Are you wondering if you can do shadow work as a Christian?
Yes, you can do shadow work as a Christian. Shadow work is a psychology topic that can be viewed as “advanced” self-development that was initially influenced by Christianity. It is NOT evil, and it is NOT sinful. Instead, it helps build self-awareness, compassion, and universal Love for God’s creation.
Bear with me, although I’m not religious, I consider myself fairly spiritual. So let me explain.
But before we get into why you can still do shadow work as a Christian, let’s quickly go over your shadow self.
What is Shadow & Shadow Work?
For about the first twenty years of life, every child learns values and traditions to live by.
Their family and society teach them which qualities to embrace and which qualities to hideaway.
Thanks to these values, each child can become a functioning member of society when they reach adulthood.
However—the qualities that you are taught are “bad” only get repressed, NOT eliminated.
This is because you can’t get rid of who you are.
During these formative childhood years, you are willing to follow any rules set upon you for survival.
Because to a child, security comes from being acceptable to the parents.
So what happens to the qualities that are disowned during this process? They get tucked away into that person’s shadow—
Outside of your own awareness! (Remember this)
Shadow holds all of your neglected and repressed qualities that your ego had decided not to identify with.
A young mind is taught to disown a part of themselves to the point that they won’t see it even if they still carry the quality within their personality.
Since this “bad” quality can cost them their survival, they learn to “self-hate” it out of their awareness for their own survival.
This doesn’t sound like an issue until you realize that you are still expressing these “rejected” qualities in your daily life. For example, all demonization towards other groups of people is a projection of your own disowned qualities.
This is where Luke 23:34 comes to mind, where Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
People are unaware of their evils because they believe they don’t have these “negative” qualities.
This is why shadow work is important!
Shadow Work is the process of integrating the unconscious parts of your personality that you’ve disowned and repressed.
By becoming aware of your disowned qualities, you will no longer inflict them unconsciously on others.
Instead, you will find appropriate and healthy outlets to express and manage these so-called negative parts of your being.
Is shadow work a sin?
No, shadow work is NOT a sin. Instead, it is a way to prevent sinning by becoming aware of your own devilry.
Shadow work helps prevent devilry by washing away underlying shadow beliefs in a person.
What is a shadow belief? A shadow belief is an unconscious, dysfunctional belief that permeates throughout a person’s life.
This is due to experiencing a trauma in childhood and never fully processing what happened. This trauma imprints the psyche with a false existential belief about oneself.
Shadow beliefs are a source of much devilry in this world. It results in a person’s psyche having a distorted perception of themselves in the world.
People who are “toxic” and tend to get involved in unhealthy relationships are a reliable sign that a person is unconsciously living out a shadow belief.
Here is a list of common shadow beliefs:
- Nobody can be trusted
- I’m blameless & you’ll always forgive me
- I’m always wrong
- I am pure
- I am helpless
- The world wants to dominate me
- I’ve always been a loser
- Everyone is ungrateful
Until you become aware of your own underlying, dysfunctional beliefs—you will continue to live out these existential positions (which deny either God’s Love for oneself or for others).
One form of devilry prevalent in many religious groups is people who claim to be holy but carry the shadow belief of “I am blameless.”
For example, a person who is unconsciously driven by the shadow belief “I am blameless” is someone who gets satisfaction for doing wrong towards others and even more pleasure when the person they’ve wronged forgives them.
The universal example of this in religion is a false follower freely committing sins all week but going to church on Sunday and believing themselves to be washed away of their sins…
Only to commit the same sins again the next week and take a sadistic pleasure when receiving Sunday’s forgiveness…yet again.
The complete disregard for repentance results in them shamelessly repeating their devilry.
And they aren’t even aware of it. These people simply live as if it’s how things are.
Those who commit devilry are self-deceived due to their lack of self-awareness and how their upbringing has infected their psyche with false, unconscious beliefs.
2 Timothy 3:13 While evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
Is shadow work biblical?
No, shadow work is NOT biblical. However, the creator of analytical psychology Carl Jung used his Christian background to connect psychology to religion’s spirituality.
For example, the inner child is the true, uncontaminated essence of who you are, that which is spirited, creative, authentic, and accepting.
In other words,
Inner child wounds result from the emotional trauma you endured as a child but never got the chance or love and support needed to fully process.
These wounds tend to be a reflection of one’s parents. Or in other words—
“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Exodus 20:5).
An inner child wound is a moment in time where your psyche is in arrested development.
Unable to fully process and grieve, the experience imprinted into your psyche and result in a shadow belief (a trick of the devil; a distorted psyche and not Truth).
These self-harming patterns repeat until you become aware of your unconscious beliefs.
Inner Child Work, or inner child healing, is doing the griefwork to digest and process the emotions you carry from the past. While also becoming conscious of the underlying beliefs that have been driving your existence.
By doing this, you become more emotionally mature and experience universal Love.
Essentially, the way you believe yourself to be is the ego. The side of yourself you don’t identify with but is still a part of you is shadow.
Your inner child is your bridge to your higher self—after you mend your wounds.
To heal your inner wounds requires you to admit, acknowledge, and integrate your shadow qualities via shadow work.
Accepting not “who” you are, so much as “what” you are as a whole being.
This is because shadow is the part of your inner child left behind to grow up in the unconscious.
Ultimately, shadow work and inner child work are where psychology meets spirituality.
Is shadow work a religion?
No, shadow work is NOT a religion. Shadow work is a practice that builds self-love and self-awareness. It can be practiced in therapy or by yourself as a form of “self-therapy.”
Shadow work comes from Jungian psychology, which just so happens to be significantly influenced by Christianity.
This background is also what inspired Alcoholics Anonymous.
Is shadow work spiritual?
Yes, shadow work is very spiritual. Shadow work subscribes to the idea that everyone has God within them and higher guidance that wants to lead you.
The concept of projection also establishes that shadow work is grounded in the idea of Oneness. The God/Devil (Truth/Distorted Psyche) comes from within and is projected onto the world.
Shadow work also helps us develop self-love, and in return, we give love out to the world.
If this sounds interesting to you, there are many resources to help you perform inner work and build your relationships with the God you follow.
Here are some resources I recommend:
Shadow Work for Beginners is based on my in-depth research and personal experiences with shadow work, projection, sadomasochism, inner child healing, triggers, and all things shadow. This resource gets updated at no additional cost.
A Light Among Shadows is a guide on self-love and being. This series goes over consciousness, spirituality, philosophy, and makes sense of why people are the way they are. Recommended for anyone dealing with resentment and self-hate. Learn more here.
Shadow Work for Relationships teaches you everything you need to know about attachment theory, practical inner work, and your dysfunctional behavior. By the end of this, you will have developed your earned secure attachment style so you can put an end to your cycle of bad relationships.
Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Shadow Work Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.
Self-Love Subliminal for self-hypnotism that will help you change your behavior and gain self-love, self-awareness, better relationships, greater health, and improve your creativity.
Shadow Play (or “DsR”) is a sister website that goes over “sensual” shadow work through BDSM experiences. If you are 18+ and are interested, go here.
Mindful & Mending is a small website that’s about self-hypnosis, affirmations, auto-suggestion, and more techniques & tools to help you shift your unconscious mind. Check it out here.