Understanding Spiritual Bypasssing

Understanding Spiritual Bypasssing

Rev. Richard mentioned a therapist named John Welwood who coined the phrase spiritual bypassing. It can be defined as a "tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks."

Authentic spirituality doesn't suppress valid emotions just because they're uncomfortable. It’s okay to feel difficult emotions like anger, jealousy, and disappointment. The key is to deal with those emotions in healthy ways.

The work of self -awareness and spiritual growth invites us to work through hard emotions or to confront unresolved issues rather than stuffing them down only for them to rise up again with greater force. When we accept all the parts of ourselves and ask “What would you have me know?” we are on the path of healing and allowing our greatest teacher, the Holy Spirit to be our guide. We can affirm “I am willing to allow healing here as I am present to this pain”

Unity does encourage positive thinking but not at the price of ignoring our feelings in the present moment. When we sit with our feelings they can be transformed, it is magical. When we bear witness to another’s or our own feelings, it is a gift of attention and only then can the chains fall off and we can discover the peace and integrity within.

Here is a 5 minute video on this topic.


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