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I’m a life coach, mother of two, happily married, and a facilitator of transformational growth. I practice my own unique blend of relationship-based spiritual psychology. I hope what you find here is helpful to you in some way. Always remember to Keep Growing!
Are you truly a positive person? Or are you “spiritually bypassing” your feelings?
Many of our personal development journeys include the awareness that emotions follow thoughts. We then naturally think, “If I think positive then I can feel good all of the time”. Well, yes, kind of, but that is a very oversimplified way to approach the complexity of our human experience and I’m sorry to say that this strategy doesn’t work for long, and is what we call a “spiritual bypass”.
Now, hear me out. I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t work on thinking positively or allow ourselves to wallow in negativity. What I am suggesting is that we really need to learn how to accept all aspects of ourselves and all of the emotions that we experience. When we only address our thoughts, we are skipping over the inner work that is needed on the emotional level.
We are divine beings having a HUMAN experience. It is erroneous to think that we will never have a bad day, feel down in the dumps, or get really pissed off, or that we’re done healing and growing and learning. If life is for learning, then doesn’t it follow that: we are here to experience the full range of human emotions? It is 100% natural and acceptable, for all of us to feel any/all of the negative emotions. That is part of life.
When we’re working on becoming more consciously aware and evolved human beings, a natural stumbling block many of us encounter is this skipping ahead on the mental level. We know better, so why go through the emotional pain? I hear you!
Here’s the catch, we can think positively all we want but until we learn how to:
Then we will remain stuck in an endless cycle of self-judgment. Stay with me here… Judging our emotions and the parts of ourselves that are anything but positive, happy, loving, etc. actually keeps us from the growth we desire.
When we try to think our way back into feeling good without doing our inner work on the emotional level, then we are stunting our own spiritual growth. It’s a lot like trying to keep a beach ball under the water in the pool. We might be successful for a little while, but eventually, life is going to create another challenge or diversion and the attention and energy that we’ve spent holding that beach ball down will be diverted elsewhere, and up pops the beachball! The unresolved issue, feeling, aspect, limiting belief, hurt inner child – whatever it may be, is still there and will not go away until we meet it with care and compassion.
The reality is even the most spiritually evolved and even the most “positive” people have bad days and feel triggered. The secret is that these people have learned:
The bottom line is that we must learn the art of acceptance, compassion, and love – with ourselves.
If you suspect that you’ve been in the habit of rejecting your feelings or forcing yourself to feel positive when you just don’t, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here are a few steps to begin shifting this pattern:
The first step is recognizing the pattern when it’s happening, and using the power of awareness to recognize and then to interrupt the old behavior by lovingly redirecting yourself.
Instead of judging yourself (or someone else) for being negative, consciously choose to be loving and compassionate, like you would be with a small child who is hurting.
Grab a journal and allow yourself to express your emotions. Pretend that you’re listening to a dear friend, or small child and allow space and room for yourself to say how you feel and why. Ask yourself what you need in order to feel better.
Pretend you’re your own parent and give yourself whatever it is that you need. You may just need to snuggle up with a good book, to take a nap, to cry, or be mad and punch a pillow. Allow yourself the space and the room you need to fully feel how you’re feeling and let the energy naturally dissipate.
This process can feel really uncomfortable at first and may require some practice. One image I find helpful is of clouds moving across the sky. Remind yourself that your emotions are like clouds and you are the sun. The sun is still shining behind the clouds, even on the darkest days. This too shall pass – but only if you can process it. 😉
Our feelings are temporary, but we must acknowledge and work through them. Remember, nothing is wrong with you, you are enough, you’re not broken, you’ve done nothing wrong and you matter! We’re all human and we’re all learning. The important thing is to get the lesson and keep growing!
Blessings to you on your journey!
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Life Coach and Spiritual Psychologist, Katie Shapiro, facilitates transformational growth for women and men worldwide.