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5 Steps to shift from “Spiritual by-passing” to Being Truly Happy


Spiritual by-passing can be expressed in a few ways.

✔️One way is when we find seemingly meaningful spiritual or intellectual answers to our tribulations, but which do not actually offer us any meaningful and permanent healing or peace.

✔️Another way to spiritually bypass is when we side-step the inner work that needs to be done in favor of positive thoughts or concepts that act as a blanket over our true feelings of hate, anger and guilt onto our self or another. This is sometimes called “toxic positivity” or “blissninnies”. The positivity is  a false façade that is hiding the unhealed darkness underneath. 

✔️Yet another way to bypass is by denying that there is any evil or suffering in the world at all. Often wiping a hand at the world saying things such as “there is no world” “nothing is happening” “there is no one here” “there is nothing to forgive”. These are concepts of denial that deny the errors and their effects thus also deny the solution. 

✔️The final way to spiritually bypass is to mostly see the evil and sufferings in our world and focus so much on it that it brings one to anger, often called “righteous” anger. This is where one feels justified in holding hate and anger in ones heart towards a person or group for what they did to them or others in the past.  This anger blinds us to the need and acceptance of forgiveness which heals the wounds that were made. 

These spiritual bypassing tendencies are often justified and rally people together in defense of these approaches. Which then is often against other people, creating a divide and further separation, guilt and shame.

I know this from experience. I have far too often found myself in conversations (I use conversation lightly here as its not much of a conversation as I cant get to the heart of the person) where I bump up against righteous anger telling me I am wrong when I talk of our power to forgive anything and everything. I bump up to “toxic positivity” when I urge brothers and sisters to look at hate and evil and really recognize that change and correction is needed on a global scale. I bump up to denial when I am thrown concepts such as “there is no world” when I mention we must be saved, in order to help save the world. When one believes that anger, denial and positivity are the “correct” approaches to suffering…. there is not much anyone else can say or do to change their mind. They have decided what they think is “true” about it.

This doesn’t mean we don’t talk about other views, and other approaches then what is already expressed above. We are supposed to talk about it, but we are also supposed to demonstrate it. The best way to teach is to demonstrate. Demonstrate that there is a new way and it works to bring peace to the mind that once suffered, and it works to bring peace to those who caused the suffering. At least at first on our end. But more often then not, when we offer that peace to them, in mind or in form, it effects them. We all, on the deepest level, want peace. 



This “True Healing” is something that does NOT blanket over evil or suffering with concepts, but goes to the root of suffering, in our mind and undoes it at its source. When the pain of the past is corrected in our mind, we are freed to forgive another, extend Love to another and bring about true transformation in the systems and ways and groups of our world that are causing harm. But we cannot help to stop harm, if we ourselves remain in the space of feeling harmed. True Healing comes through forgiveness and correction, not trying to justify ones current way of seeing themselves, another or the world. 

Its much like what Dr. Martin Luther King says. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only Light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only Love can do that.” If we find hate or darkness in our hearts or our world it is indeed a call to Love, but a call to a Love that corrects, repairs and inspires a new perception and approach to the situation (Which is not bypassing. Its correction).


Spiritual bypassing prevents us from true change/healing, and prevents us from extending the correction / answer/ solution to the greater problems we share. Such as racism, or LGBTQ issues, or health issues, our broken systems and government issues.

I wanted to share this post to help empower us to not feel guilty when we spiritually bypass (I have definitely been there) but to take responsibility, and actively choose to let our own hurt be corrected first so we can see anew. 

This is the ultimate goal of the inner work presented here: to know we are Only Love (as God created us) and to see Love,  be Love and give Love to all.

There is a place to feel all the emotions that are Love’s opposite, and I will get to those below.  

But Forgiveness and Giving makes true healing and change happen. 
Spiritual bypassing (denying evil, not looking at suffering, righteous anger or not correcting misperceptions) does not. 

1️⃣ When we believe joy or pain or healing is caused by someone or something outside of our mind. 

