In this episode of The Steward Project, I want to talk about something I've been seeing on social media more often. I'm watching some amazing activists share really powerful sentiments and learnings about oppression and racism, then watching as others (with privilege) comment about them needing "more Love & Light". Or suggesting that if they shared the truth about oppression or racism with a bit more "Love & Light", it would be better received.
Now, you know I'm a yoga teacher and I'm immersed in that world. And I'm a big believer in Love & Light. And in Good Vibes. Absolutely. But there's this way of using these things to cover up sadness, anger, frustration, or hopelessness. It's used to silence the pain of others, to invalidate the uncomfortable experiences of others (like illness or trauma). We use it to push away the reality of our bad habits. We use it to numb ourselves out from discomfort. We use it to dissociate from the reality of the world.
The challenge is this... If we choose to purposely push bad emotions away, and cover them with Light & Love and pretend that everything is joyful and happy, in moments of silence and stillness, those shadows come back up. And we're not prepared to deal with them because we've been so focused on the Love & Light, and the Good Vibes Only that they kind of knock us on our heels. And that's when we risk harming ourselves or others. That's also when we risk spiritual bypass.
Our challenge is to experience ALL the "vibes", all the emotions, and learn how to navigate them while moving towards Love & Light. And to understand that when we allow ourselves to experience the full range of emotions, life is sweeter and we can really pull into the Love & Light in an authentic way.
My girl Lisa Olivera has it right with this Instagram post...All Vibes Always!
A few things I highlight in this episode are:
Love is the optimal state of being we want to aspire to but the reality is there is hate & darkness in the world.
When we ignore hate & darkness in favor of Love & Light, we are ignoring oppression and avoiding taking action or holding anyone accountable. We are then, in some ways, complicit in that oppression.
We use Love & Light to push away overwhelming or uncomfortable emotions or topics we would rather ignore.
When we do this, we invalidate the pain and anger of others, which can lead to spiritual bypass. (See Podcast Episode 9 on Spiritual Bypass & Bullsh*t Manifesting)
If we can acknowledge the "negative" emotions we experience we can also be very purposeful in what we carry for others...and make deliberate steps to avoid (See Podcast Episode 6: Caring vs. Carrying)
What has been your experience with Love, Light and Good Vibes Only? Do you feel that they have been "weaponized"? How do you manage the darkness while moving towards the light?
Thank you so much for listening to this episode and THANK YOU for subscribing to The Steward Project podcast! Until next time...