How Sado masochism is Ruling Your Life Without Your Permission

Did you know there’s an invisible force of sado masochism controlling your life?

In psychology, this invisible force is called the unconscious, also referred to as the Shadow.

It’s the part of yourself that’s been rejected since childhood and you have no awareness of.

But even so, your Shadow is the unseen cause for everything you consider wrong in your life.


Because your unconscious Shadow is the thing running your life when you’re not looking.

It’s the reason you keep finding yourself in toxic relationships, bad financial situations, and poor mental/physical health.

Why does my shadow side want this?

Bear with me when I tell you this—

When you came into this world you were given a soul and you were born whole.

Your soul, being the thing that listens to your mind, wanted to experience everything this world has to offer.

But in childhood you are forced to leave parts of yourself behind.

Family and culture make you embrace some parts of your Self, while completely abandoning others.

Along the way you’re told that abusive relationships are bad, money troubles are bad, poor health is bad.

But for some reason, you still have this in your life…


Because your soul, your unconscious, your shadow, wants to experience this.

Believe it or not, something in you wants to experience the bad just as much as the good.

And if you find yourself shackled to these situations then you only need to do one thing to free yourself and move forward:

Accept that deep down inside, you, like everyone else, are sadomasochistic.

What sado masochism means

Sadism, or “sado-“, is the desire to cause pain and affect others. It’s the desire to get validation by invalidating others.

Masochism is the desire to receive pain and be affected, or in other words, to receive validation by being invalidated.

Don’t get so hung up on these words. For our purposes, they help describe human nature and the unconscious shadow operates.

Everyone has a shadow, and within every shadow is a desire for sado masochism. Both the desire to destroy and be destroyed.

Although every person tends to lean on one side or the other, know that there is a sadist within every masochist.

For example, the act of destroying someone else is inherently a self-destructive act.

This destructive nature is something everyone must come to terms with. Because behind every ending is a new beginning.

There cannot be creation without some type of destruction.

How everyone is sado masochistic

Sado masochism is present in everyday life.

Laughter can be a sign of repressed sadism. Expressing delight in what we’d like to do, but wouldn’t.

Getting offended, or “triggered”, can be a self-defense mechanism the ego uses to cover up the masochistic desire to be insulted.

Workaholism is a form of masochism where one is always compelled to work, which is typically driven by shame.

You are around people who express sado masochism every day. For most people, it’s their natural mode of being.

Unless you’re clinically depressed, in which case seek professional help, replaying memories where you believe yourself to be insulted is a form of masochism. Like rewatching your favorite clip in a movie—you wouldn’t do it so much if you didn’t enjoy it.

It’s also an ancient practice for monks to flog themselves to inflict humiliation and pain on themselves.

And in social situations, it’s common for immature adults to unconsciously put themselves in situations where they can be hurt by sadistically inclined people.

Read more about emotional immaturity and shadow work here.

Why you need to accept your inner sado masochism

Most people don’t realize that we take unconscious pleasure in a lot of shitty things that happen to us.

By setting shame aside, you can get enjoyment and fulfillment from your misfortunes.

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

Carl Jung

When you choose to not find something enjoyable, you will feel your life is cursed by fate.

By making these unconscious desires conscious, you stop feeling powerless and resume ownership of your life.

You always get what you unconsciously want. If you want to know what you unconsciously want, take a look around at your life.

Having is evidence of wanting.

Like we mentioned earlier, when your soul came down to Earth it desired to have all types of experiences—not only the good ones.

Your unconscious holds the part of you that retained that desire to experience struggle and difficulty.

Repressing these “atypical” desires is more psychologically damaging than recognizing them as a legitimate fulfillment.

With that in mind, understand that sensation is neutral. It’s your interpretation that determines whether something is painful and pleasurable.

Whether you accept this is determined by your inner parent and emotional maturity.

That being said, the fulfillment you’re looking for is always within you.

The conscious mind just likes to make up bullshit to make you think you don’t already have what you’ve been unconsciously wanting.

Once you’ve finally accepted your fulfillments as fulfillments, you will appease your shadow desires, and the only thing left to guide your decisions is your conscious will.

How to integrate your sado masochism

The goal is the make your unconscious enjoyment conscious. To permit yourself to actually enjoy what typically isn’t supposed to be enjoyed.


Because when you approve your shadow desires, no matter how dysfunctional or destructive they are, they will lose power over you.

When you become aware of your shadow desires, you can then choose to express them in a mutually healthy way—such as art, BDSM, etc.

