What Spiritual Bypassing Looks Like

A very tempting path that leads nowhere.

Kimberly Fosu
Published in
5 min readApr 19, 2023


(Photo: David)

When the pandemic happened, I saw it as an opportunity to dive deeper into my spirituality. I quit my 9–5 to become a seeker. I took every spiritual course, watched every spiritual video on YouTube, and read every book I could find on spirituality and each time I felt confident about my new life path.

With every course I completed, every video I watched till the end, and every book I finished reading, I felt like I was close to creating the life that I know I came here to live.

But I became burned out. Too burnt out to take another course, sit through another video or read another spiritual book that promised me something that was too far out of reach.

It became harder for me to ignore my weariness and utter disappointment. I needed to face the truth. I was using spirituality to avoid dealing with myself.

When I was feeling uncomfortable emotions, I would rush to YouTube to find a video that I knew would say exactly what I needed to hear. I was spiritually bypassing and I quickly realized that it was leading me nowhere.

Spiritual bypassing is when we use spirituality to avoid facing and dealing with emotional pain. It was a very tempting path to take until I realized it was doing me no good.

Spiritual bypassing is a common thing on the spiritual awakening journey, and most of us have done it without realizing it. But the journey is all about learning and unlearning.

Here is what spiritual bypassing looks like today:

1. Polarizing into the light

This is when you go to a yoga class or a spiritual circle and the host says, “No bad vibes allowed here and all negative emotions must be left at the door, love and light,” etc.

Another term for this is toxic positivity.

When we cling to the positive feelings and to love and light and good vibes, we polarize into the light completely ignoring everything we think is dark, bad, or negative. But when we claim to be spiritual, aren’t we supposed to awaken to the good and the bad, the positives and the negatives, the light and the shadows within us?



Kimberly Fosu
Writer for

Life Purpose Coach. Currently writing my next book "Who Am I?"