Lisa Salvatore
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Spirituality, Spiritual New Age ‘Garbage’ And Spiritual Bypassing

Yes, you read the title correctly.

“Is she serious”?  Yes, I am.

While I do consider myself a Spiritual Advisor and quite a spiritual person- going straight to the soul to help others, I do not buy into all of this new age garbage- A.K.A- ‘Spiritual Bypassing’.

Well, only some parts are garbage…allow me to explain.

First off, what exactly does it mean when one is spiritual?

To be spiritual, quite simply, means to be in touch with and connect to your spirit, your soul, your true essence.  To be in alignment with who you truly are, your most authentic self.  “To thy own self be true”.

To be aware.  To take care of your self above all else.  To be at peace with who you are.

Spirituality is about being true to your spirit.  Period.  It doesn’t matter what that looks like or feels like to anyone else but you.

A lot of people think that being spiritual means never being in a bad mood, never disliking someone or something, always being “zen”, never cussing , never getting angry.  Psshhhh….such nonsense.

Being spiritual is about honoring your soul, your needs, your spirit.

It does not matter what that looks like to anyone else, if you do or do not eat red meat, if you meditate or not, what religion you follow (if any).

None of that matters.

What matters is what you truly believe in, what you truly feel, and what soothes your soul.

Always be true to yourself , and doors will open even if some must close first.

It’s important to note that your soul wants experiences both good and not so good, sometimes downright bad, in order to attract to your physical self important lessons; for the learning and wisdom that they inevitably bring.

The intention should be not to avoid these experiences, as difficult as that can and will seem.

Think about the times in your life when you learned the most about yourself.  I am certain it was not all ‘Rainbows and Unicorns’ before you came to a place where you accepted, and embraced, a particular part of who you are.

Sometimes negativity will enter our space in order to teach us, to heal us, to protect us and to help us grow. 

As I always say, without pain there is no growth.

The only way out is to go through.

This is where my feelings about “spiritual bypassing” come into play.

Spiritual bypassing, a term first coined by psychologist John Welwood in 1984, is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs.

I witness this often.

A lot of people are aware that something is off inside, and it is holding them back in some way.

They know on a deep level that they have some healing that needs to be done.  In most cases, it goes back to childhood.

It is a feeling deep within the soul.

Every now and again, one of these souls comes to me for a reading.

Intuitively, I know what needs to be addressed within the first five minutes.

Below is a scenario from a few years ago, but names and some context are fictional. 

‘Mary’ comes to see me for a session at the office.

She says ‘tell me what you see for me and we will go from there’.

It’s her first time with me, so I give her my spiel about how I am not a magician, and when you say you want a general overview, then you must be open to all of the information I receive – and then you may ask questions if something has not been addressed.

She agrees.

We continue.  I am giving Mary her read, which consists a lot about her past, who she is at a deep soul level, her trigger points, etc.

She agrees with everything that I am saying, but she keeps cutting me off.

Mary wants to talk about her current love interest, ‘Bob’.

Bob and Mary are both married- to other people.

From very early on in the session, I know that Mary is deeply unhappy in her marriage, in her life in general.  But she won’t leave her marriage because ‘she can’t’.

I get it. I don’t judge, truly I don’t.  It is what it is for Mary, for whoever else.

I am not there to judge, I am there simply to enlighten.

I explain to Mary that this is not a good situation for obvious reasons, but the biggest reason is that I have a psychic glimpse into Bob’s character, and it is not pretty.

She has once again, attracted a manipulative, emotional abuser.  This is a pattern from what I can see and feel, but Mary does not even realize this.

Mary then tells me that one week prior to our session, she visited a well known psychic that promised her that she and Bob would be together by the end of the month, by following a crystal ritual (insert eye roll).

Sidenote– I do believe in the healing power and properties of crystals, and I do work with them.  However, I do not believe they are a sole source of healing, rather an enhancement.  I would certainly not charge someone for a ‘crystal spell’.  In fact, when I work with clients I give them crystals to take with them that I feel they resonate with.

