The 2 Spiritual Bypasses of Shadow Work


During my 20+ years of personal development, I have come across many different spiritual theories. One I hear a lot, is the idea that we need to forgive and come back to love. 

Simple right?

I’ve tried to move straight to love and forgiveness many times, but in truth, it's not authentic. Underneath this so-called love and forgiveness, I’m still pissed off.

When we jump straight to forgiveness and ignore feelings of anger, frustration, guilt or regret, we hit the first spiritual bypass of shadow work. In essence, we are skipping the real work.

Now I understand why many people may think this spiritual bypass is a good one! At first glance remaining ignorant of our own shadow can seem like the more comfortable option. Yet, by not acknowledging our shadow, we are at risk of it coming out at inappropriate times with the potential to cause severe damage to our relationships.

Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.
— Carl Jung

While it can be scary facing the shadow, Jung states that hidden in the shadow are creative and potentially positive aspects of our personality. Through exploration and acceptance of our shadow, these positive aspects and creativity can be expressed.

How do we explore the depths of our shadow personality? This is a personal journey and will be different for every single individual. It is dependent on what needs to be acknowledged and moved through. Having been through this process myself, what I do know is that it requires a deep level of surrender, trust, willingness, and courage. While others can support us through this process, ultimately when we commit to the facing our shadow, we are committing to becoming our own healer.

This leads me straight to the second spiritual bypass of shadow work – getting stuck there! Too much darkness and the potential to stay cemented in turmoil poses a genuine risk of becoming a  victim, rather than an empowered individual.

Being a victim can be an alluring proposition. Tony Robbins talks about the six basic universal needs that drive human behavior, one of them being the need for significance. Being a victim and staying stuck in the muck, fulfills this need perfectly. Even though remaining stuck in the shadow causes immense suffering, the ego’s need for significance can be so overpowering, that it can override a soul’s genuine desire for happiness, peace, success, and love. If you are brave enough to face your shadow consciously, you must be courageous enough to rise back out of it, with wisdom.

Shadow work is the path of the heart warrior
— Carl Jung

By diving deep into shadow work, we are passing through an alchemical process, turning our shadow into creativity and wisdom. This level of exploration comes with a warning; it is not for the faint-hearted. When I was in the throws of shadow work, I wanted to turn back many times! Yes, its confronting, but is it worth it? You bet!

x Sarah

p.s. Our internal feminine energy is more sensitive to our intuitive guidance than our masculine frequencies. Learning to balance the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves, helps create a clearer connection to our hearts intelligence and our higher potentials.  If you would like to learn how to do this, you can download my free eBook 5 Rituals to Re-connect with your Feminine Essence here.