Are you feeling off because Mercury is in retrograde?
Are things just not in the stars for you?
Are you feeling that Lion’s Gate energy?
When you get out of your own way, will the universe conspire to support you?
While we love spirituality, and even indulge in a healthy sprinkle of astrology and human design, it’s important to know the difference between feeling stuck outside of your window of tolerance and blaming outside astrological or spiritual forces at work against you.
This is called spiritual bypassing.
It’s when we dismiss hard emotions or confront unresolved issues with spiritual explanations, rather than working through them.
Can we know for certain that astrological or energetic events aren’t causing some amount of chaos in our daily lives? Not at this time.
However, when we don’t understand our internal state and find ourselves in an anxiety pattern or stuck in low-gear in a numb state, we are working against our own biology. It’s like stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time.
That can feel funky, like something’s supposed to be working, but it’s not. If we don’t have the words for feeling “out of our window of tolerance,” it can seem random and like outside forces are working upon us.
Spiritual bypassing acts as a form of defense mechanism. It protects us from things that seem too painful to deal with, but this protection comes at a cost. Ignoring or avoiding the issue can make stress worse in the long-term and make the problem more difficult to solve later on as it merely glosses over a problem, leaving it to fester without any true resolution.
Examples of Spiritual Bypassing
Spiritual bypassing can sometimes be difficult to spot because it is often very subtle. Let’s look at a couple of examples to make this phenomenon more apparent:
- Following the death of a loved one, people tell surviving relatives that the deceased is “in a better place” and that it was “all part of God’s plan.”
- A woman is angry and upset about something that someone else has done. When she tries to share her feelings, her friends tell her to stop being so negative, it’s not that bad.
- A relative regularly crosses boundaries and behaves in ways that are hurtful to other family members. Rather than confront this behavior, those who have been harmed feel that they need to repress their anger and pray about it.
Recognizing Spiritual Bypassing
Spiritual bypassing isn’t all bad, however, it has been created as a crutch so we don’t have to feel our deep feelings. Be sure to check in with yourself and see if you find these in your everyday speech.
If you do, is there a way to direct attention to the actual feeling and acknowledge it for what it is? Disappointment, fear, sadness, anger. Feelings are valid and here to help us process events. Without our feelings, we don’t know how or what to make of the world around us.
If you say these things, you might be engaging in spiritual bypassing:
- “Everything happens for a reason.”
- “Look on the bright side.”
- “The universe works in mysterious ways.”
- “I’m acting like such a Scorpio/Leo/Cancer/etc.”
- “It was for the best.”
- “It was a blessing in disguise.”
- “Good vibes only!”
Before resorting to platitudes, ask yourself who the comment is really helping. Is it really giving someone comfort or insight, or is it just a way of dismissing a difficult situation so that you/they can feel better?
By now you have the lexicon to know when you’re feeling up or down for any length of time, and are developing skills to bring you back in and out of regulation easily.
Continue to look at the way you, and those around you, speak. Does your language invite more discovery and self-exploration?