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What is Spiritual Bypassing & Why Is It Dangerous?

Spiritual bypassing happens when we use spiritual concepts to sidestep authentic healing. One way this happens is when we create a false sense of enlightenment, which is harmful to the soul. 

What Is Spiritual Bypassing?

Spiritual bypassing is when we use spiritual practices to compensate for true soul healing and restoration. 

Utilizing spiritual practices and teachings to cover up our issues, such as low self-esteem, financial ramifications, constant and chronic relationship issues, and not dealing with fears, are some signs of spiritual bypassing.

Our egos play a large part in spiritual bypassing.

Spiritual bypassing is also a defense mechanism that creates a false sense of truth so we don’t deal with our problems, and then we can blame others for the way we conduct our lives. 

Origins and Definition of Spiritual Bypassing

The term was first coined by a transpersonal psychotherapist named John Welwood in his book Toward a Psychology of Awakening.

According to Welwood, spiritual bypassing is using spiritual ideas and practices to avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and other traumas.

The Dangers of Spiritual Bypassing

One of the negative side effects of spiritual bypassing is that we deny ourselves the true and authentic self-love and compassion we need to resolve our issues and to heal.

This form of defense mechanism we put into place creates a wall that separates us from our emotions.

It’s important to note when we avoid healing the traumas in our lives, we will carry them over into our future lives. This means that our traumas and dramas build up within our soul energy over and over until we properly heal and deal with them.

It also can mean that we reincarnate with pieces of our soul missing, and we need to work on retrieving those soul elements.

Doing the hard work now pays off for an eternity.

Psychological Disintegration and Projection: The Shadow Side of Spiritual Bypassing

Common Manifestations & Signs of Spiritual Bypassing

Spiritual bypassing is a superficial element that allows us to gloss over our problems to make us feel better in the short term. Still, nothing gets resolved, and problems continue to manifest.

There are many signs of spiritual bypassing; these are just a few:

  • You are not allowing yourself to be angry because you believe spiritual people don’t get angry because anger is a low-vibration emotion.
  • Believing that you are spiritually superior to others.
  • Creating high or unattainable ideals of idealism.
  • Feelings of detachment that you don’t belong in here.
  • Insisting this is your last incarnation on this planet.
  • Focusing only on spirituality and not being in the present. 
  • Being overly optimistic in all aspects of life.
  • Projecting your negative feelings onto others. 
  • You are pretending that things are fine when they’re not.
  • Thinking you can overcome your problems with positive thinking and not doing the hard work.

Recognizing Spiritual Bypassing in Ourselves and Others

What is Spiritual Bypassing, and Why Is It Dangerous?

A common form of spiritual bypassing I see a lot of lately is when people use their spirituality to compete with others. Spirituality should never be a competition. “I am more spiritually advanced than so and so.” We need to learn to respect and honor where someone is on their spiritual path. If we were all the same, we would be robots, right?

People who have narcissistic tendencies are excellent at spiritual bypassing. They tend to tell you what you should be thinking and what you should be doing. Their focus is on others rather than themselves.

They also are not interested in another person’s healing and soul growth.

People who purport that they are spiritually advanced insist that all is happy and positive with the world, and if you are not, then you are lesser of a person.

The Role of Meditation and Mindfulness in Spiritual Bypassing

Meditation and mindfulness are important skills to develop as we embark on our spiritual paths. Meditating allows us to become centered and listen to our higher self and spiritual teams for guidance and assistance.

We can develop mindfulness through our meditation practices, they go hand in hand.

When we walk a path of mindfulness, we learn to be more present in our minds and life, when we can take in and absorb our experiences without judgment.

How to Avoid Spiritual Bypassing

Learning to be authentic in our actions and reactions is key.  It takes practice, and we need to be able to give ourselves the gift of time to pray, meditate, and become more mindful in our actions.

Embracing All Emotions: The First Step Towards Healing

When we learn to feel, we heal. It’s that simple. We need to learn how to learn and use our emotions as we continue on our spiritual path. 

Building Awareness of Our Spiritual Bypassing Patterns

The key is to realize if our behaviors indicate spiritual bypassing patterns. Ask yourself how you are conducting your life. How do you impact others around you?

Practicing Authenticity: Allowing Ourselves to Feel

If you don’t feel, you can’t heal. It’s that simple.

Closing Thoughts: Achieving Emotional Maturity and Psychological

Closing Thoughts: Achieving Emotional Maturity and Psychological Wholeness

Practicing what I call detached compassion is an important aspect of developing our wisdom and spiritual intellect. Detached compassion means that we can be of service to others.

We can understand and empathize with someone’s painful situation, but we have the wisdom not to absorb their feelings.

Our online course Your Soul’s Health is a good introduction to creating a healthy soul.