Are you suffering from Spiritual override syndrome? Do you pretend there is nothing wrong even if you are incredibly hurt? Have you not thought about an event, person, or place in years only to have it spring up later causing havoc on your emotions?  Are you ready to heal instead of hold onto stuff?

Today’s blog was inspired by my life. I’ve had lots of mean girl stuff going on. It’s no coincidence I had a big high school reunion when writing this blog.   I have had lots of mean girls all my life and I’m betting I’m not alone.  When I went from elementary school to junior high, all my friends ditched me because I wasn’t cool enough.

Mean Girls Were Making Me Do Spiritual Bypassing. Photo: Ashley Whitlatch, Unsplash

Even as an adult I still have mean girl experiences. When I did my radio show successfully and one of the other hosts tried to discredit me. Raleigh can be a small town and stuff got back to me.

These mean girls are an opportunity to hear and release spiritual override syndrome. I could have chosen to let feelings out. As I was still suppressing, someone had a party and didn’t invite me. Now, I’m okay with that. Women together a lot longer than me, but she told me about the party and all the cool things she was going to do and then didn’t invite me. That really hurt my feelings. So it is okay to realize what she did was about her, how I reacted was about me AND I can still be hurt.

Know many of you are like me, on the spiritual path, or a path of awareness or mindfulness, whatever you are most comfortable calling it. And you believe, as I did, that what you are doing is good, healthy behavior.

It really isn’t the ideal reaction and we do the spiritual override more often than we might think.

When we do this, we aren’t acknowledging the truth, we are distancing ourselves from the feelings. I didn’t want to acknowledge the mean girls really hurt me. I wanted to rise above it.  I have really been working on this because I do it more often than I realize.  It’s more of zoning out instead of zoning in.

The truth was I didn’t want to feel the pain or feel that I could survive the pain, although I know that on one level I can.  Or maybe a part of it was I felt like hey you have done all this work, how can you still be so upset???

Doing the Spiritual Bypass Because of Mean Girls Photo: Obie Fernandez, Upsplash

Are you denying something that has happened? Are you afraid of feeling what you feel? 

We are spiritual beings living in a human body.  Even though we keep going around that spiral, and we have more and more access to consciousness, doesn’t mean we aren’t going to get caught up in LIFE.

We are not supposed to rise above it all; rather how can we transcend it?

Talk a lot about being present. Can you experience all the ups and downs and own it, transcend it and be neutral about it?  When we stop doing the spiritual override syndrome, we can acknowledge all of us and be loving.

Where do you do the spiritual override? What have you been denying? Do you believe you’re a spiritual being in a human body?

How can we stop the spiritual override syndrome?

Where in your life are you doing the spiritual override?  When you figure that out begin by acknowledging your feelings. 

Research has shown that suppressing or avoiding your emotions in fact can make them stronger. So, if you are angry and hurt that your friends dissed you for not being cool enough, you may shove those feelings deep down and eat a few pints of Ben and Jerry’s.

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The sadness is still present in your mind and in your body as we store emotions—Everything is energy.  Something minor may cause you to fly off the handle. Even if you were avoiding sadness, it may come out as anger. Suppressing emotions is your body’s way of protecting you during trauma; emotional release in a non-traumatic situation is your body’s way of protecting itself from further damage and releasing stuck emotions.

Feel Your Feelings

Give yourself permission to feel.  You are allowed to feel whatever you need to. Try not to judge an emotion as good or bad. For example, anger can serve as a great catalyst for change. Women would have never had the right to vote if Susan B and all her friends weren’t really angry.

It’s important to remember that unpleasant feelings are a part of life.  We can’t avoid them by resisting them.  “What you resist, persists,” said Carl Jung. If we accept our feelings it allows us to deal with them more successfully and once we do that we can release them.  What I mean is sitting with your sadness or anger or guilt or shame and really feeling it. Know that it won’t last forever. 

Had someone who hadn’t hired me threaten to take me down on social media.  I felt all my fear, had my anger, created a plan and let it go. Nothing ended up happening.

Prior to my podcast, I interviewed a lot of people on my internet TV show Reawaken Your Brilliance.  I can’t think of one person who said that it was easier to suppress feelings than it was to release them.  I also share this from experience. 

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Don’t make your feelings right or wrong. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

When you feel your feelings, this allows you to not act on your pain, such as hitting someone or abusing yourself.  Once released you can channel it into something healthy such as making art or cooking.

I once watched my niece throw a massive temper tantrum when she was younger in the store. My mom asked her what she needed.  Problem solved and the tantrum stopped.

How can we feel feelings?

I lay down quietly and check-in with my body. I try and ask questions to see if anything needs to express. Sometimes I get a response, sometimes I don’t. If I don’t I simply start to breathe and go from there.

I like breathwork to feel my feelings.  I have a variety of different breaths that I use. I do breath and movements such as shaking my body while making sounds.  I like to do this in our bed when no one else is around so I can be as loud as I need to be. If that isn’t an option for you, you can scream into a pillow. Emotions are energy and want to move, so do what you can to allow them to do that.

I also like to get physical. I have a blocker that someone holds and I wear gloves that I punch. Maybe for you, it is a circuit class that allows you to feel your anger and burn a lot of calories.

Dancing can get you moving. Let whatever sounds come out, come. Journaling is a great tool. I have also screamed in my car.  

There are many different ways that you can become in touch with your feelings. Play around with it. Make a game out of it, especially if this is a challenge for you.  The more you do this, the easier it becomes.

If you commit to this regularly, you tend not to get thrown off balance as easily. Does stuff still come up?  Absolutely, but it doesn’t destroy you.

notes on board
Special note on the spiritual override. Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

Special Note: This can be intense.  Plan a fun or relaxing activity afterward. Maybe order take-out or have already made your next meal.  I am a fan of a good bubble bath. Have a plan in place for when you have completed this exercise.

I encourage you if you are unable to do something the first time you try this, not to give up. Keep doing an exercise until you are able to release feelings.

How well can you feel your feelings? What can help you feel your feelings more? What else do you need to do to acknowledge all of your emotions?

Take Actions from the blog on spiritual override syndrome:

  • Where are you doing the spiritual override?
  • How can you best get in touch with your feelings?
  • Pick an exercise to release and feel your feelings.
  • What is your post plan after a session of feeling your feelings?

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