Are you wondering why does shadow work make you cry?
Yes, shadow work can be a very cathartic experience that leads to crying. This is because you are coming to terms with certain aspects of yourself that you've denied for so long. So in many ways, shadow work is a confessional.
Before we get more into how shadow work makes you cry, let's go over a few things.
What is shadow, and what is shadow work?
The shadow is the side of yourself that's disconnected and unfelt. It's the part of yourself that's been rejected since childhood, and you have no awareness of.
Shadow Work is integrating the entire spectrum of your being. It's the intentional process of admitting the parts of yourself you've ignored and repressed.
The shadow is the embodiment of potential that you've cast away and now need to integrate.
Admitting you have an unconscious shadow is the first step to "seeing" it voluntarily.
Integrating the shadow without biting off too much is the real challenge. You want to start cultivating these shadow qualities in a safe and ritualized way in your waking life.
How is the shadow formed?
We are all born whole, but in childhood, you leave parts of yourself behind.
Family and culture make you embrace some parts of your Self while altogether abandoning others.
This happens when a child idealizes her parents and follows arbitrary rules for survival.
These rules implicitly embed the child with the unconscious idea that she is "bad,"—which is a typical childhood experience.
When the child sees that some of her feelings and thoughts are unacceptable, she chooses to eliminate them.
(This creates the child's "inner parent," which encourages obedience at the cost of being whole.)
However, you can't get rid of who you are. You can only bury it alive for it to come back later in the form of shadow.
Then the rules and unconscious beliefs you learned as a child evolve and are carried into adulthood.
The way you plainly know yourself to be becomes the ego. A result of social programming that’s accepted by society.
The parts of yourself that you don’t know are in your unconscious. A result of your personal programming (shadow, inner child, etc).
Since childhood, everyone is Shadow Making because it's how we make ourselves who we are.
But in adulthood, it's a personal responsibility to engage in Shadow Work; that which makes us who we can be.
Why does shadow work make you cry?
The people who have experienced the most emotional trauma in their lives are the ones who will experience the most catharsis.
This is because adults who were traumatized as children "abandoned themselves" as a means to survive.
These people have essentially learned not to trust themselves. Furthermore, they live life in a state of self-hate and don't even know it.
Check out Can you kill your inner child? to learn how a child's spirit is crushed.
By performing shadow work, and more specifically, inner child healing, you will learn to close the gap between the person to "learned" to be and the person you truly are.
In other words, you learn to love yourself.
And you know something...
Nobody ever mentions this, but the more self-love you have, the more Love you have for the world.
You can read my personal experience doing shadow work and healing my inner child here.
In the meantime, I want you to watch the following video of a quick inner work exercise that will give you a taste of what shadow work has to offer:
I personally struggled a lot with self-love. Always hiding behind my workaholism to keep from having to confront myself.
When I finally experienced my own supposed dark night of the soul, where I was forced to confront my shadow, I chose to see myself for what I truly was.
If you experienced emotional catharsis during the short video above, or if your soul is carrying a lot of resentment (like mine was). Please consider A Light Among Shadows: A Guide to Self-Love & Being.
It has all the life lessons I needed to make peace with how the world is to build universal love and understanding.
Otherwise, you can check out all my free content on TikTok, where I share my profound insights on life, as well as other resources.
Here are some resources I recommend:
Shadow Work Course is based on my in-depth research and personal experiences with shadow work, projection, sadomasochism, inner child healing, triggers, and all things shadow. This course is updated every year and gets new content at no additional cost. Learn more here.
A Light Among Shadows is a guide on self-love and being. This short course goes over consciousness, spirituality, philosophy, and makes sense of why people are the way they are. Recommended for people dealing with resentment and self-hate. Learn more here.
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.
Manifestation Manual: The Path of Least Resistance bundle teaches you some holistic and systems thinking along with how to mend your inner child wounds so you can align with your higher self and move forward in life. This includes 20 video clips as a free bonus.
Shadow Play (or “DsR”) is a small sister website that goes over “sensual” shadow work through my BDSM experiences. If you are 18+ and are interested, go here.