Sunday, February 1, 2009

Are You Experiencing a Spiritual Bypass?

Are you pursuing a spiritual path? Have you found yourself disappointed or frustrated? Either with the people or the outcome? Are you ready to give up?

Here is what I think is happening. There has been a great deal of interest in pursuing mystical, esoteric, spiritual mysteries. People have been jumping the band wagon of spiritual pursuit, both traditional practices and “commercialized” versions of enlightenment. What I am suggesting is that one needs psychological healing in psychotherapy before spiritual work is effective.

What is a spiritual bypass then? It is when you are not recovered from your psychological wounding,and you become involved in a spiritual pursuit in order to heal. Thinking this is “the answer" to everything that has been bothering you. The outcome often is feeling let down, one loses faith and trust.

The ability to trust, have faith and have discipline to practice true spiritual pursuits requires one to have a balanced psychological foundation. Without this you are bypassing work and jumping to spirit to find peace and balance. You have no foundation to support this work and it will collapse.

Here is one example of how this might happen. Early psychological wounding (first year of life) can result in an impaired ability to form healthy attachments. The wounding to early consciousness needs to be repaired in order to provide a balanced, solid foundation. Someone wounded in this way will attach to the people and practices of a spiritual tradition in a dysfunctional way. They might want to be controlled (taken care of), becoming dependant on, or becoming so disappointed by the humanness of their companions, that they reject all.

Do yourself a favor. Heal yourself in the emotional and mental realms first. Do not try to climb the ladder to the divine, until the lower rungs of your ladder have been repaired.

First make sure the basics in your life are handled. You have a secure home and way of maintaining your day to day living. Then heal your psyche.

Seek a therapist or group to work through any wounds, patterns, or beliefs that are destructive.Counseling can help you discern what is truely healthy for you. Now when you begin your spiritual journey, you are prepared to respond to the wonderful fulfillment as well as the disappointments, and frustrations along the way.