When we feel pain inside, we will inevitably experience the pain outside (in either victim or bully role). Then (often) we unconsciously inflict some kind of pain onto others or back onto our self through guilt, anger or shame, thereby keeping the cycle of pain going for all. But when we seek the source of pain and look for it in our own minds, we can heal it there, then the pain of unforgiveness ends for us. This is when we are free, to then contribute to the ending of pain for others.

Likewise, the joy we feel inside will be reflected and experienced outside and with others, and in all the things we do. But if we seek joy in others or outside us in any person, thing or accolade first, we will not find the Joy inside because outside us is not where true and lasting joy comes from.

Always, the joy or pain we think is real “out there” is reflecting what is “in here”. If we do not admit to this and become willing to use what we see “out there” to heal the pain or confirm the joy “in here,” then we are bypassing.

Also, if we keep seeking for a solution to our seemingly different problems by reading hundreds of self-help books, asking multiple friends for their opinions, attending many workshops/talks, going to endless “healers”, or have the same trigger rise and it never actually goes away for good, we are in the “seek and do not find” zone, and are spiritually by-passing.

2️⃣When we try to “keep” our happiness or peace by denying this world, denying the suffering in this world and thinking that its not real so we can just ignore it and act like it isn’t happening. 

This approach to life on earth is one that has triggered me alot in the past. I would judge those who would ignore the suffering and chaos in the world in favor of an immersion of spiritual “woke” culture that sees only sunshine and rainbows and lovely things. 

I preach  alot about love and peace and lovely things. But I also preach that our world is suffering and that our systems and politics and segregation is harming our ability TO live in peace and love.

If I think that my happiness is separate from another I am wrong. If I have found the key to happienss it is my duty to share it with and help others to remember too. Its not for us to deny that suffering happens, but it is for us to offer compassion, true empathy and a willingness to do whatever God asks us to do to help to end suffering for all. 

To me this is what Jesus taught “Love your neighbor, Love your enemy”. That is an active role. Jesus and God need us and want to use us for the small acts of love and the large ones…… but they can’t when we claim that there is no one here, nothing is happening and suffering does not exist. We are bypassing healing for us and others when we take this approach to life and spirituality.

Here is a check-list (of sorts) to reference. It points to (some of) the ways we could possibly bypass our healing and pretend to be happy. Can you think of more than this? Let us know in the comments below.

  • We are bypassing, if we do not realize that the cause of our pain lies in our thought patterns.
  • We are bypassing, if we think that the solution to our pain is fixing something outside us. 
  • We are bypassing if we do not look at and admit to the pain and suffering in our world and on our planet
  • We are bypassing if we do not, eventually, overlook that pain, forgive that pain and welcome peace in its place
  • We are bypassing, if we do not ask ourselves what the cause of our pain is and look and see it and let it be corrected within.
  • We are bypassing, if we hop from one spiritual method/idea or concept to another, whenever we are at the brink of admitting to a painful truth in our heart.
  • We are bypassing, if we experience drama in our lives.
  • We are bypassing, if we do not let our drama, guilt or upset be corrected.
  • We are bypassing, if we think the next thing, vacation, person, amount of money will bring us happiness or completion.
  • We are bypassing, if we are not taking responsibility for our anger after we have expressed it.
  • We are bypassing, if, when we feel we have messed up in a relationship, we are not able to look the other person in the eye.
  • We are bypassing, if we believe somebody else has messed up in a relationship.
  • We are bypassing if we focus more on another’s mistakes instead of appreciation.
  • We are bypassing, if we ask others to heal us. (We can only heal ourselves through communion with holy spirit within. Others can help us, but not heal us.)
  • We are bypassing, if we believe moral goodness alone will save the world.
  • We are bypassing, for as long as we believe the cause of joy is found in others and things in the world
  • We are bypassing, when we are not honest to ourselves or others.
  • We are bypassing, when we are worrying about the future
  • We are bypassing, if we seek justification for our actions.
  • We are bypassing, if we are shaming ourselves or others.
  • We are bypassing, if we feel guilty or are passing judgement on ourselves or someone else.

