relationships!
What is bypassing?
Bypassing in the Cambridge dictionary describes it as ‘to avoid something by going around it, or to ignore a rule or official authority’.
I also want to talk to you about spiritual bypassing; a term first created in the 1980s and described as a “tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks”.
Bypassing/Spiritual Bypassing is a way for the person who is doing the bypassing to create a momentarily blissful state by ignoring what is in front of them, or perhaps moulding the thing in front of them into something different to what it is and saying ‘it’s fine/good/a lesson’ whatever in order for them to detach from the reality and mask it as a better thing than what it is.
What are some examples of bypassing?
- Say you are struggling with your mental health right now because of feeling isolated/worried/frustrated etc because of COVID-19. Someone who was going to bypass this experience may say to you – or you may think to yourself…
‘What are you moaning about?? You have a roof over your head, everyone you know is fine, some people have it WAY worse than you!’
- Say you’re in a relationship, I mean you’ve been in a version of this relationship for years and yet the same problems keep coming up. You wonder why you keep attracting the same person into your life. If you are bypassing this one, you may say to yourself – or someone may say to you…
‘The problem is, men/women/person they’re all the same. They just treat me with such disrespect and I’m tired of it! How can they treat me this way, I’m lovely, I’d do anything for them… in fact I do, why do they keep treating me like this?!’
- Say you practice a spiritual practice like yoga or divination tools or say Buddhism or Tantra or whatever actually… and say for the most part, your practice is super inspirational, you go on a few retreats, you drink all the kombucha the place has to offer, you just got your first tattoo of a lotus and then the shit hits the fan. Perhaps, during one of your practices, you experience something really super profound, it takes you back to a past life, it awakens some sexual trauma that you’d held repressed, you suddenly realise the life you’ve been living isn’t for you any more… and suddenly it doesn’t feel all love and light any more. So you may say to yourself things like…
‘don’t well on the negative, just focus on the positive!’, ‘because I’m empathetic, I’m feeling all the emotions right now, which is why I feel shitty’, ‘I’m gonna go take some mushrooms and the out of body experience will help me connect’, ‘I’m gonna go pray to Mother Mary/God/whoever who is gentle and kind and they’ll help me’, ‘gosh these people I surround myself with are so negative and never support me in my dreams, I must find people who are on my same wave length only’
- You’re always struggling with money, or you can never seem to get the job you really want. Or are plodding through your day in your suit, working in finance, when really you want to be basking in the sunshine in Italy walking around museums and painting to give you the income you want. So, you may say things to yourself like…
‘well, creative people don’t really earn very much do they. I’m just always going to be shit with money, my parents told me that I’m really irresponsible and it’s ok because you know, they’ll help me out. It’s not like I can be the sort of person who goes to Italy and swans around museums in the sunshine! Don’t be silly, I need to earn some money – and you know, finance is a good industry, my parents are really proud of me, god knows what they’d think if I packed it in’
Ok, so these are a little exaggerated, but I stand behind them wholeheartedly!
Bypassing is a way to physically, emotionally, spiritually point a finger at absolutely anyone/anything else that isn’t us for the misfortune or difficult time that we are having.
What is the effect of bypassing?
For me there are three key effects of bypassing past the stuff that is showing up for you
- You are never accountable for yourself
What is one of the first things that we’re taught when we’re young and we’ve done something naughty? Own up to it. What do we usually do? Blame it on someone else…. Ah, starting young I see! But why do we do this? Because if we own up, we usually get punished…. The conditioning begins.
You are an adult. You have had maaaany, many experiences that have brought you to this point in your life. Some good, some bad, some ugly – but they are all going to make up a part of us. Some of those things, we won’t want to define us… of course not. But unless we deal with the shit that are those experiences (even the good ones!) we will never learn to be accountable for ourselves, our parts to play in those experiences and how to cultivate more or less of them!
It’s fine to blame your sister or brother when you’re 2 or 3, but I think after that age, even before that age really, you need to get a grip and own up to what is happening in your life
- You will never ever grow as a person
Unless you actually become accountable for your part to play in experiences in your life, you will never actually grow. I’m not talking about horrendous experiences that are so wildly out of your control – but I am talking about your part to play in bad relationships, people treating you like shit, your parents walking all over you, you getting into debt, you not getting anywhere in your career, you feeling like all you ever do is get moaned at by people. There is a reason for all of that…. It is you.
It’s bloody hard to own up to that. I still have a really hard time with it. But unless you are willing to see why the 28th relationship you have had since you were 14 has failed to work and you’re still sat there blaming the 28 people that you dated… you are going to end up in exactly the same relationship for lucky number 29, I promise you.
If your parents are still talking to you like you’re a moron – there is a reason for that. Not just that they need to stop that immediately, but that YOU are enabling them to do that. If your boyfriend is being a shit and talking and treating you badly and you are sat there lamenting about why he is doing it… apart from the fact that he’s probably not a very nice person, the other part of that equation is you. You are enabling him to do it. Think about it. This is why this exercise is hard and why a lot of us just find it easier to remove the blame from ourselves, but no situation is ever 100% someone else’s fault, ever.
Yes, it is super, super hard to dig deep into yourself and realise that you may be the cause of some of your unhappiness. But even recognising this and then doing something will cause you to feel lighter, happier and more content.
