I was driving and feeling a bit uncomfortable with life now and just as I saw my finger touch the knob to turn on a spiritual teacher's CD I stopped and realized what I was doing and then I had an insight not to avoid anything. The impulse to fully allow all feelings without any story felt true and I was amazed to find that underneath them all is the fullness of peace now completely.
From that moment on I was very earnest about not using anything to avoid whatever was coming up in my experience. I wanted the fullness of truth so I remained focused on allowing and sensing life now as it actually is - not as I believed it to be. So from then on whenever I listened to a teaching or read a spiritual book it was out of pure joy and love rather than some perceived need or discomfort.
If, however, you feel strongly that soothing is needed and you believe that some action or substance will accomplish that then do it without any judgment - but also do it with the awareness that you are using this action or substance to get what you believe is now missing. You are being honest that your current level of experience is dissatisfying and conscious about what you believe will make it better.
And then at some point when you feel you need something to soothe yourself, you may be open to the impulse to find out what is actually true. If you allow all sensations fully, without believing any thoughts that come, you can discover if there is anything missing or if peace is actually now present.
But there is another kind of spiritual bypassing that is not very honest at all - and that is the denial of what we are now experiencing in lieu of some belief or even a certain level of realization.
If we glimpse the truth of who we are or have a belief that what we are is whole yet we feel divided inside and then dismiss that sense of disharmony as an illusion we are bypassing the very 'way in' to a greater understanding, sensing and expressing of truth.
It is foundational for us to be very honest about what we are now experiencing. Without honesty we will just simply not have the impulse to realize the fullness of truth now. Honesty paves the way.
It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face."