How to Accept & Integrate Your Shadow Self

If you’re new to shadow work, here’s a quick guide on how to accept and integrate your shadow self.

Before we get into it, let’s go over some key concepts.

What is Shadow Self & Shadow Work?

Your shadow self, or shadow, is the side of yourself you have no awareness of. It holds all the qualities you disowned during your formative years.

Although you learned to repress these qualities and push them outside of your awareness, they still live underneath the surface.

They unconsciously guide your actions and are the unseen cause for many of the troubles in your life.

Shadow work is the intentional practice of becoming aware of your unconscious shadow and integrating these neglected qualities into your being—becoming whole.

This is a process of building self-awareness, self-acceptance, and universal Love.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

Carl Jung

How to Accept & Integrate Your Shadow Self

After you learn to identify your own shadow, it’s crucial that you accept it, along with its unconscious desires, and integrate your shadow side.

What does it mean to integrate your shadow?

Shadow integration is bringing your shadow qualities into awareness and accepting them as part of your being.

After identifying your shadow, you can honor it by fulfilling your unconscious desires and acting out its qualities.

For example, if you are personally triggered by impulsiveness, you may need to integrate your spontaneity.

Because somehow, during your life, you decided to disown your own spontaneity.

Ideally, through a healthy outlet, integrating your own spontaneous qualities would mean making space to express them in your own life.

You do this because you want your mind to accept this quality as a part of its identity. The best way for your mind to believe it’s a “certain way” is to provide it with evidence.

What does shadow work look like? Shadow Work Examples

Shadow work is the intentional practice of becoming aware of your unconscious shadow to integrate your neglected qualities into your being—becoming whole.

This is typically a practice where you self-inquiry, observe your inner resources and reflect on what’s underneath the surface.

Shadow work prompts are a popular method of doing shadow work, where you journal and self-reflect on a set of thoughtful questions. By putting your emotions and thoughts into words, you are “feeling” through and processing your inner world.

The purpose of these prompts is to work through your triggers, inner child healing, gain perspective for emotional maturity, and so on.

Active imagination is a meditation technique where you project an emotion, or an archetype (shadow, inner child, anima/animus), onto an inner voice or imaginary image.

It’s the most direct way to get the conscious to communicate with the unconscious.

You let your mind create a form for the unconscious to inhabit. Then you mentally let go of control of that form—allowing it to act independently.

Then you consult the form and ask it questions, which the unconscious will respond to.

Understand that the conscious mind is limited, while the unconscious mind is limitless and doesn’t lie.

By being genuinely curious, you can demand the shadow to tell you what it wants from you and for you.

Expect this to be physically draining. Maybe even experience emotional catharsis.

Should I do shadow work everyday?

Depends on how badly you need it.

If life is going reasonably well and you don’t feel triggered or compelled to demonize anyone on a regular basis, probably not so much.

But if life is not going your way and you have a low opinion of yourself, the world, and humanity—

Then you should consider doing some sort of shadow work every day as a form of “self-therapy.”

If you have built an incredibly strong desire for very dark impulses—that is impossible to ignore—consider meeting with a professional.

In the meantime, a very simple affirmation you can use is “I love myself.”

This is somewhat of a “cheap” but effective trick to settle your ego and shadow.

By repeating the words “I love myself” to yourself for minutes, hours, or even days, you will develop an appreciation for yourself as a whole—

Mainly since the affirmation implies unconditional love, it will ease any shadow material that usually arises out of you unconsciously.

You can repeat this affirmation aloud or in your head. At least until you find some further guidance.

What happens when you integrate your shadow?

When you integrate your shadow you become whole.

You can tap into the entire spectrum of your personality. Thus, allowing you to access all of your potentials.

Not only this, but you no longer have to rely only on your own willpower.

By giving your shadow the recognition it needs, you satisfy its desire for recognition so it can let go of its hold on your life.

Those things in life you wanted to pursue and accomplish no longer have resistance around them.

Because you have the energy, creativity, and will of your entire being to thank for that.

Understand: Balancing the ego and the shadow is not a contradiction; it’s a paradox.

A person who integrates her shadow is a healthy being.

She sees life as her creative canvas, and she immerses feelings of love and oneness with all things.

Loving oneself means loving all of oneself.

This includes the shadow—that which was unacceptable and previously rejected.

At this level of awareness, she can enjoy life and act with spontaneity.

She enjoys true intimacy without the unconscious need to play dysfunctional games.

She has total control of her life, and she’s able to pursue what she desires without resistance.

All it took was the journey within.

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.

Inner Shadow Work on TikTok and Instagram.


Subscribe to get your free ebook 30 Shadow Work Prompts



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign-up for Updates

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram