Spiritual bypass = denying our feelings and praying, meditating, contemplating ourself into our higher self, higher values through the power of the mind. Sounds good doesn't it? It's appealing to imagine we can escape the sadness, madness, confusion and fear we feel. We can rise above it. I'll have two servings please.
Here's the thing: it doesn't work. For the moment, yes. The preference for being positive versus negative isn't even debatable. But what we feel resonates in our body. We can talk ourself into a positive attitude. Sure. Especially in we're in the middle of something and feeling blah is damn inconvenient. But if we don't acknowledge the feelings sometime shortly after a jolt of emotion, deal with them in a loving and accepting way as we would a fussy child, then our body will have to bear, to carry the heaviness like a stone in our gut, a soreness in our heart. Over time, the stuff we've buried makes us sick. Not a pretty picture.
Today I'm reflecting - reluctantly - on this principle of spiritual bypass. I've journaled. I've read my current go to: Ascending With Both Feet On The Ground by Jeff Brown and still...I'm not having a particularly great day. It's not bad. Just...you know...meh. Unmotivated. Let me tell you...I am SO tempted to shame and blame myself. To deny I feel whompy. This is not the day for a mountaintop experience. I had other plans. What is that word...malaise. Yes. A general blech. I should/could flex spiritual muscle here. Do some sort of practice. This isn't the real me! Definitely not high-energy, go-to girl about whatever. There's gotta' be a spiritual fix for this. After all...I'm a spiritual being in human form. No slacking allowed.
Really? Spiritual? Only my spiritual highest, bestest, finest self? Always. Not the human part? Maybe marvelously....magically...human. But still human. Last I checked I haven't sprouted wings.
Sometimes I need a good talking to: Get real, Sandy. You don't need to work on your attitude. To grasp a spiritual vapor and ride it to the real you. This is it. There's a big difference between a positive attitude and pretending you don't feel what you feel. Loving myself is what's needed today...positively.
You have to admit that the concept of spiritual bypass is seductive. Gurus and teachers of renown say we should do that. Elevate our thoughts. Reach higher and be there...not here...rock solid here...in our mere physically human body...where things are messy and hard to control.
Others say just be where you are...be here now. That's spiritual. I'm a fan of this idea. At the risk of being seen as wanting in the spiritual realm...oh well. Sometimes you have to plow and hoe. Bypassing our emotions, and what our wee body is telling us, is the way to joy some say. Loft it. Lift it. Feelings are dangerous. Can't be trusted. Do not listen. That...is...a crock of it...in my opinion. The way I heard it, de-nial is a river in Egypt. And I've never even been to Africa. Pretending doesn't work for me.
So...this is a day off. I can sit with this feeling for a while. Just be with it. Maybe take a break from being meaningful. Productive. I. DO. NOT imagine the world will suffer from the lack of my perfect presence. So surprising I know. I'm not perfect at all. Sometimes I'm not even nice. Which tells me it's time to get real. Suss out what's going on. Love on myself until the shine returns.
I seriously think it's a mistake to expect our bodies to carry our emotions when we could just as easily give them an ear. Take our feelings out for a walk. Punch a bag. Scream in the car if that helps. Only today, it's not big feelings I'm loving on. Just whompy-for-no-good-reason feelings. Maybe I'm like the cat that feels rubbed too much and needs to sit in the sunshine. Who knows. Doesn't matter. It is what it is. And I'm accepting it without a spiritual fight.
So instead of taking a power walk like I would if I was pissed, I'm gonna give myself a pedi. Biggest decision...what color polish. Take a bubble bath. Netflix the PBS series The Paradise because it's lightweight, gentle and goes down easy. Sorry boys for the plethora of girlie references. I doubt you'll relate. For you it's more like NO shower or shave when you're cross as a grizzly. Am I right?
I'm giving all of us permission not to be profoundly wise and meaningful, elevated and inspirational, kind and giving. Anytime. At least for a while. Three days in the tomb is the outer reaches of mentally healthy-ish time to schlump through deadening feelings. After that, yeah, it's time to throw off the grave-cloth and get a move on. A few solidly loving hours of accepting where we are, right here, right now, changes everything....