Is the shadow self real?

Are you wondering, “is the shadow self real?”

Yes, the shadow self is real. It’s the part of yourself that you’ve banished outside of your awareness. You learn to do this in your formative years because you relied on your caretakers and needed their approval for survival. Part of adulthood is reintegrating these aspects of your personality back into your being so you can be conscious and whole.

Before we get more into how the shadow self is real, let’s quickly go over some important points.

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 to push them outside of your awareness, they are still living 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.

By doing so, you are able to direct your personal will—and the more powerful unconscious will—to help deliberately shift your life’s circumstances.

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

Is the shadow self real?

Your caretaker’s job during your formative years is to teach you how to behave like a functional human being.

It’s thanks to this civilizing process that we are able to have functioning societies.

However, by the end of this process we have qualities that have been disowned and repressed.

These are typically expressions and behaviors that your community and culture will have you believe are are “not okay”.

This leads to you going about your life as an ego, that which you believe yourself to be.

As your ego grows within the confines of your conscious awareness—

The shadow, that which you don’t realize is also who you are, has taken refuge outside of your awareness and grows as well.

Your shadow holds all of your potentials and wants to integrate and be acknowledged by you.

However, by its very nature you can’t be conscious of the unconscious.

This means that your shadow must find other means of bring your attention to it.

It does this in a very counter-intuitive way—by distorting your psyche with its shadow material.

How Shadow Distorts Your Psyche

  • Projection is the most common way you see your shadow. This can be either by attaching itself on a form to trigger you, or that you’d find admirable.
  • Underlying Beliefs are the most pervasive way your unconscious dictates your life. You will repeat existential circumstances and outlooks that confirm your outdated childhood beliefs that you or others are inadequate.
  • Demonization is a form of projection where you’ve allotted all the qualities you’ve disowned onto a group of people you don’t identify with. This results in false narratives, scapegoating, racism, sexism, etc.
  • Dehumanization is similar to demonization, except there is patronizing judgment behind it. This arrogant attitude shows the pride you have over your own ignorance. It indicates a lack of self-awareness and builds the mental circumstances that would bring you hell on Earth.
  • Shadow Death Grip is when your psyche has been consumed to the point that you’re giving up control of the ego and completely surrendering to your darkest impulses. In media, this is portrayed by committing various forms of homicide, followed by suicide. Typically under the belief that they’ve been bestowed this duty by God (the ego’s way of still denying they have a shadow).

The longer a person ignores their shadow, the blacker and denser it becomes.

Some people will completely deny their shadow half to the bitter end.

It’s by performing shadow work and accepting the entire spectrum of one’s being, that the shadow impulses become manageable.

This is awareness and honoring is an act of Self-Love, as opposed to living in denial of your whole being—which implies Self-Hate.

If you’re interested in integrating your shadow self, there are plenty of incredible resources to choose from.

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



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