Being aware of these tendencies to bypass are helpful and can become mind training and self care practices in themselves. However, noticing where and being honest about when and where we bypass is only the first step. The next steps are where correction and true healing can take place.

1️⃣Name what you are feeling and thinking, through “honest check-ins”
Its helpful to tune into the body, our emotions, our thoughts and ask if these positive feelings or ideas are (spiritually) bypassing the actual emotions that we feel.

Ask: Is this positivity a mask, mascaraing as true Joy? If so, we want to know that it is… because a mask prevents us from actually feeling the consistent Joy of the Kingdom / our shared reality as Souls in the here and now.

Once we notice and admit that we are less than totally happy, we can begin to apply some steps that will release us from the negative feelings and carry us deeper behind them to what we are truly thinking.

To practice “honest check-ins” try this:
Name our current feeling.
Ask: “What am I feeling right now?
I am feeling (insert your current feeling).

Say: It is totally Okay that I feel this way. (acceptance of what is)

We are asked at first to remain in the space of noticing we are not at peace, NAME the feeling we are feeling and then stay with it, without trying to run away from it or apply a spiritual concept / trick to it.

Refuse to say WHY you are not at peace.

  • If we say WHY we are not at peace, then we have already decided why and it makes it harder to ask (a higher power/holy spirit) to show us why we are not at peace. Its better to pause before saying “I am made because (you did this etc)”
  • If we choose to see a cause outside of ourselves, we must have made a choice of not being able to or wanting to heal it.
  • However, when we refuse to say why we are not at peace, the true reason why can rise and be shown to us within

2️⃣ Feel your current feelings, without judgment.
So often we are told to “shut up”, “sit down”, “be quiet”, “anger is bad”, “being upset means your failing spiritually”. But really anger, for example, is a natural response to what is unloving and out of accord with Love. It may not be justified, and there IS another way to express our self, but at first, if we FEEL anger, then we must FEEL angry, otherwise we are denying what we feel. It does not mean that we “an angry person” or “bad for feeling this way”, it only means that we are feeling angry in the moment and something is coming up to look at and heal.

Being honest with how we feel, and feeling what we feel (without judging it or stuffing it down or lashing it out at another) will help us to become free from these heavy emotions by letting them out consciously and mindfully for purposes of healing, not projecting.

Allowing ourselves to feel is what helps to prevent us from unleashing our heavy emotions onto others, when that’s not really what we want to be doing.

When we allow the anger to be there, and for it to rise up, it will pass/calm down and it is then that we can choose to look at them (emotions and thoughts) differently. But if we keep emotions stuffed down, it will only lead to blow ups of anger or depression or sickness that will wreak more havoc on our life.

To practice “feeling your feelings” try this:
“Since I am feeling (insert your own feeling) right now, I will let myself feel it completely.” Then let yourself feel it, and observe yourself doing so. Notice HOW it feels in your body.

We should be especially cautious in this phase to realize what we are afraid of. Our fear often hides behind other emotions or intellectualization of them, and often does not show itself until we look for it. When we call out the fear, and look at the fear (with the light) is how the darkness/fear will dissolve. Martin Luther King has a quote about this: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that“. Jesus has a quote for it too in the Bible 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” In fact, Jesus says that we “need not fear” over 365 times in the bible!

Holy Spirit / Jesus IS perfect Love and walks with us to LOOK at the darkness inside ourselves, so that it CAN be brought to Light, and we can remember the perfect Love that we are. This perfect love is in us now, its just hidden, behind our beliefs, emotions and our fear. So lets name our feelings, feel our feelings, and look for the fear and beliefs hiding behind our feelings.

Revisit this step as many times as you need until you are completely done with the need to feel (your named feeling) any more. You may need to feel it for only an instant, or it may take quite a while for the cycle to repeat until you are really done with it and really ready to look at the fear and let it go. No judgment here. Only patience in this step and willingness to feel the named feeling and look for the fear behind them.

3️⃣ Gods True Happiness is GIVEN you already.
True Happiness and Peace is a gift from our Father to His Children. This is not a step we are asked to take. It emerges when we do the precious steps. This “step” is more of a stepping back and allowing the truth of what we are to be revealed to us. Along with this, the True Reason for being in this world (which leads to joy), replaces our own reason for being here (which leads to suffering).

