I’ve been meaning to do a post on spiritual bypassing for a while, and since this will be my last one written in Sedona, Arizona, for some time, I figured what better time than now.

While I’ve witnessed many magical things occur during my six weeks spent in Sedona, (check out my blog post entitled: Healing in Sedona,) I am also grounded in the fact that the human side of our existence still exists. Not everything can always be positive, yes some people are just assholes, and well, at times, life does suck. Don’t fall into the trap of spiritual bypassing.

Spiritual bypassing is described as, “spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep personal, emotional ‘unfinished business,’ to shore up a shaky sense of self, or to belittle basic needs, feelings, and developmental tasks.” (Toward a Psychology of Awakening ~ John Welwood)

Essentially, think of it as one using spiritual beliefs, as a substitute for drugs or alcohol. You can read more about spiritual bypassing in this article by Diana Raab.

As much as we don’t want to admit it, we are all addicted to something in the physical world. Drugs, alcohol, sex, gaming, porn, gambling, scrolling, eating, traveling, spending, you name it, we all have one. But why would one turn to an addiction of the spiritual world? I can only speak from my experience, but I would say it’s just the intoxication of it. One can get lost in the world of meditation and yoga, only to find out later, that those wounds you thought you had healed, are still just as fresh. I’ll admit, for a time, I thought this was my way out. A quick fix, to healing the hurt. 

Integrating my past with the present, has been one of the most beneficial things I have ever done. It’s part of my life, so why would I run from it. Did being cheated on suck? Yes, but having seen it for what it was, I can now share my wisdom with others in the hopes that they themselves can navigate healthily through such a difficult time. Does heartache hurt? Yes, more than anything in the world, but having gone through my most recent one with-out a crutch, I can now only hope to help someone else ease their own heartache and pain. Do I regret binge drinking on weekends for nearly 10 years of my life? How can I? With-out having done it, I would’ve never been able to see just how evil alcohol can be.

The greatest gift
is to give people your enlightenment, to share it.
It has to be the greatest.

GUATAMA BUDDHA

Show them that feeling it, is actually the way to healing it.

All these little steps along the way, mold us into who we are today. It’s easy to point the finger at someone else. YOU did this to me, YOU made me feel this way, or YOU’RE the reason I’m this way! But by blaming someone else, you’re only hurting yourself. By spiritual bypassing your shit, you’re delaying your own growth and healing.

I sit with my thoughts every morning for thirty minutes. My himalayan salt lamp is constantly on. I practice yin yoga and do sound healing sessions. I go to reiki appointments when available and cleanse myself with sage nightly. I’ve just begun to feel the energy and power of certain stones. I hired the help of a therapist, get adequate sleep, eat healthy, drink water and exercise daily. But if I’m being honest, none of it can wipe away your past!

So if you ask me, “Ryan what does spirituality mean to you,” I’d answer you with this:

Well, for starters, I don’t speak Sanskrit! I’ve heard terms tossed around from time to time, but ask me what they mean and I’ll just shrug my shoulders. My fingers are ever so gently caressing the world beyond, yet my feet remain planted in the reality of what is. I never claimed to be Buddha, nor have I claimed to be Ghandi. In fact, I’m no better than you. I’m just someone who enjoys flipping upside down. Strength, patience and trust is what keeps me anchored beneath. 

It’s doing the things, that make your soul sing.
and doing the things, that make your heart ring.
It’s taking the time to be by yourself
and knowing when to reach out for some help.
It’s including the things that make you feel good.
The sights, smells and sounds, reflecting your childhood.
Listening to music that makes you want to scream.
Late nights on Netflix, with a big bowel of ice cream.
Anger that burns and sadness that hurts.
Happiness with tears and sitting with feelings that we all feel,
are just too damn real.
Am I spiritual, yes! Am I practical, yes! 
But somewhere in between, I’m just doing my best!

I think I can safely say, we all are just doing our best, in this crazy thing called life!

Sedona, Arizona

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