MATEO SOL: “11 Traps That Sabotage Spiritual Growth”

“No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain.”

~Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

 

Spiritual growth is an experience we all go through once we have experienced the spiritual awakening process. As we begin to awaken to the truth of who we are, we develop a connection to our authentic essence, higher nature or Soul.

As we progressively advance on our paths, our spiritual essence begins to blossom like a luminous flower deep in our heart. And the more we clear away the dead, gnarled and overgrown beliefs, perspectives, and emotional baggage within us, the more clearly we feel our divine essence. When we maintain our inner garden, we feel more and more love, wisdom, peace, and wholeness as our True Nature is revealed slowly to us.

Yet, like any garden, our metaphorical inner landscapes can be consumed by weeds, plagues, and forms of pollution that strangle anything beautiful we have been nurturing. Sometimes, we even sabotage the growth occurring within us ourselves, without knowing it.

What is Spiritual Growth?

“This isn’t a journey about becoming something.  This is about unbecoming who we are not.”  

~Adyashanti, The End of Your World

 

Spiritual growth is the process of awakening to your true nature, purpose, and potential. When you undergo spiritual growth you experience an expansion in awareness and insight, also known as higher consciousness. All spiritual growth has one objective: to help you embody your Soul, Higher Self or Atman. Once you are able to unite with your Soul, you will experience what is understood as enlightenment, “heaven,” Oneness or moksha.

The problem with the spiritual journey is that it is often laden with traps of many kinds. These traps are not physical, but they are instead mental and are often referred to as anti-awakening forces.

As we process life primarily through the mind, we also tend to approach spirituality with the mind. The issue with this is that spirituality cannot be contained by the limitations of thought. Once spirituality is captured within a thought, it ceases to maintain its true essence and instead becomes a constricting belief or dogma. In other words, spirituality loses its alive, ever-flowing essence once it is compartmentalized within the mind.

Think about it this way: have you ever felt immense awe and wonder in the presence of something beautiful and enchanting like a sunrise? The moment you stop immersing yourself in the feeling of the sunrise, and start taking a photo of it or describing it in a text message, is the moment you are no longer truly present with the sunrise. Instead, you are filtering it through your thoughts or through a lens of some kind. The same can be said with spirituality.

The more we use the mind to approach our Soul, the further our Soul feels. But the moment we drop our thoughts and allow ourselves to purely feel our Soul, suddenly we feel at home once again. Think of it like this: when you chase the sun on the horizon thinking you will reach it, you never will, because it is an illusion. But when you stop and feel the sun’s presence shining on your skin already, you will no longer chase anything.

It is difficult for us, as mind-oriented beings, to become conscious of our thoughts, as we have been conditioned to identify with them since a young age. But once we can observe our thoughts and how they tend to sabotage our happiness, we will experience true spiritual growth.

11 Traps that Sabotage Spiritual Growth

Below I want to share with you eleven of the most common traps that we fall into on the spiritual path. I have personally experienced these pitfalls many times, and they have resulted in a lot of pain and struggle. See how many of these traps you can identify with:

1. The trap of spiritual bypassing

Spiritual bypassing is the practice of using spirituality to avoid, suppress or escape from certain emotions or situations in life. Common types of spiritual bypassing include:

  • numbing one’s emotions through “spiritualized” repression and avoidance
  • unhealthy obsession and attachment to the positive (e.g. positive thinking) and adopting a passive-aggressive “nice” mask
  • debilitating judgment about one’s negativity or shadow self
  • anger-phobia
  • weak personal boundaries
  • blind or excessively tolerant compassion (to the detriment of oneself and the other)
  • forcefully trying to “kill” the ego and condemning it as “bad/evil”
  • exaggerated detachment
  • getting stuck in theoretical spirituality and dogmatic beliefs about “truth”
  • denial of self-responsibility by placing it on another higher being (e.g. spirit guide, angel)
  • delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being
  • using spiritual practices to escape unpleasant emotions; for example, using meditation to dissociate from emotions, rather than transmute them

2. The trap of superiority

This manifests as the tendency to “look down” upon others who are not as “consciously advanced” or “awakened.” The trap of superiority can be seen as a subtle feeling of “being better” than others who aren’t “spiritual.” In more extreme cases, this trap can appear as the tendency to lash out at people who are still “asleep,” “blind” or “sheep” of society. This kind of reactive behavior can often be seen in people who have just “woken up” to the state of the world, yet have undergone minimal spiritual growth. We need to remember that everyone is doing the best they can at their level of consciousness. When the time comes, they will awaken too.