God waits on welcome, not on time. The instant we welcome Him and His Happiness with an open heart and mind IT IS OURS.

In accepting Gods will/gift to us (by giving up our separate will), we learn this chaos and dream world and ego self/body is not real. But we also learn what IS eternally real. And once we see that within, it starts to be reflected and seen in everyone and everything we look upon.

This new choice IS a choice for Heaven, for the Kingdom, for the Real World, for our Shared Identity/Reality…. and this new choice will bring a whole new world to our eyes. One that is lit up with forgiveness, with blessings, with joy, with peace, with certainty, with love and miracles at every turn.

To accept God’s Perfect Happiness and Purpose for you:
After you have done the previous steps earnestly the only thing left to do here is to pray in gratitude for the healing and the gifts.
Prayer/gratitude for Gods Love is a great way to remember what is true and yours already, which makes way for it to be able to come to you.
Or you may ask the universe for a miracle .
Or hand this whole process over to our higher self/ the divine.
Or do an inner meditation, imagining it (our problems) in a parcel, letting it be carried away by a stream of water or burnt or simply dissolve so what is new and now can be revealed.
Or listen to spiritual music and focus on breathing and a mantra (or A Course in Miracles lesson) can bring you into the moment, where healing happens.

This last step in an intuitive one, and it will be given each of us in the perfect way for us.

The point is to open to a power greater than ourselves for the healing to be received by us, as its already been given. Once we worked to remove the blocks, the answer/healing is on its way, and doing whatever we feel called to do to remain in this open and receptive state, is most helpful at this time.


1️⃣ What is the real reason for my upset? What am I getting out of it? [If we do this ONE step, we will be saved. This is the most important step, and its encouraged to spend most time on this one]

The true reason we are experiencing suffering and pain is because we believe we have something to gain from it. Why are we choosing this? We must see why, but the reason why is NEVER outside of us. The reason is NOT the story of an outward cause. The reason is that we are choosing pain, because we believe that we have a personal advantage in it.

The gain of the ego is not to have to admit that it alone is the cause of its unhappiness. It deflects onto many things, as listed above under bypassing.

Discovering what the ego is getting out of our pain/suffering requires us to ASK to see the root “reason” that holds the negative feeling/thought in place.

We are asking our inner teacher holy spirit: “What is the reason I feel this way?” The reason is NOT our first response. It is not the story of who did what and what happened. Keep tracing it inwards, keep looking deeper within until you get to the root of what the real reason is for your upset. You will then look upon what it is you are trying to gain from maintaining these beliefs about self (or another).

To discover your true reason/gain in choosing upset, try this:
Ask yourself:
“What am I trying to GET out of this (insert your feeling here)?”
Ponder this question. Sit with it. Pray about it. Talk it out with someone else. But focus not on the story of what you think you want or what you think happened but the reason behind the story.

Here is an example of what this process of discovering the reason/gain might look like:
1) Tell the story (once) so you can get to the feeling it brings up.
2) Name the feeling: ” I feel ANGRY”
3) Why do I feel angry?: “Because I was JUDGED (by my husband.)”
4) Go deeper and turn that projected reason, inwards:
Why do I feel angry/judged? “Because…. I try to be perfect/good all the time and yet my flaws and mistakes keep being pointed out and I don’t like that”
5) Why don’t I like that? “Because I am afraid to make mistakes and what he (or others) will think of me when I do”

In this example…
The true reason behind feeling judged/angry is:the FEAR of making mistakes.” This fear is the hidden reason that is the true cause of ones upset. The cause of upset is not being judged by another, but judging ourselves when we make a mistake! This is SO important to see. Let’s keep going though.

What do I get from being afraid of making mistakes? “I get to be right about thinking that BEING perfect is what I am to do and that making mistakes means a loss of perfection in my beingness. If I am not perfect, I am not loveable.”
Bingo again.
In this example….
The gain/payoff for continuing to choose feeling angry/judged is “being right about who I think I am (not perfect/unloveable)”.

