In last weeks blog, I talked about Spiritual Bypassing. Are you wondering what is Spiritual Bypassing and where did this term come from? In 1984, Psychologist John Wellwood, used this to describe using spirituality as a way to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and our own developmental needs. When I first heard of this I knew I needed to learn more. I also knew I was guilty of using it in my life. This way of avoidance of pain, through spirituality is a way to numb ourselves. This kind of spirituality makes us ultimately useless. How does this show up?
Let me ask have you heard this or even said this before:
“I am praying for you. I trust that all is working out for you. I will send you love and light.”
All words, with no pause, looking inward for a way to help. Essentially just words and with no action involved.
These are just a few of the terms I have heard myself and others use as a way not to not show up and do the hard work that Authentic Spirituality requires of us. With Authentic Spirituality, you see it and sit with it. Victor Frankl said:
“What gives light must endure burning.”
Authentic Spirituality means you get in the trenches with people, you show up. You bring light to the situation by seeing the truth of the pain of people around you and you don’t look away. You don’t just offer prayers, or platitudes. Sitting in meditation, sending love and light isn’t going to cut it. You have to go to it, feel the heat of that light and enduring even the most traumatic, heart wrenching pain. Sit with it and feel the heat, let it burn everything until love, truth and compassion emerges.
That is why this week I am sharing the writing of my best friend. I am asking for a few moments you enter the fire, feel the heat, feel the fear, feel the grief. I am not asking that you agree with her, I am asking that instead of Spiritually Bypassing her in this situation that you instead view recent events from another perspective.
I am asking that you SEE HER!
“An open letter to all who think the ACA should be repealed,
I see you. I hear you. I’ve heard you talk about how horrible the ACA (Obamacare) is. I see you shaking your head muttering, “fucking liberal” if I or someone else tries to talk about how it has helped us. I have listened and heard your side about why you don’t want your rates to go up. I’ve tried to make you comfortable by not showing pain, by smiling, by acting like I’m tough. I’m tired of being tough, though. I’m in pain and struggling to smile. Can you see me? It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it? To see someone in pain. It’s much easier to look the other way, to pray for them. To say, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” and that only wards off your fear for a little while. I’m still here and still in pain and there is no cure. You can’t pretend to look the other way, I won’t let you anymore.
Just like you, I am more than a diagnosis. Just like you, I am more than a statistic. I’m Linda’s daughter. I am Vance, Royce, Brett, & Kenny’s sister. I am Mat’s wife. I am Trent, Xan, Trey and Ava’s mom. I am a friend. I am a pain in the ass. My life equals the same as yours, even though you might be healthier than me right now. That “right now” is a moving target, though, just like your health.
As humans, no matter what our religious or political affiliations are, we will get sick and we all will die at some point. No one is immune. Just because I have a more definite shelf life than you, does not mean you won’t need help at some point in your life. When that happens, you will need someone to see you. You won’t like it. It will feel awkward and you’ll be ashamed that you need help, but that’s how it works. Being sick or having someone you love sick is the biggest ego smasher, heart breaking and heart opening experience of our little human lives and it will happen to all of us.
Think of that the next time you don’t make eye contact with me. Think of that next time you see me walking with a cane or rolling along in my wheelchair. Please, think of it the next time you don’t see me because I’m in bed because the pain is too great to leave it.
Just think or better yet, feel. For the love of all that is holy, feel what someone else might be feeling. You’re going to need to be ready because it will happen. It’s part of life and putting in place legislation that pretends it doesn’t happen will not make it go away.
I see you. Can you see me?”
Do You See Her?
This is my best friend/soul sister. This is her family the people she loves and that Love and Need her. Any form of Spiritual Bypassing may make you feel more holy, more centered, more grounded, and even feel better but it is just that it is Spiritual Bypassing. You are making yourself feel better but doing absolutely nothing to help change the real facts of her life or those of us who love and need her.
Even on her worst of days, she shows up, she fights to live another day.
She fights for people no matter where they are from, the color of their skin, their religion, or who they love. She fights for YOU! Even on days when she can’t get out of bed, her bed becomes a safe place for those who need it to feel safe and secure in a world that can feel anything but that.
I encourage you to keep following this blog over the next few weeks as I talk more about Spiritual Bypassing and how to fully live Authentic Spirituality with action. If we say we are living from a spiritual place that means we have to step up and be ready to be the light and that means that we must become one with the fire of life; ours and people we do not know. We need to learn how to feel that fire, be burned by it but not consumed by it. When we do this, when we welcome the healing power of the fire, this is when we are brought back to our Authentic Loving Selves.
Love is a Verb!
It isn’t always easy, there are bumps and bruises, tears and laughter, throughout the journey but it is a journey that awakens within each of us our Love Warrior. If you are having a hard time finding your way through the fire or are even afraid to start the process, I am here to help guide you. Schedule your FREE 30-minute session with me below.
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