3. The trap of forcefully trying to wake others up

Once we have awoken out of the “matrix” it is common for us to desperately want our loved ones and fellow peers to awaken. We can see how much pain and delusion other people are in, and that riles up in us the intense desire to “show them the truth.” However, often our attempt to forcefully awaken people misfires quickly. Even though we have good intentions, our desire to “save” others causes them to backlash in ways that infuriate both them and us. The less responsive they are to our pushy attempts to “wake them up,” the more frustrated and alienated we become. Eventually, trying to force others to wake up ends up harming both ourselves and others. Not only that, but this trap generates a lot of anger and misunderstanding, which results in further ego ensnarement, sabotaging our spiritual growth. Let people wake up when they are ready.

4. The trap of wanting to help others

This trap is closely entwined with the previous trap except it is more geared towards giving others advice. There is nothing wrong with wanting to help others, as long as you respect their boundaries. But sometimes developing an expanded spiritual perspective gives the ego an opportunity to feel more “knowledgeable” than others still trapped in illusion. When unsolicited advice is given to others, the results can be disastrous (think anger, upset, offense etc.).

Wanting to help others can also be used as a way of escaping our need to help ourselves. Under the guise of being “spiritual” and compassionate, helping others can be just another form of spiritual bypassing.

5. The trap of wanting to revolutionize the world

Once we wake up to the lies and corruption present in our current societal structure, many of us want to desperately change society. We fall into the trap of thinking that freedom, honesty, and justice can be created by changing the external system. As a result, we buy into the “us versus them” and “divide and conquer” mentality that is a product of the ego’s tunnel vision. We don’t realize that we’re actually fuelling the corrupt system which depends on anger and chaos to thrive and survive. Instead of understanding that all true change comes from an internal revolution, we get caught up in the pursuit of external revolution which is fragile and transient.

6. The trap of meaninglessness

Once we experience divine and transcendent states of being in which we become One with all, we can fall into the trap of spiritual nihilism after the experience passes. In other words, once we realize, from the perspective of the Universe, that nothing we do ultimately matters because all is passing, we can fall into a depressive mindset. Using truths such as “All is an illusion,” the person who falls for this trap tends to filter life through the mind. By mentally clinging to these truths, they become beliefs that the ego uses as an excuse to paradoxically feel separate from existence.

7. The trap of avoiding everyday responsibilities

Some people get so infatuated with the spiritual path that they avoid dealing with ordinary, everyday affairs. This form of escapism can lead to leeching off others, not paying bills, evading taxes, obsessing with “living off the grid,” etc. When avoiding everyday responsibilities is worn as a badge of being consciously elevated or “more spiritual” this too is a form of egotism in disguise. Avoiding ordinary responsibilities which are not perceived as being “spiritual enough” can also be a form of distraction that the ego uses to limit spiritual growth. The more concerned and obsessed you are with living an outwardly “spiritual” looking life, the more distanced from your inner work you become. Sometimes we need to feed the sharks to keep the calm and live balanced lives.

Remember the old Zen saying: “Before Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water; after Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.” We need to be humble and recognize that ordinary daily life is the perfect place to spiritually grow and mature.

8. The trap of self-victimization

Soon after we experience a spiritual awakening and wake up to the insanity of the world, it is common for us to get stuck in self-victimization. We may start to perceive the world as a “prison” and other people as the “captives” or even “capturers.” The shock of awakening may send us spiraling into anxiety and paranoia. Inevitably, we may start feeling like victims resulting in us blaming other people and the higher powers for how we feel. The spiritual trap of self-victimization can be seen a lot on social media which often tends to become a pity party for spiritual fledglings. At the end of the day, we need to see that it is actually our thoughts that cause us to suffer, not other people or situations. Once we can take self-responsibility for our perspectives and beliefs, we can become empowered once again.

