“In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.”
“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”
“Spiritual bypass” is a term often used in circles where people are seeking a higher truth. Be they New Age spiritualists, pagans, mystical Christians or an interesting amalgamation of all these spiritualities or none, the term describes a certain type of seeker who is utilizing spirituality to ignore the real-life issues of their existence.
We’ve all witnessed these people. They’re the chorus of “WE JUST NEED LOOOOVE!!!!” in the face of economic disparity and misogyny and Donald Trump. They are the “friend” who replies to your grief over a recent loss with pleas to “just be positive”.
Sometimes we are even “those people”, dishing out feel-good quotes and pat advice like we are human Hallmark cards.
It’s easy to see that this shit does not work in hindsight, but not always simple to catch spiritual bypass as it is occurring in real-time.
One of the stickiest places that we often wish to bypass are the stories that live inside our families of origin–the painful patterns, the hypocrisy, the let’s-just-take-the-Sears-portrait-and-ignore-our-growing-dysfunction-ness, the weirdness, and just the day-to-day realities of familial existence.
As a seeker eager to dive into all things Divine Feminine, I was all about reading about the “Great Mother” archetype and the goddess worshiping cultures of old but I was consistently passing a blind eye to what actually was occurring within my own matrilineal line.
Without even realizing it, I was jumping over my life and seeking external opinions about what the culture had taught me about being a woman.
But, where do we learn most about what it means to be woman than within the lives and stories of our mothers, aunts, sisters, and grandmothers?
It is these women who have taught me what is possible, what to believe about sex, my body, money, men, female friendships, relationships, self-care, food, parenting, femininity/masculinity, expression, success, God and all that I call Life.
They were my first teachers.
No matter what I profess to believe now, it is their opinions that are more often than not running the show. And until I sat down to examine what they taught me, no “Divine Mother” was going to redirect and “fix” my current life.
Of course, these women have taught me all kinds of life-affirming lessons, it is not just a barrage of negativity. And they teach not only with words and deep conversations–but within the tiniest details of how they live.
Lately, I have been sifting through these lessons and asking myself some deep questions:
What were the actual lessons passed down implicitly and explicitly in my mother-line?
What are the lessons I wish to live? What are the beliefs I need to let go of? And what are the beliefs I am actually living each day?
When does “living differently” from these lessons feel like I am abandoning my mother-line?
The work I am completing here is constant and requires a dedication to life-long learning and shedding–these early beliefs are oftentimes not easy to discard.
They are literally in our blood.
But, I’ve started to notice something in my search.
I used to think the sifting through these stories required me to make a particular family member wrong or to assign blame.
Now I see that this search is all about integrity and awareness. It’s about truly realizing what is mine and what is not. It’s about facing reality as it is and not utilizing spirituality as yet another fogged up mirror, a clever way to obscure truth.
I continue this search, this investigation. I see the patterns–both gracious and limiting. I keep asking questions and sticking around for the answers. In doing so, my Divine Feminine life has a more grounded texture to it, for it is now weaved into my actual life.
My eyes open more and more each day.
What do you think you would find in sifting through your mother’s garden? Is it scary to think that you may just locate who you really are?