Spiritual Life and Our Emotions Part 2 - Spiritual Bypassing

Spiritual bypassing, a term coined by psychologist John Welwood in 1983, is the use of spiritual beliefs and practices to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresovled wounds, and developmental needs. It is pervasive in our culture - both personally and collectively - where we don't have much tolerance or acquired skill to face our pain, preferring instead a numbing analgesic, particularly if it can be seemingly legitimized by 'higher' spiritual goals and values. The critical problem is that by avoiding confronting our pain, uncomfortable feelings and wounds, we 'split-off' part of ourselves and undermine our growth and capacity towards 'wholeness' or peace, the root of which, in bibli

Spiritual Life and Our Emotions Part 1

Transformation of our emotion life remains one of the greatest challenges confronting us on our spiritual path. Indeed, perhaps in exasperation, many historical strands of Christianity relegated feelings to an inferior and suspect status, often seeing them as manifestations of female weakness far less trustworthy and more 'primitive' than 'male' rational powers. Strong feelings needed to be muted for fear of muddying objectivity, with 'dispassion' being seen as somehow superior. Some emotions, like anger, even found themselves onto lists of deadly sins. However, in reality our so called 'objective' thoughts are not separate from our feeling life, and we deceive ourselves to not recognise the

Spiritual Life Series

My intention is to write a series of blog articles drawing on my work in the interface of spiritual direction and psychology, and from my own experience in following a spiritual path and supporting others in theirs. My aim is to help with key issues often faced, but perhaps less often spoken about, in the spiritual life. My hope is that something here may help... may speak to you, and offer some insight and support wherever it is you find yourself. The spiritual life is at heart one of transformation. What interests me in my life and work is the psychology of that transformative process. In the Christian tradition, Paul exhorts us to ‘be transformed by the renewing of our minds’ and to ‘put

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    © 2019 Anne Solomon@Spiritual-Life.