A couple weeks ago I lost my dad. To say that I’ve been in a period of deep sorrow would be an understatement. His passing was relatively unexpected. The past couple of weeks have been a blur of activities of flying home, making arrangements, talking to people and supporting my mom and my brother.

Through this experience,  I have met so much kindness and compassion from people from all areas of my life. For that I am so grateful.

I also encountered some reactions as well, some of which were, shall we say, rather interesting.

One woman, a seeker who has done a lot of spiritual work throughout the years, extended her condolences by saying that my sadness wouldn’t be that bad because I already knew how to heal myself. She said that since I have great techniques for feeling better and letting things go that I would be OK.  I would already have the inner knowing that my dad was moving on to other things, and so his passing would not be as bad as it might be for other people, since I would have the comfort in knowing that everything was fine in the grand scheme of things.


And yet I wasn’t all that surprised. People who talk this way are usually folks who cannot be fully present with someone else’s pain. It scares them, and there’s the reaction of, “I must do something to reframe this so it’s positive thing so this person feels better, pronto!!” I understand this. These folks also usually have trouble being fully present with their own pain. Still, I wonder if they really think what they are saying is even remotely supportive, spiritual or helpful. What is the point of so much spiritual practice if in the end you still simply cannot handle pain? Life has pain, does it not? Do you spend your whole life trying to avoid pain, as if it were like a bad infection? Where did we get the spiritual idea that pain is something to be avoided, that it is a bad thing? And that correspondingly it is something you cannot afford to let yourself really feel it or support someone else who is still in it?

Feeling down? Meditate it away and you will feel better. Feeling sad? Change your vibration! In grief? Know that it’s all good and everything is as it should be.

It’s crazy to think that spiritual healers would or should feel less grief than anyone else, just because we have “great techniques for feeling better”.  

What kind of nuttiness is that? If this isn’t coming from a place of spiritual bypass, I don’t know what is.

True spiritual practice (aka “how to be more spiritual”) was never intended to lobotomize or anesthetize us from pain and sorrow. It was never meant to be used to escape the sorrows of life. It was never about mastering a bunch of fancy metaphysical techniques to make all sadness go away so that we can cling to the sunny side of life.

Right now, I’m just trying to be as fully present with the sorrow and grief as I can. There’s plenty of it, certainly. Yes, maybe it would be easier just to check out from it all and go into the “oneness” to avoid feeling sorrow.. But I think it’s more human and healthy to meet the pain head on, with full presence and openess. It’s better for me, my family and even my clients if I can stay open even when it hurts.  They can feel that I am present with the sadness and not trying to meditate it all away. In doing so, it helps them feel through their sadness as well.

Be real. Be more open. Be more real and open. And in doing that, life meets you in a fuller, more complete way. Put aside all your energetic healing techniques and have the courage to feel what is really going on.

And that is what the spiritual walk has always been about, anyway..

What do you think? I welcome your comments!

Before you go … Would you like a great way to feel better fast when life gets tough and you’re stressed?

Adele Wang
Certified energy healer and mentor, helping sensitive, spiritual, perfectionist women create happiness and success in an imperfect world!

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