In this post, we’ll be going over shadow work for loneliness. More specifically, what you need to integrate if you are triggered by loneliness regarding yourself or others.
Let’s first quickly go over what is shadow:
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
Shadow Work for Loneliness Trigger
If you are triggered, or I guess, weirdly upset by those who are lonely, you need to own your openness to nurturance.
This is a weird one because a person who criticizes another person for being lonely is already invalidating them. And it makes sense that this invalidation is what drives a person to be alone in the first place.
Let me take a step back.
People who are lonely are typically not doing it by choice, or they’ve been around people who were invalidating or tiring enough that they decided to take a step back for their own good.
When it comes to personality, people can express their neuroticism in various degrees in two main ways: lashing out and isolating.
So when someone feels invalidated, depending on how neurotic they are temperamentally gives you an idea of how much negative emotion they can feel when something bad happens to them.
People with avoidant attachment styles are known for not having very many close relationships if any. And this is because in early life, their existence wasn’t validated enough, or they were consistently invalidated.
People with a fear of engulfment, or avoidants, do want nurturance deep down. But at some level, they are afraid of it. Because trauma.
An easier example to spot is all these TikTok videos where these dudes are admitting to living lonely lives because they’re tired of being burned—they’ve given up.
Which is understandable. They’re human and people need a break from disappointments and things like this.
But most of them, if not all of them, have this hope that they’ll meet the right partner who will actually give a shit about them.
So being lonely is often a way of getting away from mistreatment, while also opening oneself to nurturance.
Believe it or not, there are people out there who live their entire lives being invalidated. They feel less than human.
Their inner resources are so depleted because no one told them they were understandable, they were sensible, or that they were liked.
While everyone else is holding a balloon. They are holding bowling balls. And they’ve completely forgotten that this heavy mass was once a weightless balloon in the first place.
If this is you, remind yourself that “this too shall pass”. You might want to write that down and stick it somewhere. And make note to “let go of all attachments that no longer serve you”. That can help release some underlying pressure until you develop a new attachment that brings you forward into life.
Because beyond recuperation, at some point this does become maladaptive coping. Don’t judge yourself for being in this position. It was necessary, and getting back on track will always take time, surrender, and acceptance.
How do you integrate this Openness to Nurturance?
Let’s start by saying, not everyone is extraverted. While everyone wants human contact, not everyone is energized by this. Some people need time alone so they can nurture themselves and recuperate.
Spend time with people who make you feel bad. I say this tongue-in-cheek. The point is that you’ll eventually tell yourself, “I’d rather be by myself than deal with this shit”. Then the empathy factor will click.
Ask yourself, “do you demonize or dehumanize others”? Because there’s a chance that you are the asshole in this situation. Some people learn to validate themselves by invalidating others. So it makes sense to you that being alone is weird or even triggering. You have a psyche that thrives on being around people and making them feel like they’re “not okay”. Understand that not everyone thinks the same way as you. Many people get nothing out of putting others down, and chances are, the lonely person you criticize it that type of person.
Finally, learn that loneliness is a state of renewal. People with anxious attachment styles are afraid of being lonely because it involves self-confrontation. It involves needing to be alone with your own thoughts. And if you are codependent, I understand if loneliness feels like a black void. But the truth is that it’s more like a white, purifying fire. Because after enough time alone, behind all of those thoughts and old hurt stories, is the earned ability to nurture yourself and your own inner resources. A quality of an earned secure attachment style.
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.