Mary paid a few hundred dollars for this crystal-bath and guarantee, by the way.

Are her and Bob together?  No.

Mary also goes to a weekly prayer circle that she pays a lot for, in which they all sit around and talk about how they feel slighted in their lives because of how others treat them, and how they can achieve everything they want by the manifestation process.

Sidenote again- I also believe strongly in the law of attraction, manifestation and abundance.  But none of these occur without getting real with ourselves and about who we truly are at the soul level first and Mary is avoiding this.

She is telling me all of this.  She has also spent a shit-ton of unnecessary money and I tell her that.

Mary is doing what is referred to, as “Spiritual Bypassing” and I say this to her.

She is simply using spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with her painful feelings of inadequacy, unresolved wounds inflicted upon her as a child, and her unfulfilled and unexpressed desired emotional needs for true intimacy.

That all comes from within.

She shakes her head in amazement and agreement.

I spent the latter part of the session listening to her.

I felt for her, I truly did.  It was like she was a little girl again, craving my praise.

At the end of our session, Mary asks me if she can hug me.  Sure why not, I could use a hug today.

She then tells me how she feels so light and how much I’ve helped her, how she feels calm and safe with me and I’m not a quack ( I hear this often and it always makes me laugh- am I supposed to be a circus clown?) and when is it too soon to schedule another session?

I tell her that she has some homework to do before she sees me again and that she may schedule a session after she completes her assignment.

Her assignment is simple: No psychic stuff for three months.  No readings what-so-ever, no love spells (GAG), none of that crap.

I give her some breathing exercises, ask her to do one small daily ritual, and then at the end of those three months to come back and see me if and only if, she feels she needs more clarity.

She hugs me again, I give her a nice piece of Rose Quartz to help her with unconditional love for herself, and Mary leaves.

This is not the first time I have worked with someone like Mary.

Someone who feels like something is missing, feels sad, vulnerable yet cannot quite pinpoint why.

That vulnerability is what caused her to spend all of that unnecessary money on spells and rituals, on spiritual bypassing.

I am not any better than any other healer or anyone else in general, I am far from perfect and I do not pretend to be so.

What I do know is that I truly care.  If I speak to you once, and you feel better and validated in some way, then I have done my job.

What I will also say with utmost conviction and honesty, is that everyone deserves to feel validated and appreciated.

Nobody is better than anybody else.  Nobody.

As humans, we all possess that one insecurity- admit it or not, but we all want to be accepted and loved for who we truly are.

We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in

Ernest Hemingway

I believe that the greatest gift of all is self-awareness.  That is what heals, that is what brings you closer to your soul and your true nature.

When you are authentic, you are creating the space for others to show up in the same way.

Then and only then, can you heal.  Please believe that.

While I follow my own spiritual practices in my daily life, I am also very self aware and self reflective at the same time.

I realize that true happiness and true healing comes from facing and acknowledging our own shadow side, our own pain.

Suppressing that does more harm than good.

I simply hold that mirror up for others, creating the space for them to answer their own questions-  while giving them some psychic insight and guidance along the way.

So yes-  please go ahead and attend group healings, have a reiki session, have a psychic reading.

Go to healing music and sound bath events, continuously seek spiritual enlightenment.

Look for something greater outside of yourself because the universe is truly an amazing and beautiful force that will constantly seek to amaze you.

The more open you are and the more you believe, the more you shall receive.  This is truth.

But please, please go within first and do not use spiritual healing modalities to excuse or avoid the parts of you that need true healing.  Do not sell yourself short, as you know what these parts consist of.

Use spiritual modalities as enhancement, as an accompaniment to your healing- yet,  not the sole source of validation.

Honor your spirit.  Admit your truth even when it hurts, and really feel it.

This is what breaks us open, what heals, and what ultimately shifts us to a better place.

Much Love,


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