Spiritual Bypassing and our emotional jar – Part 2: Making use of this tool

When we resist learning the lessons that life presents to us, the same theme will emerge over and over again until we are prepared – or forced – to learn the lesson and cultivate the strength and inner peace.

When faced with emotional turmoil, this is how to work with the Emotional Jar:

1. An event happens, triggering an adverse response within.

2. We need to deal with what’s arisen.  
As we are inherently hopeful and positive, we search for the good – or we do not fully recognise the harm. If we do not deal with the issue at hand because it is too painful or we simply do not have the capacity, our defence mechanisms kick in which help us to cope. The key here is to acknowledge the response we are having.

3. We look for solutions, from our internal/external resources, and past learnings.
Due to the complexity of human nature and the events that occur, Spiritual Bypassing happens and it is only sometimes years later before our defences reduce enough to be able to be vulnerable and to pluck up the courage to immerse ourselves in the task of processing a situation fully.

To avoid this taking place, I acknowledge that there is a problem that I need to deal with, and I set aside a time to process it but it is not always that cut and dry.  There are points at which I had to and was able to do it immediately. This helps to avoid having a “gremlin stealing from my emotional jar.” In this period of processing time, I use a technique referred to as Bibliotherapy – I write out the issue at hand, followed by the deepest discomfort that arises which helps me to externalise the problem, rather than having the problem like that “unwelcome guest” draining me.

This process also helps me to bring unconscious thoughts to the fore in my consciousness. I start writing whatever comes to my mind without judgement or having to think about constructing proper sentences.  Sometimes, I simply start by writing an easy sentence, like “What a day…” and then go into describing my day and the events as they happened for me, and so the process unfolds. You can keep writing the words “What a day…” over and over until you find yourself being able to continue with more thoughts. Don’t stop writing until you have delved to the gist of the problem!

I always end off with what I have learnt from the experience, what I am grateful for, as well as any wisdom / additional insights that came from within.  The gems of wisdom are grounding and serve as the foundation in my emotional jar to rebuild a healthy emotional state so that I can approach similar situations from a more centred space within.  

There will be times within this process when we feel discouraged, and this is the time to trust the learning.  Dealing with information and situations is part of our journey through life. Don’t kid yourself, this is not a stand-alone event!  Make sure you keep a check on your own emotional jar and manage it at a level that is comfortable. Individuation is a constant journey of discovery and there will always be another event to develop you further.  

My gem of wisdom: We don’t need to plan many steps ahead, we can just focus on taking the next step. All we need is to be willing to start the journey, and put pen to paper.

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