In 2004, a wonderful, powerful documentary titled “What the Bleep Do We Know?” emerged on the scene, combining quantum physics and spirituality while introducing the concept many mystics have always believed: Our Thoughts Create Our Reality. The film beautifully illustrated how the brain operates and how what we focus on tends to gather matter to it and manifest into physical reality. The New Age movement took off with this information and the public was hungry for more. The book, The Secret, came out in 2006, expanding on the teachings of Esther Hicks and channeled information from an energy known as Abraham. It promoted Ask, Believe, and Receive, encouraging readers to focus on the positive through a state of gratitude.
Here’s the problem: people are avoiding thoughts they view as negative in an attempt to stay in “love and light”, but it’s not authentic. Even worse, people are judging others if they have a “bad experience” and determining that they must have done something to draw it to themselves, therefore, they have failed in “thinking positively enough” and are somehow being punished by the Universe.
I call bullshit.
I’ve heard from so many people who try to catch themselves being “negative” and quickly shift into gratitude without acknowledging the actual hurt, pain, grief, despair, or disappointment they are feeling. We need to feel our feelings. Our feelings are our emotional guidance system that tell us if something is out of alignment for us. If we ignore them or gloss over them, we are missing important clues about our experience. This is called spiritual bypassing.
Spiritual Bypassing is “a term coined by psychologist John Welwood in 1984 and is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs.” (Robert Augustus Masters, PhD Spiritual Bypassing-When Spirituality Disconnects Us From What Really Matters) Described as a “very persistent shadow of spirituality”, it is truly a numbing agent used to avoid pain or so-called negative feelings and emotions. Many who subscribe to an Attitude of Gratitude believe that they are somehow elevated in consciousness or more spiritual than others because they only think positive thoughts. This shows complete immaturity, a lack of true, grounded-in-the-body spiritual growth, and a tendency toward delusion.
This delusion is what brings us to our current state of reality. There were millions of us who imagined and totally believed in a very different reality than Trump being in office. I honestly thought I woke up in the wrong dimension on November 8, 2016. But all the positive thinking in the world couldn’t stop that train of horror. Working within the paradigms of the Earth realm requires physical action in alignment with our internal guidance. Now that we are faced with this version of reality, many spiritual people are avoiding the news, avoiding what is happening in our country because we are not equipped to deal with the “negative”.
I’ve been there. I became so sensitive, so raw, that I couldn’t handle the constant barrage of news. It seemed that each new terrible thing happening in the world affirmed my despair and reinforced the darkness of the world. It felt so heavy and insurmountable. I couldn’t avoid my own pain, my own broken heart. I made it through because the people in my life were able to hold space for my pain. They didn’t try to talk me out of it or invalidate my feelings or encourage me to “think positively”. I went deeper into my shadow. What was in there? What was it trying to tell me about myself? I was shown all the ways I withhold love from myself. I faced fears I didn’t even know I had. I went on a journey that was so internal, I couldn’t share the depth of the darkness with anyone.
I believe the purpose of the shadow time helped me clear obstacles to manifesting that I didn’t know were there. I believe we can manifest but we have to do it from a place of wholeness, not avoidance.
So how do we do it? We walk consciously in the world, attempting to create experiences we truly desire while embracing the magic of the Universe as we turn toward our personal pain, explore what hides in our shadow, and learn from challenging experiences. We’ve got to develop tools to deal with our pain, to learn from our pain, to value the negative as a powerful teacher. Instead of turning away from our fears, we must develop the courage to face them and learn from them. But we are not meant to do this alone. Having a supportive community of authentic people who are also embracing all that this life experience has to offer makes it much easier to head into our own fire.
We can expand beyond the limited confines of positive and negative and deem all experiences as valuable, meaningful, and divine. The Light and the dark. This allows us true freedom and authentic power.