- The ‘enlightened’ state you’re seeking will never ever come
A lot of the spiritual activity that we may be involved in asks us to act in specific ways in order to reach an ‘enlightenment’ – whatever that may look like in your practice.
However, ‘enlightenment’ usually comes from working through a series of consciousness milestones in order to get there. By merely practicing a daily routine of ‘everything is fine, everything is ok, I’m ok, you’re ok, I’m not angry, I’m happy all the time’ is not actually going to work – sorry to break it to you.
Reaching Nirvana actually provides us with a huge opportunity to release ourselves from our karmic wheel, to step away from the ‘what we’ve always done’, to step away from negative patterns of behaviours and thoughts and to move forward in our growth and our journey.
Instead of saying – this person is absolutely not pissing me off because I’m so spiritually awake that nothing phases me, but inside you’re raging like a deranged bull; you could say something like – this person is really pissing me off. They are pissing me off because of X. If I really think about X, I get really triggered by that behaviour because it’s what Y used to do to me all the time when I was younger; and it’s lead me to believe Z about myself. I see the anger, I see the root cause, I see the reaction in me, I do a spiritual or non-spiritual practice to release it from myself and now a) I am aware of my action b) I am now responsible for the reaction I have just had c) the person I was pissed off with has lost control over me because in fact it’s not about them d) I realise the anger is bigger than this moment and I am doing something about it.
Only by working through these issues do we have any chance of releasing our karmic bonds and achieving the divinity that we so crave.
How can we change the narrative?
I am so big on narrative in our lives. Not, just to clarify in a way that removes our accountability – like, ‘only think positive thoughts, because then only positive things will come’ – that.is.rubbish. What I mean is – if we want to start making changes in our life, so that we live more fruitfully then we have to start changing the narrative on how we speak to ourselves, about ourselves, to each other and become accountable to what is happening in our lives.
Ok here are some examples on how we can do this
- I am a co-creator of the life I am living
Life is not happening around me without me knowing, life is not picking my paths and routes, feelings, emotions, actions… I am. I get to choose who I want to exist in this world, in this life. So, from today I get to choose how I show up and today I choose to show up as an entirely accountable, passionate, vibrant, authentic version of myself. I love my life and how I live it and the universe with conspire with me to make my life a reality.
- I am not the product of what people have projected onto me
From today I choose to stop letting the thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions of others projected onto me stop me from living the life I have always dreamed of. From today I will choose to actively witness my thoughts, my feelings and emotions. I will seek to find out the root of where they come from and actually deal with my shit so that I can be free from the binds of others in my life, especially from those whose thoughts, feelings and actions do not serve me.
- I am ok dealing with the difficult feelings/thoughts/actions because once I have dealt with it, it will start to heal
I realise that in order to heal and to free myself from my karmic wheel, I need to first deal with what is holding me bound. In order to do this, I will dig deep into what roots me to that karmic wheel. I will not be afraid of what comes up, it is merely showing me what I need to release in order to feel free. Through witnessing the memory, through understanding what holds me back I will be able to live free from the shackles of that pain.
- I am absolutely enough to live the life I want
I do not need to worry about what others think about my life choices. I do not need to be held accountable for the pain that others hold over me and lead me down paths that are not mine to walk. I am absolutely 100% enough to live the life I have always wanted. Even if it’s a bit scary and makes my knees feel weak. Because, through living a life entirely authentic to me, I will live my absolute greatest legacy for all those who come after me. Through living a life of happiness, of ease through experiencing my pain I live happily and free.
- I don’t heal what I do not feel
My life will continue to look the same if I do not dig deep into myself and use tools that are needed to move through my darkness. For a moment I will experience pain and worry and discontent while I work through everything. But everything will get easier and easier the more I practice self-awareness and joy. It is a daily choice, a daily practice and a daily joy to live entirely through my authenticity.
Easy ways to start to deal with your shit
- Take a moment when emotions rise up to take stock of what that emotion is – what it means to you
- Name the emotion – I feel….
- Trace it back to the very first time you were made to feel that way – especially between the ages of 0-13
- How were you made to feel when this first memory of emotion came up?
- How did your caregivers deal with these emotions, or make you deal with these emotions?
- Ask yourself if dealing with that emotion in that way served you?
- Think now – how can I change the narrative on how I think about that emotion? For example – I am so angry. My immediate reaction is to walk away and not confront it. My parents taught me that this is the way to deal with anger – do not speak on it. In order for me to heal this emotion, I need to speak what is real to me in this moment and share it first with myself to explore it and then to seek resolution with whoever/whatever gave rise to that emotion.
- Journal, journal, journal – you need to spend time with yourself. Really dig deep into what has made you feel the way that you do. Very often these emotions can feel debilitating. That is ok. You don’t need to be sweetness and light every second of the day, just allow yourself to be. I read this quote that said – you will not heal if you do not allow yourself to feel. Feel into it…
- The healing comes from self-awareness, from compassion with yourself, from finding new ways to communicate with yourself and others and from setting clear boundaries
- Create an action. This person/situation made me feel like this. This is how that emotion makes me feel. This is where that emotion has come from. What do I want to do about it from today to make it easier to handle going forward.
I offer energy awakenings/healing and also 1-2-1 coaching sessions on working through some of these shadow points. If you would like one, please reach out. A 90 minute session costs £111.
Many blessing to you
A session to work through what you are currently bypassing. The session will be conducted over Zoom and will last 90 minutes.