9. The trap of the Savior Complex

This trap is related to the previously mentioned trap of wanting to help others. The Savior Complex is adopted by people who feel a sense of superiority to the rest of humanity. Their sense of being “different” and more “spiritually elevated” can make them feel as though they are destined to fix the world. The Savior Complex can most often be seen within the “lightworker/Starseed/healer” circles who tend to put themselves up on pedestals, believing it is their cosmic duty to “save the planet.” This perception aligns with the belief that there is something “wrong” with reality and that other people are “broken” and need to be fixed (which is an ego perspective). This perception also reinforces the ego’s sense of “specialness” and self-importance.

The Savior Complex can go one step further and evolve into a Martyr Complex. Martyrs believe they must “bear the burdens” of others. Obviously, this is an extremely unhealthy way of living which is based on Christian conditioning (think of the story of Jesus). By “carrying” other people’s pain, Martyrs bypass taking responsibility for their own happiness and enable other people’s immature behavior. Read more about the Martyr Complex.

10. The trap of attachment

After experiencing profound and expansive mystical experiences which often come after significant spiritual growth, it is common for us to attach to the experience. It can be painful to come down from these experiences and return back to usual, unenlightened reality. We can also attach to our “stories” and beliefs about spirituality. Because the mind tries to make sense of this transcendent experience, it will often latch onto various ideas as a form of control. But the more we attach to our beliefs, stories, desires, and mental interpretations, the more we suffer. We forget that everything passes, even transcendent experiences. Enlightenment isn’t a destination, it is a complete surrender; a fundamental shift in the way we approach life.

Attachment is perhaps the most common trap that sabotages our spiritual growth. On one hand, attachment to ideas helps us to grow, but ultimately, those ideas that we are unwilling to let go of end up stagnating our growth. When ideas become protection blankets rather than catalysts for our growth, there is a big problem. We need to realize that freedom cannot be experienced through the mind. Freedom is felt when we can be liberated from attachment to our thoughts.

11. The trap of relying on external answers

As we progress through our spiritual paths it is normal, and beneficial, for us to seek out external support. Reading books, attending workshops and seminars, going to retreats, practicing holistic techniques, and getting a personal guru all help us experience spiritual growth. However, after a while, it is common for us to become too dependent on external answers for our freedom and happiness. This pitfall can be seen in many spiritual seeker’s obsession and glorification of their gurus (in other words, projecting and disowning their divinity onto another).

Eventually, as we become accustomed to constantly searching outside of ourselves for answers, we forget the presence of our own Souls. We forget that our ultimate source of guidance and wisdom comes from within us, and instead, we keep chasing things outside of ourselves that we believe will “enlighten” us.

We need to stop, pause, and reflect on our spiritual journeys. Are we seeking out first-hand experience or second-hand experience given to us by others? Don’t forget to look within for your answers as well because it is by connecting with your Soul that you will ultimately experience freedom.

Final Thoughts

In order to see through and extricate ourselves from these traps, we need to be radically honest with ourselves. We need to be willing to see that we have indeed gone astray and have fed into the ego. We will also immensely benefit from exploring our Shadow Selves and exploring our mistaken beliefs.

Don’t worry if you have fallen into any of these traps. We all become ensnared by the ego. It can be particularly difficult for us to see clearly when the ego “spiritualizes” certain beliefs and ideas. The more open, humble, and honest you are, the more you will be able to see through these tricks and liberate yourself.

Finally, don’t be afraid of the dark. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. Everything, no matter how painful, is a learning opportunity. At the end of the day, your Soul is everything you have been searching for.

If you have any extra thoughts or insights about traps that sabotage spiritual growth, please share below. I would also love to hear your own journey.