And it’s important to make these unconscious shadow desires more important than you’re conscious desires.

Because if you try to fake fulfillment, your shadow won’t integrate. You need to do the emotional labor and genuinely admit the truth:

That you already enjoy your misfortunes.

You just need to be honest with yourself.

Own your desire and you will gain the ability to channel it.


The most important part of all of this is validating our shadow’s desires.

Without validation, the unwanted cycles in your life are doomed to repeat.

When you permit yourself to be shameless in your sadomasochistic desires, you will integrate your shadow.

Start pretending that you enjoy the things you don’t like. Even if you don’t really believe it, humor yourself and start verbally approving your sadomasochistic desires. Over time you will start to mean what you pretend. The same way you fall asleep by pretending to sleep.

Accept the paradox of it all. The whole person understands that a person can feel emotions such as anger, sadness, etc. in a pleasurable way. These emotional sensations are only sensations, there doesn’t have to be anything morally wrong with these sensations.

Admit to loving your current situation. Assuming you’re not living your ideal life, thank your shadow for what it’s brought you and admit that it’s what you’ve wanted. Don’t contaminate your life with ideas of how it “should” be.

Practice stoic premeditation. Also known as Negative Visualization, premeditation is broadly visualizing and accepting the worst possibilities that can happen to you. When I do this I imagine my house being burned down, losing my family, my car, and being shamed wherever I seek help. I know the premeditation is successful when I feel a “centeredness” in the pit of my stomach. Afterward, I walk with a bit more pep in my step and I notice people feel freer to approach me. This is because I am indirectly validating my shadow’s sadomasochistic desires.

When you finally integrate this aspect of your shadow, it will unshackle its hold on you and instead channel its energies to help you with your conscious pursuits.

My experience integrating my shadow’s sado masochism

A long time ago, I was really resentful towards many people in my past.

I constantly believed that I was betrayed, insulted, abandoned, and humiliated.

I remember frequently ruminating on these past events over and over again, until one day I asked myself, “Why am I still thinking of this?”

Why am I still thinking about things that I don’t like?

And that’s when it hit me.

The reason why I kept thinking about these events is that deep down, without me even knowing, I actually enjoyed these memories.

It didn’t make sense at first, because like I said, I was extremely resentful. To the point where I was having very dark thoughts and I wanted revenge. I wanted vengeance.

But the more I thought over the painful and unfortunate events of my life, the more I came to realize that I was living a cycle. I was living out these repeated patterns.

The truth is, I was living out my own unconscious desires.

From childhood living out patterns were how I felt validated.

Like I mentioned before, everyone is sadomasochistic. But truth be told, we’re inclined differently.

I turned out to be masochistically inclined. I wish I wasn’t. I’d rather be statistically inclined.

But it’s just the way things are. It’s just the way I am.

So I sat down and I finally accepted that deep down, I liked feeling betrayed. I liked feeling humiliated. And I liked receiving insults.

I liked all of it.

In fact, I loved it.

And I know that sounds sick and twisted, but you’re like this too.

You may be more masochistic, or you may be more sadistic.

But without a doubt, you are both.

Because within every masochist, there is a sadist.

Because I’ll tell you right now when I was resentful–Oh, I was extremely sadistic,

While I lived out a masochistic life, but my shadow is murderously sadistic.

I have both inside of me. Hiding the one that seems less socially appropriate.

But you know what, if I didn’t fall into those depths of hell I never would have gotten in touch with my shadow the way I do now.

And after I fully accepted who and what I was, that’s when things began to change for the better.

I acknowledged my shadow’s desire and celebrated its fulfillment.

All it took was just sitting down and being honest with myself.

Because really, you don’t have to force yourself to accept what you unconsciously desire, because you’re already living it.

When you finally sit down, accept this side of yourself, and integrate it from your shadow, you’ll feel it in your body.

You’ll feel a pleasant sensation inside telling you that what you said is true.

All you have to do is admit it.

Check out the Shadow Work Course here. 

Check out A Light Among Shadows: A Guide to Self-Love & Being here.

Subscribe to get your free ebook 30 Shadow Work Prompts



8 comments on “How Sado masochism is Ruling Your Life Without Your Permission”

  1. How is it with mental illnesses? i.E. I have anorexia nervosa, am I not eating because I enjoy being in starvation mode? And if it affects my health, should I accept the illness or get rid of it? Should I tell myself I like food and I like life because right now I feel like I don´t. I´m confused. I have anorexia because apparently I wanted it, but I also want to get rid of it and I know I can, but deep down I don´t want to.

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