Here’s why I don’t rush to ‘fix’ or ‘change’ my feelings anymore…instead I do my best to get curious and be with what is emerging.
I do recognize that this perspective may be controversial, and I’m okay with that. I simply ask you to take what you need and leave the rest. There are many paths that bring us closer to our innate Goodness and Godness!
For a long time, when I would experience something that brought up uncomfortable feelings, I typically would start chanting a tone inwardly to lift my energy or silently pray or start focusing on something else – all as a way to shift my feeling state.
In fact, I spent a lot of time trying to feel better than I actually did or would do my best to manage myself, all out of fear that I would slip into an emotional abyss of sorrow or depression.
What I didn’t know at the time, is that I was using spiritual principles to actually bypass parts of my inner emotional life, because I didn’t know it was important to create a healthy relationship with ALL my feelings.
This can be tricky…on one hand, there are many, many incredible and life-affirming gifts to be found within spiritual wisdom practices.
Annnnd, it can also be a slippery slope for those of us with a trauma historywho have yet to do the integration work to create safety in our bodies, which supports our brain in processing imbedded traumas, without getting stuck in the feelings.
When our brain has had sufficient experiences that allow us to open the neural networks that contain painful memories and experience a deep integration and healing, we truly transform.
The science behind this is found within the phenomenon of “memory reconsolidation”, a fancy name for a protein process that occurs in the brain, discovered just over 20 years ago, that actually allows the neural nets to reshape around new healing experiences. This occurs through a very specific neurobiological process, which earlier this year, I became certified in.
Before this important discovery, western psychology didn’t know how to actually ‘open’ these networks and instead would just layer on new skills (mindfulness, affirmation or self talk) to ‘layer cake’ these old feelings, with the hopes of mitigating the distress of the old experiences that are in fact, our “triggers”.
The truth is, just like many ways we learn to cope with hard things, spiritual bypass can be another incredible adaptive response we turn towards until we are ready to do the deeper integration work.
Anyhow, the reason why this matters is because when we truly feel a sense of belonging, safety and connection, that comes from a regulated brain and nervous system, we don’t have to work so hard to manage our feelings and experiences.
6 SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL BYPASS
I share this for the tender hearts that are deeply committed to their healing journey, that have gone through tough early experiences, and perhaps have been using these approaches and aren’t really experiencing the results that are hoped for. *If you have a mental health diagnosis that uses CBT and other methods to manage your condition, please disregard this, as this message may not apply to you.
It’s not that we want to get stuck in feeling challenging emotions, not at all, however, these feelings are here for a reason, pointing us in a direction and our innate wisdom is guiding this whole process.
It is our job, and honor, to learn to attune to our innermost world and tend to the hidden hurts that bubble up with curiosity and caring, so we can truly heal and move on.