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

LISA RENEE (Energetic Synthesis): “Recovering our Core Self”

 

“If we hold a vision of humanity as eternal souls coming into the material reality to learn lessons to grow and purify ourselves spiritually, it is easier to see that most people have forgotten who they really are as they are wearing many false identity masks.  It is rare today to meet with completely honest, balanced and authentic people.  Thus in this reflection, we may have forgotten who we really are and are still bargaining away our soul.”   ~Lisa Renee

 

The planetary body is shifting into the higher frequency band that is located in the next Harmonic Universe.  The collective consciousness has been shifting through the layers of the higher dimensional frequency bands quite consistently, during the Ascension Cycle.  However, what is happening now has a massive impact on the configuration of the construct that makes up the individual and collective mental bodies.  The impact to the three lower layers of the mental body construct generates forces that create intense energetic pressure upon people’s bodies, in so that they learn to adjust their 3D ways of thinking, behaving and negative ego coping mechanisms to evolve into the higher mind.  Many people may feel the pressure as they are being forced to move past old 3D identities and let go of the false self.  As a result of current shifts, all people are being pushed to recognize and feel the differences between the authentic core self and the false identities used to mask pain and trauma.  This discernment is needed to help people develop into their higher mental bodies, in so that they can align to the higher frequencies that are transmitting during the current collective consciousness shift.  The planetary body is rolling up the lowest three frequency bands, 1D, 2D and 3D.  This means that the lower three dimensional frequency bands will cease to exist in the same way they have on this planet.  This produces a massive pressure upon the constructs that exist as the lower mental bodies, which for some people with unhealed trauma, will be felt as surges of electrical pressure on the nervous system that generates even more mental anxiety and physical tension.  We are under a lot of pressure to recollect our soul fragments and transform into a new and higher version of ourselves.  This pressurized sensation upon our body and mind can bring up feelings of fear as we progress into facing the unknown and overcoming fears of uncertainty and self-doubt.

The false self or the false identity is usually formed to generate inner walls in our unconscious mind as a result of unhealed painful trauma and fears.  This wall of separation that exists between our unconscious mind and conscious mind hides secret negative beliefs or internal fears that we have collected about ourselves as the result of how we perceived life experiences.  For some people, these deeply buried fears and pain is so devastating that they avoid addressing it, as it can sink them into a dark abyss of emotional pain that they do not know how to cope with.  To hide from this emotional pain, they develop coping mechanisms to help them better survive in the 3D world of obligations and stress, while living in a culture that emphasizes escapism, which is pain and fear avoidance.  People in pain form opposite sets of compensating behaviors, which means they act out behaviors that are actually the opposite of who they really are, in so to keep up appearances or expectations connected to their belief system.  These negative habits form into coping mechanisms that help them to deal with the anxiety they feel that is created from past unhealed pain and trauma.  These compensating behaviors turn into fear coping mechanisms in order to get through life, people putting up a façade or false identity that they believe other people will accept or love.  Or they may be reduced into impersonating other people’s behaviors around them in order to feel safe, and other peoples behaviors become the mental body architecture that form into the false identity mask that they show to the world.  When we allow others the power to dictate to our identity, we become lost, confused and very unhappy.

At this time it is important that we not seek to repair and reprogram the false identity mask of the negative ego’s pain, that part of our lower mind that has compensated behaviors to hide away our deepest fears that we are unlovable, worthless, or inadequate.  It is time to break through the ego walls of separation and fear, to discover the true authentic core self, to recover our core self through unconditional self-love and unconditional self-acceptance.

In order to break through the false identity mask and recover our core self, we have to be willing to face the core negative belief we have about ourselves and address the emotional pain that it created.  The task for emotional and spiritual healing is to find out what the core pain belief system is and dismantle its control over our behaviors, especially when it has created dual or more false identities as coping mechanisms for fears.  This happens when people have separate identities that they show different people or they adopt a certain personality in a variety of social settings.  As an example, the personality behaviors that exist when at home alone and the other personality behaviors that are exhibited in public or in social settings, are either false identities or connected with the authentic core self.  These examples of false identities are created in order to meet social expectations or appearances, and this marked change in personality while in private or in public can produce split personalities with splitting behaviors.  If we exist in false identities and behave in-authentically, wearing masks in our everyday life, suppressing our true emotions and feelings, we are unable to tell what is real and what is false, and this produces self-delusion, a person that has no core self with little emotional and mental stability.

