It's been a while.
Fall has been full of completion and release. My senses are active and tuned in as the air gets sharper.
Winter often brings more writing. I'm working on a series of mini-sermons -- and the writings and experiences of the past few months have led me to think a lot about spiritual bypass: skipping go and landing prematurely in enlightenment. It's often a peace keeping tool, a way to numb out the parts of life that feel out-of-control. It also can be used as a power tool, one that gives the ego permission to foist itself on others in manipulative and potentially dangerous ways. Controlling others by the comfort of your "spiritual authority".
Let's get real here -- this is not an easy thing to face.
I've been doing some work with the Enneagram, an ancient spiritual tool for self understanding. It approaches the essence of a person rather than personality, addressing behavior under duress and also healthy conditions. This process has broadened me. I've been forced to examine some of my less than healthy tendencies under stress: suppressing anger to keep peace until it gets to outburst level, avoiding conflict, escaping my physical experience through focusing on the spiritual, and the real kicker, helping others while ignoring myself. What good does that do? Let me say it loud, none!
After pulling out the thorns, and bleeding a little, I can now look at myself with more compassion, and honor my survival tool kit. The inner war isn't over, but it has softened. As someone who walks so intimately with people, I'm aware of the importance of showing my humanity. There are moments, many moments where something shimmers in healers, teachers, ministers, coaches, guides ... we who routinely expose parts of ourselves, and it seems like we have it all figured out. We do have some things figured out, and it's important to share with each other and raise each other up. Healing work and spiritual work are very important, but when we rely on the shimmer to skip the grit altogether and go straight for the good stuff, we cheat ourselves and others from the real(ly) good stuff.
Elaboration: Contrast aids our ability to fully experience the gold in golden. When we eliminate ALL friction, we eliminate feeling altogether. Expecting and projecting only the rainbows and glitter about our lives without mentioning the days of doubt (or spontaneous grief, road-rage, or the feral, gritty, boundary setting egoic fit storms) ultimately sets up a power dynamic that gets you high on illumination. If people can't see your humanity, or worse, if YOU can't see your humanity, you're left only with fools gold. The danger: others may compare themselves to your projection, and feel desperately inadequate.
Which is not to say that pivoting from shit to nourishment isn't valuable and very real. We're built for stamina and improvement. There are times when it's important to transition quickly from grit to grace and put on a happy face.
Know where to bring your truth, and really bring it.
Awakening is awkward.
Be gentle with yourself and other's.
and now, a Haiku:
Your turn! You're invited to write a Haiku (here's how) and share it with us! I'd love for us to flood the internet with artful thoughts! If you're up for responding to the call, and comment below!! Looking forward to reading what you create!
With Great Care,