Stop Spiritually Bypassing and Feel

You can’t know what you don’t know… unless some lucky fissure occurs in your reality, and you catch a glimpse of what you couldn’t before see. This recently happened to me with the way I feel.

Last weekend I got to see The Lion King on Broadway. Oh. My. Goodness! You were all so right! It was absolutely wonderful. I cried through the whole opening scene – when all the animals come on stage – and many times after. I’ve got The Circle of Life on repeat in the back of my mind.

Such a marvelous show. Especially because it touches on so many deep human truths.

One of the scenes that really stood out to me was when Simba thinks it was his fault his father died, and he goes off into the wilderness alone. He is self-exiled and miserable when he meets Pumbaa the warthog and Timon the meerkat. These silly, peppy characters take him in and teach him their philosophy on life…

“Hakuna Matata!” which means “no worries… for the rest of your days!” As Simba gets the hang of it, he starts singing and dancing himself, pushing away the pain of his losses and skidding happily into the present moment with these two jovial chaps.

At this point in the show I turned to my friend Christyn and whispered “hey, he’s spiritual bypassing!”

Spiritual bypassing is when we use a “spiritual” philosophy to bypass what’s really going on with us. Instead of feeling the pain of loss and consciously processing our sorrow, we assume a philosophy or practice that allows us to not feel.

A few weeks ago, when I was feeling a fear of rejection arise, I saw myself sense that icky feeling – then push it off to the side in favor of choosing a better feeling thought. Instead of fully allowing the totally queasy I might be unwanted thought to be felt, I batted it off and stuffed a different thought in its place.

If you’re a Law of Attraction junky, this might sounds like a great strategy. But if you’re sniffing up the path of true freedom, you know that this is just another form of hakuna matata! That icky feeling ain’t going anywhere. It’s just being stored on one of the many, many shelves to the side where I’ve pushed my unwanted feelings, just out of my immediate vision.

SO, since I had this amazing insight into my own bypassing behavior, I’ve lately been working on changing my ways. When the icky feeling arises, for example, a feeling like I’m not good enough, I let it come all the way up and out.

It’s kind of like allowing a burp to arise instead of swallowing it. There might be a little discomfort as it comes out, but then it’s GONE! You aren’t storing that gas for later. You can now more consciously do something about it if you want to.

The last thing I’d like to say in favor of feeling is that when you allow your feelings, you are sending yourself a very self-loving, self-accepting message. You are letting you be you. This is pretty profound in terms of the amount of peace you can then experience. You don’t have to live in denial. Your whole self is okay.

And then you realize that all along you were the lion king and all of your family (plus the hot lioness you grew up with) want and need you back in your rightful home. Oh and you never even caused your father’s death – you were tricked by your corrupt uncle.

Basically, you were never broken. You were never rejected. You were just living in an illusion. Now you can wake up, open your eyes, embrace your history, and finally return home… to your whole self.

yeah I know, it’s not quite that easy. But letting yourself feel is a good start.


Lion photo: Tony Macias from UnSplash

*I’m @arielkiley on Instagram

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