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What Is Spiritual Bypassing?

Written by: Lisa Tahir, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Lisa Tahir

The inner disconnection we may feel from our core wounded self fuels our confusion about knowing how to cope with and soothe our emotional pain when it erupts. We may be in need of help and unsure where and whom to turn to. A broader perspective of this confusion we feel can be traced to the consumerization of psychology, spirituality, and healing.

person hand reaching out sunlight at the forest

One example of this would be practitioners who offer services utilizing an aspect of authentic psychology and spirituality, which is then presented as a quick fix for what are often very deep emotional wounds. This is pushed onto individuals in our culture who truly have a genuine hunger for reliable ways to transition out of pain and into joy. Examples of spiritual bypass include services offered for what may typically be, on average, a very high cost by a practitioner with little or no actual professional training in working with the pain of others. Be sure to check the education and training, credentials, and experience of a healing practitioner especially if you are a survivor of trauma, loss, grief, and/or addictions. It should be said that to effectively facilitate the healing of emotional and spiritual suffering requires that the practitioner have both a proficient knowledge base from which to draw from and an emotional sensitivity to the experiences of their client.

I think that by doing our own inner work consistently we professionals can deliver services that support our clients in their healing so they do not become overly dependent upon us as their only hope. I have heard of practitioners who foster dependency from their clients by claiming to be the only intuitive channel for them. The truth is that you are your own intuitive channel! You can work with professionals to develop and enhance your own connection to that Source within you, but remember that you are your Source, and you can learn to tune in and hear the whisper of your deep inner knowing. You absolutely can.

Robert Masters, Ph.D., in his book Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us from What Really Matters, makes this powerful statement on spiritual bypass: "Getting more intimate with our 'lower' qualities—all those things that we may think we should be transcending—is not a particularly popular topic for those of us enamored with spiritual bypassing. In fact, it’s such a downer that it’s usually only handled with spiritual tongs, lifted and dropped into sterilized vats brimming with affirmations, meditational tranquility, and other uplifting strategies, as if there’s nothing to be done with the 'lower' other than converting it to something 'higher' (much like indigenous tribes in the hands of European missionaries)."

Healing is a circuitous path often taking everything that one has to navigate the road less traveled, overgrown with obscured branches, vines, and hidden vermin, making each step tedious and unknown upon what type of landing one’s foot will be met with underneath: quicksand, water, a steel trap, or soft grass and safety on higher ground.

My goal is to empower you to transform your life. I invite you to dive deeply into your mind to explore what lies beneath its surface.

The shadow self

What really matters is not so much the presence of our shadow side as the kind of relationship we choose to have with it. In spiritual bypass we choose either to have no relationship with our dark impulses or we cultivate only an intellectual relationship with them. Either way it’s easy to see how we can keep our shadow world in the darkness of our unconscious.

Deepak Chopra says in Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being.

"How easy and how commonplace it is to turn away from what we don’t like about ourselves, housing it so far below the surface that its cries cannot be heard, except perhaps as a distant echo. And yes its fists, its often tiny and so very young fists, continue hammering against the inside of our chest, calling to us, calling for us, calling for connection, illumination, love, and healing. All we have to do is enter what we have spent most of our life trying to escape or deny—a tall order, yes, but one that is definitely possible to achieve, step by conscious step."

Let’s journey together to the depths of our hidden inner truths.

Let’s allow self-forgiveness through empathy. Our dreams are what await us in a state of gestation, ready to

be birthed as us.

Learn more on self-healing in my book, The Chiron Effect: Healing Our Core Wounds through Astrology, Empathy, and Self-Forgiveness, endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and available everywhere books are sold.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and visit my website for more info!

Lisa Tahir Brainz Magazine

Lisa Tahir, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Lisa Tahir, is an inspirational podcast host of All Things Therapy, where she seeks to "Change Consciousness One Conversation at a Time.' Her book, "The Chiron Effect: Healing Our Core Wounds through Astrology, Empathy, and Self-Forgiveness," has been acclaimed and endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tahir draws her strength through combining the psychological with the spiritual, and as a licensed therapist seeks to help others in visualizing and creating their very best lives no matter what has been true in the past.


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