Jesus says in Sparkly A Course in Miracles, Principle Miracle 27 “YOU are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving. This is how a man MUST think of himself in his heart, because this is what he IS.” If, at our core, we do NOT see ourselves as lovable and loving, we will produce the effects that come from the opposite of love. The opposite of love is fear. When we looked at the Reason above, it was clear the core belief centered around fear. So if fear is the cause, it makes perfect sense why fear (anger/judgment) shows up in our world/relationships. But remember, it shows up FOR healing, not for us to judge ourselves for feeling judged.

Now that the reason for the (insert feeling) is seen, and what we are getting out of the (insert reason) has been brought from darkness to the light, the next step in this healing process can happen! yay!

2️⃣ Seeing the reason for unforgiveness/suffering as meaningless, means you want to and are ready to let the pain go (and let true/permanent healing happen)
This step tends to happen of itself alone when we complete step number one. But for the purpose of “steps,” it is helpful to see that this is a necessary conclusion for us to come to. To really see that the ‘reason for our suffering/pain’ is meaningless and useless to us.

There is a quote in A Course in Miracles that says:One need by say, “There is no gain to me at all in this,” and he is healed.” Seeing what once held great meaning for us as useless is the KEY to us letting go and having our root fear be undone within us.

We know we are learning this ‘step’ when we no longer feel attacked by the situation/people/personal feelings that we are experiencing in the moment. When we can take responsibility for how we feel, instead of taking what happened personally, is that is when we are ready to let it go. It is our projection of attack on another person (or ourselves) that keeps the pain and repeating patterns going. When we relinquish attack, we ARE letting go and healing can then happen.

All that is asked in this step is to look and see that holding onto and believing our reason (such as in step 1 “I am afraid of making mistakes”) has never worked, it doesn’t work and is never going to work to bring us peace (or anything of value). Seeing this is what leads us to conclude that “our reason for suffering is meaningless, useless and there is nothing at all for me to gain in this“. When we declare it and mean it, is again when we naturally let it go.

When we let it go…. Spirit can take it from us. When we cling to it, however, Spirit/God cannot take it from us. When we cling (to the reason/gain) we are still choosing it, this is the power of free will. God will never impede upon what we want and will always give us what we ask for. If we ask for fear and to be right God says “Okay.” When we ask only for help and healing God says “Okay.”

We want to let go of what we are thinking, we want to let go of being right. We want to admit we need this healing. In this space is where the miracle can rise. And where the peace and the happiness and new vision can fill our minds and hearts instead. The dark, fearful dream then becomes undone within us, which naturally extends outside us, and changes things in form. This is when the real world (and True lasting Happiness) can rise in place of where the dark chaotic world (and false identity/mask of bypassing) once was. This is the moment of healing.

Looking (at the cause), asking (for help) and willingness (to heal) is all that is needed from us. The rest is up to God, that’s what Holy Spirit and Jesus have been given us For. To meet us in the moment when we are ready for the healing and to give it to us.

To see your reason/payoff as meaningless (and then let it go) try this:

  • Reflect on your answer to step 1 and look at your reason for suffering head on without turning away. Talk about it in the quiet of your own hearty… or with a trusted friend, partner or therapist…. but do so without trying to change it yourself or having them “tell you what to do”.
  • Let yourself explore the reason so much that it loses all meaning for you. Really come to see that keeping this reason/belief is keeping you in PAIN/unhappiness, and others in pain/unhappiness along with you, and therefore it is useless and has no value at all for you anymore.
  • Let yourself see that what you thought you gained from clinging to this reason, holds no value for you anymore.
  • You can even try this prayer, if you are one to pray: “I am quite distressed about something which I now know is an error in my perception of some past [experience] and would You [Jesus/Holy Spirit/Divine] please straighten me out”
  • Doing these steps correctly will come with it a feeling of release, relief, peace and deep gratitude that truth is true and our beliefs that held our suffering in place are not.

All we need do is have willingness to do this step, and we will be carried into it and through it to the peace we seek.

