More and more people are dedicated to being in greater contact with their spiritual side, due to the benefits that this choice of life brings to body, soul, and spirit. However, it is necessary to be aware, so as not to get caught in ego traps.
When we enter a spiritual escape mode, we may end up practicing a spirituality that does not help us to evolve, on the contrary, it only distances us from ourselves and the people around us, keeping us in a limited life reality.
The term spiritual escape was coined by the psychologist John Welwood in the 1980s and refers to the use of spiritual practices and beliefs as a way to avoid contact with feelings, wounds, and needs that live in ourselves, and that end up harming our lives. lives.
In his book “Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us From What Really Matters”, Robert Augustus Masters writes the following about spiritual escape:
“Aspects of spiritual escape include exaggerated detachment, emotional anesthesia, and repression, overemphasis on the positive, anger, phobia, too-tolerant blindness or compassion, weak or very poor limits, unbalanced development (cognitive intelligence is often well ahead of emotional intelligence and moral), impaired judgment about someone’s negativity or the dark side, devaluation of the staff in relation to the spiritual and the illusion of having reached a higher level of being. ”
We can all practice spiritual escape, even without conscience. Therefore, it is important to recognize habits that are related to this practice so that we can replace them with healthier ones.
Below are 10 of these habits that appear to be spiritual, but are actually a waste of time.
Read without judging yourself or the people around you. Focus on evolving and practicing a more honest spirituality that will lead you to better paths.
10 “spiritual” things people do and are total nonsense:
1. Participate in “spiritual” activities to feel superior to other people.
I believe we have all done this at some point in life. We can feel superior because we choose a more healthy diet, because we opt for classic readings, because we burn salvia in our homes, because we dedicate ourselves to activities such as meditation and yoga or because we use bicycles instead of cars on weekdays.
There is nothing wrong with these activities. On the contrary, they really do make a difference. What is not healthy is to think that you are superior to other people just because you are making these choices for your life. When we act out of the ego, our spirituality does not evolve, it just makes us selfish people with a false sense of greatness.
2. Use “spirituality” as a justification for failure to take responsibility for your actions.
Spiritual mantras are very meaningful and reflective, but they must be used in the right context, or they lose all meaning. Many people use them as excuses for their own wrong behavior.
If you are not a trustworthy person, you devalue the people who are always by your side and do not show any gratitude for everything you have, mantras like “everything happens for a reason” or “things are what they are”, are not going to help you. What you need to do is transform yourself as a person and become what these reflections actually speak.
Another important aspect is to develop maturity and the ability to listen. No matter what “spiritual” level you are on, there will always be things to improve. Therefore, you need to view discomfort with other people as real life, and not as proof that these people “don’t respect who you are”, or “need to grow spiritually”.
Knowing that you are far from perfect and that life consists of constant learning is a part of spirituality.
3. Adopt new hobbies, interests, and beliefs simply because they are the latest “spiritual” fashion.
Thanks to our natural need to feel like we belong, we create groups in different areas of life. Spirituality is no different. People who choose to follow this path also form their own support networks. And as positive as this is, you also need to be aware.
Many see spirituality as a fashion and think that to be really within the movement they need to incorporate certain things into their lives, such as certain styles of clothing, activities, events, and behaviors. For these people, this is what makes them spiritual, but they forget that there is internal work to be done.
4. Judge others for expressing anger or other strong emotions, even when necessary.
This behavior becomes common for many people who begin to connect with spirituality. When someone around them gets hurt by any of their attitudes, they can say things like “if everyone were calmer, the problems wouldn’t be so big” or “I don’t know why you’re so stressed, it doesn’t solve anything”.
These people may assume to themselves that anger is negative and destructive in all aspects and that it represents only non-spiritual people, but that is a little far from the truth. Anger is an emotion that is part of who we are, and in many situations, it is understandable, after all, it sheds light on several things that need a solution in our lives.
It is not healthy to suppress these emotions for considering them wrong and to try to incorporate more of the “spiritual” characteristics such as compassion, kindness, and equanimity without truth. This leads to a life of lies. Accepting one’s own human condition is essential.
5. Use “spirituality” as a justification for excessive drug use.
Many people believe that the use of psychedelic substances can lead to mystical experiences and elevate spirituality. This is the opinion that belongs to each one of us and so far so good. The problem really starts when they go too far and act like there is no downside to all of this.
It is necessary to have wisdom and balance.
6. Overemphasize “positivity” to avoid looking at problems in their lives and in the world.
Some spiritual people use positivity as a way to avoid confronting internal issues and problems that plague the world. More and more this kind of positive and thankful attitude is encouraged, which is very positive, but it seems that people are forgetting something very important: the negative things in life do not disappear just because we decide to pretend that they are not there. Usually, the opposite is true, the more we neglect them, the more they grow.
It is not healthy to believe that only positivity will solve serious problems in the world, such as poverty, social inequality, and even climate change. We need to do something more, to have the attitude to seek solutions to these problems that affect the whole world.
