• David Hrostoski

3 Spiritual Ideas that Create More Harm than Good

When spiritual ideals start causing more harm than good, can we find it within ourselves to let them go?

In every one of the ideas we’re about to discuss, there are aspects of Truth—with a capital T.


There are also half-truths that are little more than the end result of a long game of telephone, remnants of old spiritual paradigms, and even a blatant twisting of Truth for personal gain.


If we can parse through these ideas and separate out Truth from mistruth, we can let go of the ideas that may have gotten us this far, but struggle to move us any further along this path of becoming who and what we really came here to be.

Let’s dive in.

1. Manifestation


It’s true that if we’re overly attached to an idea about our life (like believing the only way to create abundance for ourselves is through brute force), we’re bound to be falsely limited in our choices.


For seeing through these initial limiting perspectives, manifestation is a God-send.


But at some point, we have to be able to put down the shovel and stop critiquing our every last thought and feeling.


Taken to its extremes, manifestation can encourage us to ignore our choices and focus, instead, on cultivating a positive outlook.


If we spend too much time monitoring our thoughts and emotions, we set up an inner dictatorship that demands so much of us, that it’s perhaps even more limiting than where we started.


It’s far too easy to go into a world of our own imagination and disconnect from the truth of the reality around us.

It’s far too easy to pretend that we alone are the powerful creator and begin separating from the very divinity we started this journey to get closer to.

It’s far too easy to gloss over the lessons and realizations about what’s being divinely orchestrated for our benefit, and instead, think and feel positively about making choices that run directly in opposition to our highest path and truest essence.

If we overly attach to just our thoughts and emotions, we disassociate from the truth of reality.


This is a co-creation with divinity, not a bending of this co-created reality to our every whim.


And what’s already here in front of us is far more important than anything else we may try to create in our minds and tightly hold onto.


The things we’ve manifested were far more of a intuition from divinity of what’s already on its way and for our highest, than a pure creation of our own making.


The idea of manifestation is a stepping stone toward understanding a deeper truth about reality that would have made little sense to us at the start.


But now, on the other side of our liberation from that fixed perspective, we have to be able to see that deeper truth of co-creation and divine orchestration, or risk falling into an endless cycle of personal critique and dissatisfaction with the process of life itself.


Once we see that, the concept of manifestation has served its purpose, and we can begin working directly with these deeper subtleties.

2. Healing Trauma


There’s a line of thinking out there that goes something like this:

If you’re confronted today, it’s only because of something that happened to you in the past.


In order to move forward, you have to revisit that past experience, find what limiting idea you created in that moment, and replace it with a better thought today.


Then, you’ll no longer be confronted, and you can do whatever you were trying to do previously.


From this idea, releasing trauma sits as a cornerstone of dozens of spiritual lineages and bodies of work.


The one thing they all seem to have in common is that they focus more on our past traumas than what’s directly here in front of us now.

Here’s where this idea can cause more harm than good.

What happens if the thing we’re trying to do is directly in opposition to our moral and spiritual compass?

There are countless cases of sexual assault in spiritual communities that all seem to point back to the manipulation of this very idea:


“You have some sexual trauma that’s making you close off. If you were just willing to do your work, you’d be more open to this experience with me.”


That’s easily one of the most disgusting manipulations of spiritual truth on Earth today.


Left unchecked, the idea of trauma can hijack our knowing and encourage us to assume that our divine guidance to push back, say no, and get the heck out of there, is nothing more than a trauma response.


What if our truth is that we’re not at all aligned to be in relationship with that person, create that business, or do that thing?


It’s easy to ignore our truth if we assume every time we’re confronted it’s only because there’s something wrong with us that needs to be healed.

But the truth is, there isn’t anything wrong with us.


Everyone has past experiences that hurt, that may be misrepresented in the mind, or that just plain sucked.

But our past experiences don’t define our present choices.


More often than not, what we’re confronted about today has nothing to do with who we were 10 years ago, and everything to do with who we are today.

Life is asking us to grow and challenge our present assumptions about reality.


Life is giving us an opportunity to choose our soul’s truth even when it’s scary to our minds and runs counter to our past experiences.


We don’t have to “swap out” old ideas through a heady process to make new choices.

If we trust our intuition over our bodily contractions and fears, all we have to do is choose what we know to be true, and our new experiences will rewrite our perception.

We often say, “Your body won’t know until you get there.”


This is what we mean by that.


We’re going to be afraid until we watch our soul’s truth be validated through experience.

But we have to have the courage to trust ourselves, or we’ll never have a new experience at all.


There are bound to be moments where we have a profound series of realizations about our past.

But that healing comes through an active perception of life’s miraculous unfolding as we trust our truth, not through an endless visitation of our worst experiences.


Often, when we feel most limited, the answer is already right within us, and right in front of us.

All we have to do is “Set Sail.


3. Spiritual Strategies for Wholeness


We could go on and on through a huge list of spiritual ideas (and maybe we’ll circle back to explore more later in other articles).


But for the sake of time, let’s boil these ideas down to a common core.

Any idea that says, “Here’s what you have to do to be better,” is fundamentally untrue.


It’s one of the most challenging things to see about the spiritual landscape, and we can only assume why this toxic idea persists.

Maybe it’s residue from a marketing paradigm that says your value exists only in the problems you solve for others and everything you do should be positioned into the painpoints and insecurities of others.


Or maybe it’s just a long game of telephone—teachers teaching purely and precisely, only to have their teachings crammed into the cruel perspective that who you are today needs to be fixed and only others can hold the key.


But regardless of why it exists, it does exist.

Spirituality is so often hijacked by this lingering misconception that we’re wholly imperfect and in need of saving from an authority figure or a guru that can shape us into perfection.

The truth is far simpler and far less painful.


In reality, everything we learn on the spiritual path is meant to show us what already exists.

It’s meant to show us the larger divine orchestration that exists underneath and despite our efforts to forge our own paths away from what’s highest and truest.

It’s meant to illuminate the subtle energetics of life that have been guiding us toward ourselves and our truth, far before we even had the awareness to see it.


Life isn’t perfectly orchestrated for the few who are able to cram themselves into the limiting constraints of the latest spiritual trends.

Life is perfectly orchestrated for everyone.

It just so happens that most of the ideas we have about what we need to do move us away from seeing that orchestrated reality and encourage us to choose a far less brilliant timeline that we’re more capable of controlling and manufacturing.


Spirituality is meant to call us back to what’s already here underneath our attempts to escape it.

So all of these strategies for regaining our wholeness or worthiness by manipulating our thoughts and emotions, only distract us from the profundity of what’s already right here in front of us.

We don’t need fixing.

We don’t need a master.

We don’t need a new strategy.


All we need is to open our eyes, settle in, and see the magnificence of what life has been trying to present to us for a very, very long time.

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The Second Paradigm | Where Soul Makes Sense, Grounded Spirituality, Soul-Aligned Business, David Hrostoski and Miriam Wagoner