💜If we notice we are spiritual bypassing in some areas…it is telling us only that we have a present need for correction, and does not warrant more guilt or shame. It calls for our need to receive help from a power greater than ourselves so that we CAN be truly happy and at peace. Let’s give love to our self in this moment, as that’s what we are calling for.

✔️A Course in Miracles specifically mentions the path of meditation and the path of faith as valid alternatives to self exploration. Choosing the path of meditation for example is not bypassing. However, the most effective path to knowing peace, is to first remove the blocks to peace. Otherwise we can spend years meditating or applying faith based ideas to our mind without truly correcting the errors that keep us unhealed. We cannot heal, without first acknowledging that we believe we are unhealed and need help from a power greater than us.

✔️If we notice that we are not perfectly happy all the time, but when we notice that we feel into it, process it, pray through it, learn from it and open to receive guidance to correct it…we are working the steps! And we can be confident that we are ON the awakening path and authentically listening and learning as we rise up. Flip flopping in emotions may still happen for a while, but take this in “we are doing the work and this is NOT spiritual bypassing.” We can honor ourselves and each other for the healing work we have done and are doing. We will be shown and given all we need to know and receive.

👉 Our work is to “bring this world to heaven” and our work is not done until ALL beings are happy and free. Its about waking up in the dream world, to see a whole new reality here instead. This Real World is lit with beauty, and light, and miracles and happiness and brotherhood and peace. When we have a change of mind about our Self, which these steps lead us towards, we will naturally see the world differently, and we will finally see the Kingdom at hand here, and not the ego/evilness all around. Its not that we do not see the evil, but we do not share in that dream. Its no longer concepts of “there is no world”, “there is nothing happening”, “we will find out when we die” narratives running us, instead, we become part of the Happy dream and contribute to a world that we ALL want to live in, through our daily thoughts, habits, words and actions.

💜This Kingdom is JOYOUS, here and now, and there is no “false blissiness” in this. Only deep, profound and lasting gratitude that shines from our hearts, our eyes, our smiles and blesses the world with miracles that come from Him and extend through us, to be received by our dear brothers and sisters. Amen.

If you want to learn more about this, or talk more about it with me directly, book a Free 20 Minute Call with me. I look forward to communicating with you.

Thank you for reading.
Feel free to share it with others who may also benefit from this! 😊

T-17.II.5. The real world is attained simply by the complete forgiveness of the old, the world you see without forgiveness. The great Transformer of perception will undertake with you the careful searching of the mind that made this world, and uncover to you the seeming reasons for your making it. In the light of the real reason that He brings, as you follow Him, He will show you that there is no reason here at all. Each spot His reason touches grows alive with beauty, and what seemed ugly in the darkness of your lack of reason is suddenly released to loveliness. Not even what the Son of God made in insanity could be without a hidden spark of beauty that gentleness could release.

T-17.II.6. All this beauty will rise to bless your sight as you look upon the world with forgiving eyes. For forgiveness literally transforms vision, and lets you see the real world reaching quietly and gently across chaos, removing all illusions that had twisted your perception and fixed it on the past. The smallest leaf becomes a thing of wonder, and a blade of grass a sign of God's perfection.

ACIM WB-122 Forgiveness offers everything I want: "What could you want forgiveness cannot give? Do you want peace? Forgiveness offers it. Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world? Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always? Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, a gentleness that never can be hurt, a deep abiding comfort, and a rest so perfect it can never be upset?
All this forgiveness offers you, and more. It sparkles on your eyes as you awake, and gives you joy with which to meet the day. It soothes your forehead while you sleep, and rests upon your eyelids so you see no dreams of fear and evil, malice and attack. And when you wake again, it offers you another day of happiness and peace. All this forgiveness offers you, and more."

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Sherrilu Pollon
Sherrilu Pollon
1 year ago

Thank you for writing this blog post, Britney. It is wonderful to have some concrete ideas on how to work through big emotions.

Welcome to my blog. My name is Britney Shawley. I write and make videos to help  people to choose peace in every situation. I aim to demonstrate the practicality of Love and miracles in my everyday life and work, so that you can do so too. Thank You for being here. 



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