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Why “Trying to Heal” Can Be a Form of Spiritual Bypassing

Don’t get us wrong, healing is crucial. We all need it on our life paths and spiritual journeys. But at what point is healing toxic? At what point does “trying to heal” become a form of spiritual bypassing?

Contents & summary:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:16 – Mind-driven healing vs. natural healing
  • 1:01 – Avoiding our pain
  • 2:00 – Reaffirming our brokenness
  • 2:51 – Reinforcing the ego
  • 3:37 – Spiritual bypassing
  • 4:00 – The solution
  • 5:07 – Conclusion

11 thoughts on “Why “Trying to Heal” Can Be a Form of Spiritual Bypassing”

  1. First of all Luna & Sol, I love your new website. Thank you for letting me know about it. I am such a fan of you both…Your articles and videos are sooo good.

    About this subject matter:I agree to a certain extent but I think the idea is a tad simplistic.In my case had I not been as driven to get better as I have been doing, I would probably have given up and have chosen suicide as a way out. My drive, my desire to heal is what is getting me to get my life back in track. I appreciate this desire to get better and heal has no off switch and I have notice that yes sometimes it is a place to hide and avoid feelings,but I am now feeling and that is huge for me after numbing out so many years. I think one can be driven, but still present in wanting to heal. I think the secret for me is to not shy away from negative feelings and emotions, and just feel it. But holding space is not exclusive to the desire to want to heal and push forward. I think the trick is a balance of action and being able to hold space for feelings/emotions or whatever comes up that needs to be expressed and felt.

    Reply
    • This is an important topic to embrace, thank you. I watched the video and read the above commentary. I am in alignment with both messages. I believe that there is a cultural norm now that proposes that one is not healthy nor functioning well if they are not expressing the colloquialisms of the day: It is a choice to be happy (inferring it is not OK to be sad or unhappy; Be positive and redefine yourself – I AM X, Y, Z with affirmative statements that glosses over what one may be feeling presently; Shine brightly as a lightworker peace and love, negating that shining brightly through adversity is one of our greatest strengths honoring the pain yet being able to feel it while bravely moving forward with courage that shines its own light. This is the analogy that I use: If one were in a constant state of bliss, happiness and joy, it would be a static straight line. (This has become the “goal” of many that this is what it is meant to be spiritually ascended.). Yet, if one were in a constant state of bliss and happiness without contrast, the straight line of emotions would be akin to a heart monitor. It would be flatlined, or we would be dead and void of growth. A healthy heart and life has gentle valleys and peaks, moments of bliss and happiness, balanced with the contrast of pain and sadness. This is being fully alive, present, and authentic. (This is an analogy that I have coined in my own work, and prefer that it not be over replicated as a respectful request.) I believe that there is presently a heightened experience of moments of happiness and sadness, and other contrasting emotions based upon what is going on externally that inevitably gets picked up on some levels empathetically internally. We are in an incubator of heightened emotions right now. YES — feeling happy, blissful and in the flow is the most delightful state. Of course, one desires to feel these emotions. YES – the contrasting emotions of pain, sadness, anxiety and fear, are uncomfortable, often constricting. Yet, in these emotions there is insight, compassion, and connection to not only ourselves but to others. We live in a dualistic world. We are not ascended masters yet, free of the constraints of the natural world. We are here to experience it all. With that said, I absolutely, desire the happy free flowing moments more than the contrasting feelings. Yet, I have learned to honor them. My greatest lesson that culminated with the contrasting feelings, that don’t feel-so-good, is the concept that has been taught over the years to: BE STILL WITH THE FEELINGS – embrace them, ask them what they are teaching you, sit with them. I have challenges with this concept in its entirety. For myself, when I have endeavored to get up first thing in the morning upon feeling heavy thoughts, if I meditate, then pose questions, then SIT with it, it overwhelms me. I go into a state of inertia, depression, confusion. I move slowly — “seeking” that connection to the feelings, that all of a sudden, I am out of the flow with the rest of my day and feel pressure to then catch up. So I am not in agreement to SIT with the feelings – for the come crashing in on me as a ton of rocks. I do not believe this is healthy or natural for me. What works for me, is to briefly acknowledge: Hmmm. I am feeling a bit anxious or sad. Where is this coming from, what do I need to know or understand to heal and release? THEN, I get moving with my day. MOVEMENT works for me. I don’t allow the fog bank to cover me until I disappear for the day. I keep moving. It is there, a shadow that I am aware of that is near me, but doesn’t impede my ability to function. I keep present in the moment. I begin to move through the day accomplishing what I desire, pausing to notice nature, giving gratitude, stopping for a few 10-15 minute meditations throughout the day. Organically, that day, a few days later or weeks or months, BOOM, the answer emerges naturally without me trying to be a miner and dig for it. In the meantime, before the answer comes, I am living life the best that I can live it in the moment. I am not just sitting there trying to dig to find what it is at the source of the feelings, for I find this never works for me. I just loose hours and days of my life stuck. I believe the answers come when we are ready for them and it can not be forced. I really believe it is a balance between honoring the feelings of sadness, pain, anxiety, etc knowing they are there, but not dwelling upon them. MOVING through them creates energy and the e-motions will rise to the surface naturally with ah ha moments. It is a balancing act. There is great courage in feeling the heavier emotions and yet keep moving through the day authentically. Perhaps, I am not shining quite as brightly, but I am shining because the strength of my character and desire to live and thrive is sustaining me. During these times I focus upon a single mantra: LIGHT. It means three things to me: 1. Reach for the light to be grounded; 2. Be the light to navigate your way through the dark times; 3. Keep things light and don’t take it too seriously. Laugh. Smile. Be grateful for the simple things. As I say LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT, I draw the light to me. I may still feel the heaviness of emotions and vulnerable, BUT, I know that I am protected by the light and that what I am feeling is natural and real. I AM BEING AUTHENTIC. If someone says in these moments: ” How are you doing Anne-Marie?” I will say: “I am doing well, well-enough.” This is authentic. This is affirmative that I am doing well, well enough DESPITE any contrary emotions. I am not in denial, but I give my self permission to shine brightly through authenticity. AND I find even in these moments, just as many people are drawn to me and my light because they recognize it as an honest reflection that they can relate to as well. In todays world of Social Media, there is so much pressure to be perfect, to be happy, to have it all…… it is disingenuous. This puts so much pressure upon others thinking: “Oh, wow, there must be something wrong with me. Everyone else is HAPPY!!!.” I think, in conclusion, it is not about being happy all the time, it is about being content with who you are and where you are, and being humble enough to let this shine with all your joy and courage and authenticity for life. I AM DONE WITH TRYING TO MAINTAIN A CONSTANT STATE OF BLISS. It doesn’t exist. It is not natural. Our entire world and cosmos is made up of opposites. ACCEPTANCE is the path of least resistance to embrace the moment, keep moving through it, and shining your light as brightly and authentically as you may in the moment. Earth School was not meant to be easy. We are being tested. Stay courageous, resilient, brave and authentic. THEN YOU WILL ALWAYS SHINE BRIGHTLY NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE FEELING. Much love and Aloha from Maui. xx

