Are you looking for shadow work for codependency? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Before we get into it, we need to go over a few key concepts.
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.
Now understand that you won’t be able to clear all of your codependent issues with what you learn here today. You might need to see your therapist for that.
BUT I’m sure what you learn will be incredibly helpful for your understanding and awareness.
Shadow work for codependency
Before I give you some shadow work prompts for codependency, I want to go over what codependency and a healthy sense of boundaries are.
Codependency is unconditional love for someone that results in self-inflicted damage. This usually happens when someone takes up too much responsibility for another person.
Boundaries are how you can tell where you begin and end. For example, my personal three guidelines for boundaries are the following:
(1) If it’s not your responsibility, feel free to say no.
(2) If it’s a ridiculous request, feel free to say no.
(3) If you feel unsure, feel free to say no.
From this foundation, you can develop your nuance when it comes to boundaries.
If you’ve read my post on Projection Psychology, then you know that I struggled with assertiveness in my early adult years due to being raised by a narcissist.
It was because of my upbringing that I had no concept of boundaries. Over time this carried into my relationships. I would feel empty if I wasn’t keeping busy on my purpose (which was to help people on a grand scale) or spending time with people.
Needless to say, this led to some serious problems down the road. Eventually, I figured out how to manage it and I’m here to show you how.
Signs of a Lack of Boundaries
- You don’t know what you like, or what your preferences are
- You live a life of “hope and cope”
- Putting in lots of effort for little and fewer returns
- Changing how you act and your plans to not inconvenience the other person
- You don’t have the time for self-care or to build any hobbies or interests
- You’re an enabler who justifies other people’s actions
- You can get obsessed with other people when you’re interested in them
- Feelings of being victimized are common, but you’ve disowned your aggressiveness
- You do things you don’t want to do and don’t like yourself because of it
- You’ve pushed aside your inner voice and have probably lost contact with it
- Allow abuse to those you care about and yourself
- Feel lost, confused, and as if you’re trapped in a life you feel isn’t yours
Shadow work prompts for codependency and boundaries
What are your top 10 things you love most about life? Make sure you’re not answering for anyone but yourself! This is NOT what you’re grateful for—it’s what you love!
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
List out all the things you think you should be doing with your life. Do you genuinely want any of these things? Circle the things that truly matter to you—despite what you believe is expected of you.
Think of the last person you cut out of your life. How has there been more love in the world overall since the relationship ended?
Who do you lie to about your sexuality and why? Have you promised yourself to enjoy sex without the cost of your integrity?
Can you laugh at something without the need to have others laugh with you? And can you enjoy finding something, without the need to share it with others? Can you do a good deed without having to tell anyone you did a good deed? Based on your answers, could you be happy and satisfied with only yourself?
Quick Note: I personally don’t like short prompts. I like writing longer prompts that have their self-love lessons embedded within them. You’ll notice this in my prompts across the website.
Check out more shadow work prompts here.
Codependency & Fear of Abandonment
Understand that an adult can’t be abandoned. Only left.
What this person fears is being by oneself. Fear of independence.
The way I got over this fear was by not contacting others (stopped watering dead plants) and by ignoring others who contacted me for long periods of time.
I didn’t distract myself with tv or my phone or even work. I was in a position where I could let all my codependency issues turn in on itself.
One thing I teach in my shadow work course is how loneliness eventually turns into solitude. And instead of seeing loneliness/solitude as a dark void, think of it as a bright, white, purifying fire.
I recommend everyone try it out if they can. It will change your perspective on life.
That being said:
Signs of fear of abandonment
- Being clingy; wanting as much contact as possible
- Not trusting that you’ll rejoin after giving a person space
- An unhealthy obsession with the other person’s personal history
- Taking too much responsibility for the other person
- Goes along with others’ plans without seriously considering one’s own
- Susceptible to abuse and doesn’t realize when boundaries are transgressed
- Has an addiction to the other person
- Needs constant reassurance from the other person
- Scared of being alone
- Rationalizes others’ and own behavior; common in life of “hope and cope”
- Repressed anger, disowned fear
One of the most powerful things you can do if you have a fear of abandonment is to admit that you have this fear.
When you are accepted for this issue, and a good partner will accept you and decide to support your growth, you will begin to shed the shame that you’ve attached to it.
You are speaking from a place of integrity and your personal truth. “Yes, I have this problem and I need you to know”.
Choosing to be alone, without any sort of reassurance, will develop into self-love over time.
Start small if you need to.
Learn about all your triggers and how to integrate them in the Shadow Work Course here.