January 29, 2020

How to Avoid the New Age Trap of Avoidance.

We all have “that friend”—the one who keeps getting disappointed by their lovers.

In their darkest moments, we try to cheer them up as best as we can. At the same time, we don’t want to be the Debbie-Downer when our friend falls in love again, even though we might already have a feeling that we are watching history repeat itself.

When it comes to our own choices, we are not any better. I think it’s safe to say that our generation goes through the most break ups per head in the history of mankind. 

“If it doesn’t flow, let it go,” has become one of our mantras. 

There is a culture around soothing disillusioned love birds with articles, products, and coaching services. Believe it or not, there are people making a good living from suggesting that it is not our fault when we go through another painful break up. Once we feel lost enough, there will be ads popping up on our screen and a whole army of coaches waiting for us. They are ready to tell us what we want to hear. 

Recently, I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of articles about spiritual bypassing. It seems like there is a shared observation that is bringing so many of us together.

I’ve witnessed people using spirituality as an excuse for irrational behaviour. Cases where empowering affirmations and rituals created more suffering than anything else. Leaving everything behind and floating from one self-help seminar to another does not always lead to us discovering the cause of our problems. Often, these “positive vibe” workshops just deepen our feeling that our issues are really everyone else’s fault. We are “woke” and others are just ignorant. We deserve something better.

If that is your main takeaway from seeing a coach, then you might have stepped into the “New Age Trap of Avoidance,” also known as astrological bypassing, spiritual bypassing, and just avoiding to take responsibility for ourselves.  

I’m not an expert on astrology or life coaching, but I believe both can be a good source of inspiration and help people to see aspects of their life in a new perspective. Rituals have the potential to help people find peace of mind, and that’s great. Well, it’s great up to a certain point, but there is also a dark side to it.

Life can be challenging, and sometimes we can’t keep up with those choices, which causes us to lose our temper. The bigger our problems get, the more nervous and irritable we become. One could think that this would be a good time to take a step back and evaluate our actions that led to the current situation we are dealing with. At least that is how adults would approach this situation. Others choose to blame Mercury retrograde for the chaos they created for themselves. 

Relationships can be challenging, and sometimes we are dating people who are not good for our well-being. Far too often, we get disappointed by partners we trusted and loved—a painful experience that we’ve all been through. Many of us, including myself, have a repetitive pattern of going through these terrible breakups over and over again. And when we are still angry about our loss, there is a tendency to label our ex-partners as narcissists or accuse them of gaslighting us. It is far more comfortable to talk with a coach about how this is all our partner’s fault than it is to reflect on our part in the messy situation. And many choose to jump into the next relationship and just cross their fingers that the cycle won’t repeat itself.

Dealing with our own life and interactions with others can be challenging, and sometimes it is all too much for us. Taking time off is a necessary thing to do, but we also have to find a point of return. Creating space and taking time for our yoga practice is a healthy thing to do, but when we have to stop an unpleasant conversation because we need to do some sun salutations or spontaneously meditate—well, I don’t know about that. 

Blaming the stars for our misery, calling our ex a narcissist, or escaping uncomfortable moments with spiritual excuses all serve the same purpose: disguising our role in our own story. 

I am not denying that there are narcissists out there or situations that we should avoid, but sometimes we take things too far. A break up always has at least two participants, and almost every situation we are dealing with is somehow related to the choices we made. 

After our pain, sadness, and anger have passed, it is necessary to look at our role in these scenarios. This is the only way to change our future experiences. As long as we keep avoiding responsibility for our choices and emotions, we will run into the same terrible relationships and face the same challenges in life, over and over again. 

Astrology and hobby psychology might offer us some temporary comfort and ease our pain, but they don’t solve our problems. 

Have you ever read a Tarot card that said: Get your sh*t together? Probably not. 

~

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