Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Only Way Out is Through

The only, lonely copy of my 500-page book on the ways spiritual belief and practice can serve a defensive function, unconsciously creating pathways of dissociation and splitting from unresolved emotional and somatic wounding. 

Yes, it may or may not have ketchup (and other creamy condiments) spilled on it (sophialove) but it is here, held and warm, resting near, snuggled up in the corner with Tara <3


  1. I wonder whether, sometimes the trauma we contain and distance ourselves from, whether that might be OK to do for a time. Maybe a long time. Esp when one is dissembling negative support systems, false refuge and manoeuvring positive support systems into place such as prayer, meditation, psychological work, re-skilling in relationship etc. Then maybe later there comes a point at which we do become ready, maybe prepared is the word. Prepared to turn towards those 'difficult' feelings. Gosh the early trauma, yes on one level, it gets buried for decades, and when we become aware, we may still require an amount of time to metabolise and process, for me it all requires the lightest touch or there is a shut down again. Dont know if that makes any sense lol. Thank you Matt, that image is an excellent touchstone, Tara holds our spiritual bypassing in compassion. And honestly, I really do wonder whether in the deepest depths, anything really does remain fully static, even a rock is vibrating with space between the atoms and therefore subtly changing. And everything is held in the love of the creator, according to my belief system Or is that spiritual bypassing too? Thanks and sorry to hijack your minimalist post by maxing out with an epic comment. Peaceful blessings.

    1. Dear Sunny, it's nice to hear from you; your thoughts, heart, and experience are always welcome here. In my experience (personally and clinically) it is clear to me that the kindest thing we can ever do is to be unyieldingly honest with ourselves about where we are and what it is we are truly longing for. As long as we are identified in any way with the colorful display of thoughts, feelings, emotions, and traumatic organization, it is an act of kindness to do whatever we can to care for ourselves. In my experience, defensive activity of any kind (including spiritual bypassing) serves an adaptive function and is not pathological by nature; its purpose is to keep us out of very difficult feeling and somatic states that we are not able, willing, or ready to integrate into the entirety of what we are.

      There is no urgency here, for to attempt to dismantle egoic/ defensive organization all at once or with some superegoic agenda is none other than further activity of egoic process, often unkind, and ultimately aggressive toward our experience. Only we can know if and when we are called to re-embody to that which we have disowned (for very intelligent reasons) in our families of origin. To enter into this work without a helpful guide or when one is not ready or capable is not kind and will likely result in re-traumatization. In my experience, we will never successfully storm the gates of our younger organization, but only unravel the tangles of love with kindness. There is no shame or judgment in going slowly and honoring one's capacities and current realities. We of course want to push ourselves, a bit, depending on what our actual goals and aspirations are. There may always be a part of us that wishes to heal and transform the entirety of our conditioned history though there may always be another part who is not ready or interested in this, for to do so requires that we re-embody to every feeling we've spent our lives disconnecting from. It is kind and compassionate to hold this paradoxical truth in our hearts.

      Take care, friend.