Shadow Work for Fear of Abandonment Issues

In this article, we go over how to use shadow work for fear of abandonment issues.

But first, let’s quickly go over what shadow and shadow work is.

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
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Shadow Work for Fear of Abandonment Issues

Where fear of abandonment comes from & importance of boundaries

Early on in life, you have gotten the impression that letting go of your attachments meant a loss of your power and security. As a child, this can make a lot of sense.

Many children cry when they are separated from their parents on their first day of school. But fear of abandonment can actually form much earlier than that.

When you are an adult you’re supposed to realize that separation isn’t abandonment. It’s a part of life. In fact, it’s the part of life that allows people the space to grow.

By maintaining your own “separateness” you how to become self-sufficient. The space between you and others, or “boundaries”, are what make you a responsible adult. Someone who can live interdependently with others and not dependently.

Interdependence is as healthy as “closeness” gets in a relationship, without losing yourself to another person. To give up your boundaries in to abandon yourself!

Understand that the relationships you build in life come and go. But they should never take away from your inner resources. You protect your inner resources via your boundaries.

These are the core teachings of A Light Among Shadows. Which shows you how to protect your inner resources from the different types of people in the world.

When you have a fear of abandonment, you lose the ability to protect yourself. You become reactive and how your partner acts determine your state of mind.

As opposed to a healthy person without attachment issues—who can give away power without being used or taken advantage of (due to boundaries).

Tips for maintaining your boundaries

By having clear boundaries, you are giving yourself the opportunity to see how world how it truly is—how a person truly is.

For example, if you don’t have boundaries then you probably have a hard time letting go of bad relationships because you can’t let go of what could work.

The truth…

The truth is that you’re not letting go of what doesn’t work.

Here are a few tips on maintaining your boundaries and keeping a healthy self-esteem:

  • Ask for what you want directly. Give sensible conditions. If your conditions are too strict, you probably suffer from intimacy or commitment issues. If your conditions are too loose, you likely give others too much power over you.
  • Trust yourself. Understand that people aren’t perfect. Trust yourself to be the person who takes care of you. Don’t expect anyone else to take care of you. Trust yourself to handle betrayal, hurt, and rejection—because you can.
  • Observe others actions. Treat yourself as a neutral third party for a moment and observe how the other person is behaving. Based on their behavior, what information can you take from that. Make sure to see people as they are, and not their “potential” (aka your fantasy of them). From here, decide how much of their behavior are you willing to accept.
  • Honor your inner voice. You can usually tell if someone is being hurtful, abusive, or intrusive by listening to your gut. Going against this instinct is something you learned in childhood. Do the inner child work and re-teach yourself to honor this inner resource.
  • Have a bottom line. Make rules for yourself and how many times a person can get away with certain actions. How many times are you willing to let someone disappoint and lie to you before you cut ties with them. After they hit that bottom line, if you keep sticking around, understand that you will only find hurt and never true happiness.

Signs of Fear of Abandonment

One important lesson you should take away from this article is that an adult cannot be abandoned.

Only children, those who aren’t responsible for themselves or are capable of taking care of themselves, can be abandoned.

So that feeling of abandonment that you feel, isn’t exactly real.

Yes, you are feeling a negative emotion. But this emotion is tied to an emotional belief that isn’t necessarily real.

That negative emotion you are experiencing that you label “feeling abandoned” (or similar words) is actually you re-experiencing an inner child wound.

You are experiencing the “helplessness” and abandonment that you experienced in your childhood, but in the present moment.

This is why inner child work is so important.

You can watch my free YouTube video Guide to Inner Child Healing, or go more in-depth in Shadow Work for Beginners.

This is your re-experiencing of past trauma. This is why you’ll notice that you get more emotional about losing your person more than others.

That’s not to say that these people don’t have their own attachment issues or emotional beliefs. Theirs are likely very different from your own.

It just so happens that people with a fear of abandonment tend to be attracted to those who have a fear of engulfment (and vice versa).

Here are signs that you have abandonment issues:

  • High tendency to cling, want closeness, and reach out
  • Stressed when people are coming or leaving
  • Represses anger, shows fear
  • Won’t express one’s own feelings to protect the other person
  • Rationalizes to explain and cope with reality
  • Afraid of being alone
  • Needs reassurance the other person won’t leave them
  • Puts up with bad behavior and mistreatment
  • Attachment becomes unhealthy; addictive/obsessive
  • No bottom line for abuse or mistreatment
  • Always goes along with others’ plans and time; overly-considerate
  • Always wants to give (never feels they give enough)
  • Takes care of others more than oneself
  • Obsessed with other person’s story
  • Has issues giving others space when they need space

Tips to work through your abandonment issues:

If you have unhealthy attachment issues, chances are, your partner does too. You both will consistently have a personal back-and-forth drama when this is the case.

A person with healthy attachments typically doesn’t put up with this behavior instinctually OR they genuinely care and are willing to help the partner work through their issues.

You know you and your partner are working through your issues when you’re willing to take the awkward steps necessary for change.

This means that you and/or your partner are willing to admit that there is a problem. There is no rationalizing or excuse-making, such as “this is who I am!”

When both partners can cut through their own bullshit and admit that there is an issue, there will be no more room for denial—this is when healing can truly begin.

At this point, you can tell whether or not you have a trustworthy partner who is willing to make things work.

Now you both can openly admit the fears you both frequently have for each other.

Understand that you experience both excitement and fear when these unconscious, emotional beliefs are activated. There is also something in you that finds it addicting (otherwise it wouldn’t keep happening).

Admit that there’s an intense emotional cycle at work. Even if you don’t believe this to be the case, by admitting that you’re under an emotional, unconscious belief from time-to-time can help make it lose some power over you.

Someone who is dealing with abandonment issues must then work on two things:

  • Getting used to their partner moving away, little by little, every day

This doesn’t mean that the relationship is ending. Instead, it means that you’re allowing yourself to get comfortable with your partner going out with friends from 0 times a week to 1 time a week to 2 times a week (if they want that). Or that you’re letting your partner work without you calling every other hour, if that’s something you do.

  • Intentionally make time to be alone every day

The fear of abandonment is also a fear confronting oneself. This means that you need to get used to the idea of being by yourself. People with abandonment issues tend to get scared of being left alone. But by setting an intention to deliberately spend time alone will help this fear lose its power over you.

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.

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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.

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Subscribe to get your free ebook 30 Shadow Work Prompts
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