Myth #2 - To be spiritual, everything about your life must be bathed in love & light.
I'll bet you ten pennies you've seen the "love & light" phrase kicking around in the online spiritual community. When something catastrophic happens in the world, we immediately send them love & light. When someone is going through a rough patch, we send them love & light.
So let's dig a bit more into this love and this light. Are we actually sending these people love? What kind of love? Chew on this for a minute - by sending love and light, we're actually telling these people to gloss over what they're going through. We're saying to them - just stay positive. Never mind your trial - just ignore the bad and focus on the good.
This is problematic for a whole host of reasons but here's the biggest one: this phrase doesn't allow people the space to really express and experience the full range of human emotion. (#boommoment)
Love and light is spiritual bypassing - full stop. According to John Welwood, spiritual bypassing is the "tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks." Put it this way - it's a free pass to not feel your darkness; to not face your shadow side.
I can't even begin to express just how dangerous this is. Yes, we can always send love to our fellow man. However, it's actually a good thing for our fellow man to express every single emotion that comes up. Emotions just are - they're neither good or bad. This good or bad label is something we as a collective came up with.
Besides, who wants to feel 'bad'? It sucks! It hurts! It makes you do things you wouldn't otherwise do (i.e. eat 4 containers of double chocolate brownie espresso shot cookie dough ice cream). This emotion could be your greatest teacher. Instead of wishing it away, go through it - ice cream and all. Sit with it. Feel it. Experience it. Learn from it. Then let it go.
Now for the "light". The light is usually shimmering gold-tinged white light that comes down from the aether. You can call upon this light to bathe yourself in it; surrounding your physical body in this warm light to shield yourself from whatever's bothering you in the world.
I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard this brilliant quote - "we want the light but not the heat". Talk about a #recordscratchingmoment! We so want to be surrounded by this eternal light but are we truly ready to see everything that the light hits? I say no. This light is blinding. It makes you see EVERYTHING... even things you didn't want anyone to see... like that zit on your nose that you hope no one points out... until someone does.
Here's the deal - you are a whole, complex and beautiful human being. Give yourself permission to experience ALL of your emotions when they come up. The Universe is love. The Universe is light. It's always there - it doesn't dry up when you have a bad day.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: the Universe isn't going to spank you if you have a "bad" day. Life is a series of highs, lows and calm. The ocean isn't always perfectly still; the sun doesn't shine on us 24/7.
Don't be afraid of the dark and certainly don't be afraid of what the light shines on.