To address our core negative beliefs and core wound, we must look to the frustrations and irritations we feel in everyday life, by listening to the inner dialogue we have that is negative about ourselves, negative about others, negative about our conditions.  Many people’s core wound is generated in their earliest memories during childhood, and this emotional pain may have been defined in previous lifetimes in similar situations, when the same emotional theme played out and was not resolved and healed, it is replayed into this current lifetime.  Drilling down the core wound of unhealed emotional pain and fear, takes us into the classic case study of ego walls of separation, feeling disconnected from experiencing or feeling unconditional love and self-acceptance.  Each person will grow to develop their own ego defense mechanisms that reinforce the experiences of separation, which take us away from giving or receiving unconditional love.  When we live in fear, our body constricts and we hold back our heart, suppressing our feelings, withholding authentic and truthful communication which increases emotional and mental pain.  When we live in a fearful state, our body will constrict from tension, it will contract away from giving and receiving unconditional love, and this denial of self-love is the main cause of continuing to experience and accumulate emotional pain.  Our beliefs around family and our connections to family lineages will give important insight and clues to the negative core beliefs and wounds that we are struggling with that we have inherited from the False Parent.

The False Parent is the main Victimizer Archetype that is used to create pain and trauma in the child, when that child is totally dependent upon that adult person.  When abuse is suffered in childhood, destructive attachments and negative bonds are formed within that child that carry into adulthood, if they are not cleared.  To free the body, mind, emotions and spirit from the bondage of trauma induced by parents or others when we were children, we must take responsibility to learn how to love ourselves and unconditionally forgive what has happened to us.  This action dissolves the causality and the consequential effects, as well as later entanglements that this pain has created throughout the child’s timeline, all the way into adulthood.

If we hold a vision of humanity as eternal souls coming into the material reality to learn lessons to grow and purify ourselves spiritually, it is easier to see that most people have forgotten who they really are as they are wearing many false identity masks.  It is rare today to meet with completely honest, balanced and authentic people.  Thus in this reflection, we may have forgotten who we really are and are still bargaining away our soul.

The core wound we hide from is the shock and trauma we experience when we feel separated from unconditional love.  This core wound organizes our ego identification in ways to help us feel more safe in the world, many times draining away our creativity, love and sexual connections.  Overcoming our resistance to face inner pain or fear requires that we undergo the dark night of the soul process so we can experience the direct knowledge that we can come through our fear and pain, and become fully connected to experience the state of unconditional love.  Many people require a spiritual crisis, which starts as a life crisis of some kind, in order to get to the level of desperation that pushes them to let go of everything fully.  In this phase of letting go, going past the fear, they find themselves in a new state of awareness with an open heartedness that releases the floodgates of unconditional love, compassion and empathy.

When we resist the emotional and spiritual process required to address our hidden core wound and pain, it can occupy us for many years in seeking psychological, emotional and spiritual healing work.  The core wound is most commonly generated in the pre-verbal or non-verbal areas of the brain, body and consciousness, thus it is greatly entwined with the physical body, CNS, as well as the functioning of the three layers of ego.  If there is no self-awareness of the pain held in the triggering of this core wound, the wound takes over the body and runs on automatic through the nervous system and brain.  To bring unconditional love and stabilize it into our body and conscious awareness, we need to identify the organizing belief systems that trigger our core pain.  We must remember who we are in our spiritual essence, our sense of true core self, before we took on the fear based belief that we were separated from love.  If we are willing to feel the wound that led to the pain generated from our separation from unconditional love, this reveals to us where the wound is located in our body, or where the black emptiness resides.  Our core wounds manifest as an aching emptiness or black hole somewhere in our body, usually found in the heart center.  Once identified, the black holes of pain need to be filled with the light of unconditional love and forgiveness.

To go beyond Core Fears and Recover the Core Self, this quick exercise may be helpful:

Source the Belief System: Identity the negative belief system that drives the core wound, that spreads emotional and mental pain and leaves fear residue and constriction sensations in your body.

Connect to your Physical Body: Identify where the core pain or aching wound can be felt in your body and body parts.  Pay attention and observe how your body constricts and closes down in fear when you are feeling your core pain or core wound.