7. Suppress unpleasant emotions that don’t fit the “spiritual” narrative.
Even though we work to evolve our spiritual side, we remain human, with many internal issues, feelings, and reality clashes. At any moment we may be surprised by feelings of loneliness and insecurity, and the more we avoid those feelings, the more we move away from evolution.
We will never be Zen or too enlightened to avoid the most basic sufferings of our species, that is part of who we are. We must be honest with ourselves and allow ourselves to feel everything we need so that we can learn and evolve.
8. Feeling profound disgust and self-loathing when faced with your dark side.
It is easy to feel great wise, almost incapable of mistakes when we are developing spirituality. We rely on great sages like the Dalai Lama and Buddha, who we think are perfect, and we believe that following the same path, we will also be immune from worldly failures, from ordinary people.
However, it is necessary to recognize that perfection is something unattainable, even for those who have reached a high level of perception, which makes them act in the right way in practically all situations.
The reality is that we are all flawed and will make countless mistakes in life. It is up to us to just learn from them and strive to be better every new day.
Spiritual teachings can make us set very high standards for ourselves, which results in guilt and aversion when we are unable. So many people end up shirking that responsibility. Recognizing one’s own imperfection is not easy.
Understand that in order to grow, it is essential, to be honest with yourself about your imperfections. Making mistakes is normal, but learning from them is what makes us evolve.
9. Find yourself in bad situations due to excessive tolerance and a refusal to distinguish people.
Spirituality can make us believe that all people deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion, and in this way we can often put ourselves in risky and completely dangerous situations, because we rely so much on those around us, being understanding and kind, when in fact we should learn to recognize your dark side.
We cannot allow spirituality to be confused with naivete. Being nice is not the solution to all of life’s dilemmas.
Many people have grown up in a very difficult reality, in which they have to fight for their own survival. They taught these people that they need to take advantage of the fragility of others in order to earn a living, and that is why they do not show compassion. It is in this sense that we need to be careful, to get smarter to reality, and to take protective measures, such as:
not being alone in the streets, especially when it is night;
maintaining distance from deserted and abandoned areas;
10. Wanting so much that several “spiritual” practices are correct to the point of completely ignoring science.
Many spiritual people develop an aversion to science, just because certain habits that they incorporate into their lives are not relevant to the scientific community. However, this does not mean that science detests spirituality or that it does not consider it to be true or important, it just means that they have not yet been able to prove these practices through laboratory experiments.
Science is fundamental to our existence because it allowed us to make incredible discoveries about our history, the way we evolved, and it allowed us to know more about the world around us. We cannot just discard it.
Let us be inspired by the words of Carl Sagan:
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and the passage of time, when we perceive the complexity, beauty, and subtlety of life, then this growing feeling, this feeling of exaltation and humility combined, is certainly spiritual. ”
“As well as our emotions in the presence of great art, music or literature, or exemplary acts of unselfish courage, like those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr.”
“The notion that science and spirituality are, in some way, mutually exclusive, is a disservice to both.”
Bonus – Put aside material success because of the belief that money and capitalism are bad.
Many people end up taking a very tough stance on their own money, so they sabotage themselves when it comes to professional and financial success.
They feel that wealth is a negative thing, that it only brings bad things into our lives, and that capitalism is the source of the world’s suffering and must be destroyed. But the situation is much more complex than we can realize.
It is clear that capitalism has brought many negative things to the world, and that we must fight consumerism, but we must also understand that thanks to capitalism, the world has changed for the better and many people have been lifted out of poverty.
In 1820, 94% of people on Earth lived in extreme poverty. In 2015, the number plummeted to 9.6%, and this positive change is largely due to economic growth catalyzed by capitalism.
It’s okay to want to have money. In fact, many billionaires in our world, like Bill Gates and Elon Musk constantly invest their capital in projects that transform the world for the better, which shows that money is not just used for evil.
The world can become an even better place if we use capitalism for good, creating more opportunities for growth and preservation of our environment.
We are all on a path of learning and evolution.
The signs listed above are very present in the spiritual community, and any follower may find themselves practicing one of them at one time or another, after all, we are all flawed, although we strive to follow a more evolved path.
Even on this path, we may find ourselves trapped, which, despite giving us the feeling that we are doing everything right, ends up encouraging us to maintain limiting beliefs and behaviors, which only hinder our evolution process.
One of the great truths of spirituality is that growth and learning are constant. If at any time you feel that you already know everything you need and that there is nothing more to learn from the world or the people around you, you are limiting yourself in several ways.
Spirituality is a powerful force that helps us to understand our role in the world we live in, to connect to the cosmos, and to live with more meaning. It motivates us to create a more conscious and happy future for ourselves. Your goal is to elevate us, never to decrease. That is why we must always be attentive to our behaviors if they serve the same purpose.
That after this reading you can reevaluate your relationship with spirituality and make the necessary changes to live with more truth.