      Reply
    • Aloha Shae

      Thank you for sharing. I agree with your message on many levels. I find that MOVING through the emotions, while acknowledging them, is a healthy, cathartic and authentic means by which to heal that is not forced. Holding space and moving through it can co-exist.

      Reply
      • Thank you Anne-Marie for this thought-provoking discussion! I love what you write here:

        “I AM DONE WITH TRYING TO MAINTAIN A CONSTANT STATE OF BLISS. It doesn’t exist. It is not natural. Our entire world and cosmos is made up of opposites. ACCEPTANCE is the path of least resistance to embrace the moment…”

        So well said!

        ~Luna

        Reply
    • Hi Shae,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and personal experience.
      I agree that sometimes mind-driven healing is what we need to push forward and give us hope, especially when we’re depressed. I think most people start off this way: it’s a goal and ideal we have in mind, and it provides the impetus needed to undergo important inner changes. After a while, however, I think it’s important to re-assess our definition of healing, as it can become something addictive, something that paradoxically makes us feel more broken and unhappy. So a person’s approach to healing is very much dependent on what level/stage/place they are in life, and whatever they do is right for them in the moment.
      ~ Luna

      Reply
  2. Definitely have fallen for the promised land of transmuting pain and unwanted feelings and parts of myself before! But now I find it really helpful to feel it as ‘being whole’ rather than ‘being or doing healing’. I have to live with myself for a long time yet so figure I have to get on better terms with all the quirks, baggage, trauma and embodied history, can’t really cut out parts of myself, just try and live better with more intelligent insight and kindness, and they do seem to gradually become less centre stage. But it can be hard to stay aligned to that, embracing wholeness for me comes and goes! I find that hard to explain so thanks for the discussion on here.

    Reply
  3. Aren’t we surrendering to life’s challenges if we allow the hurt to penetrate us deep? I understand time is a great healer which I have understood and embraced…but if were nearing 4 years after the break up of a relationship and 10 years post a traumatic childhood experience, maybe there IS something wrong with me.

    Reply
    • If by “surrendering to life’s challenges” you mean accepting what is happening right now, then yes we are surrendering/accepting life exactly as it is in order to see what it has to tell us. Time works best in healing when we are open and receptive to surrendering/accepting ourselves (with all the baggage that brings) exactly as we are in the moment because it’s only then that we truly face what needs to be seen and acknowledged within ourselves (rather than just ‘worked on’ as the ‘trying to heal’ mentally reinforces.)
      ~S

      Reply
  4. Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed to hear. I have scrupulousity OCD related to spirituality and one of my obsessions has been ‘healing’, it makes me think that I have to be healed in order to feel worthy, when the truth is that we are worthy exactly as we are, and if you keep trying to change things then you are just chasing something that never ends like you say, so we can just stay present and let it happen on its own accord. 💜

    Reply
    • Wonderful Romy, we’re grateful to hear you guys have such deep insights into the nature of the never-ending treadmill this ‘broken’ mindset can lead you down. 🙂

      ~S

      Reply

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