Observe the Fear, Witness: Stay present to the core fear and pain without trying to change it or shift it immediately.  Observe it as being connected to your physical self, your biological self.  Do not try to make the fear or wound as something positive, or bargain it away, just allow yourself to be fully present with the fear and pain, without believing it to be true.  Call it out for what it is, the negative ego or predator mind.

Experience Vulnerability while Feeling Pain: Be open to feel the vulnerability that pain may make you feel, without assigning any labels or value of good or bad.  Stay present to experience unbearable pain as an energy, thought form and vibration, staying as open as you can to witness it in your body.  If you can focus on the feeling of being vulnerable, allow yourself to be fully innocent, knowing that being comfortable with emotional vulnerability is a great strength. .

Invite in Unconditional Love: Bring to mind and imagine yourself in your eternal spirit body before this core wound, pain and the negative beliefs existed.  In your mind, completely surround the fear, void, blackness, in the body, and area of pain with the unconditional love, light and power of the Krystal Star and Godhead.  See your entire body lit up in God-Sovereign-Free imagery, enlightened, free and liberated from pain.

Most people fear that if they let go of their personality structure, they will not exist.  Primal fear surfaces when we get close to our true spiritual essence and core self, because it is the ego death, and the ego mind has programs that act as defense and survival mechanisms.  The Negative Ego will fight to protect its survival, it will use every trick and deception to prevent you from discovering your true core self and authentic nature.  Do not be afraid to face it head on.  Our spiritual source is the true power on our side and it is important to remember this fact when the mind attacks with fears and phobias.  In order to transcend the fear and mental body attacks, stay in the present moment and remain formless and transparent, as the compassionate witness.  The more we practice this exercise in disciplining our negative ego from going into its mental attack loops, the easier it gets, as we gain spiritual strength.  We gain incredible strength when unconditional love is reborn as our new unifying principle, our true core self’s spiritual power and human dignity surfaces, and we are no longer shattered and overwhelmed by life’s circumstances.  As we develop to become more grounded in our true spiritual core, the false identity will stay in the background of awareness, but it ceases to be the driving force of our life any longer.  When our true spiritual core self and spiritual connection is restored through consistent devoted attention, it automatically weakens the power of core fears and the ego defense mechanisms.  When our focus and attention is consistently relaxed and expansive, we are no longer constricted and limited by the framework of the automatic habits set in place by the negative ego mental body construct.

Unconditional loving presence in the now moment, and learning to relax and allow whatever emotional material is surfacing in our awareness, is the primary inner spiritual work we need to do.  Each emotional layer that requires healing must be processed in its own order and timing, when we feel strong enough to stay open and vulnerable to feeling and witnessing the emotional pain and trauma that is in core wounding.  Staying open and willing to process personal emotional pain may happen for extended periods of time in order for the emotional imprint and residue to completely release from the body.  Emotional pain and trauma is like a black seed embedded in the energetic matrix and cell memory of the body.  Each of these emotional seeds have a lifespan from the accumulated experiences that gathered that particular emotional theme.  With consistent loving attention, kindness and self-care, the emotional seeds of pain will complete their lifespan and it will pass away forever, clearing away and healing the layers of the body.

The people that remain in the 3rd dimensional consciousness during this shift will find themselves increasingly uncomfortable, extremely pressurized and unhappy.  Thus, many will feel the squeezing pressure to transform rapidly through the alchemical theme of polarity synthesis, which helps to bring completion to these old karmic patterns from the past, if we are willing to let them go.  This purging process will add or subtract the required blueprint patterns that we may need to meet these new coordinates in the earth grid, and to help clear out the unstable or dark force influence in our lives.  We are being purged deeply and the remaining content is processed into higher light and consciousness, to be stabilized and synthesized into the body, in order to improve energetic coherence and recover our core self.  Our responsibility now is to practice unconditional love to all that we see, and to see everything and everyone around us as connected to the unified whole.  At the same time, we make clear intentions of where we place our consent, in higher authority.  This loving intention and compassionate practice will keep our heart open and aligned to the source field, and will make the transition much more comfortable.

In Love and service,

Lisa

 

(Exercise Adapted from: Understanding Your Core Pain and False Self)

 

 

~via EnergeticSynthesis.com – Time Shift Blog – January 31, 2017