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Shadow Work for Trust Issues after Betrayal

We'll be going over some ideas about shadow work for trust issues after a betrayal.

But first, we need to make sure you understand a few important things.

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 Trust Issues

Betrayal can be soul-crushing to the point that a person changes their views on life.

You are given a rude awakening and shown that things are not the way you believed them to be.

This is usually due to idealized expectations being projected onto another person.

What makes these expectations ideals is that people don't like to believe that impermanence applies to people they want to fit into their lives.

People always change. Everyone changes.

It's the need for control, the strong egoic desire to keep a person here in this spot waiting for you, that deludes us into forgetting the fact of life that is impermanence.

Control, Expectations & Betrayal

It's this need for control over others that you can call your "inner devil."

The same way an abuser tries to take complete control of their victim's life as if they are property would be the best example of this to an extreme.

This need to break away and come out from under someone else's thumb is an act of self-love.

The result of leaving a controlling, abusive person is that there is more Love in the world in every conceivable way.

To an abuser, their victim's freedom is an insult and betrayal.

This is not to say that feeling betrayed means you are a horrible person. But it is a perspective worth knowing before we get more into how betrayal works.

Betrayal in Romance

Understand that the person who feels betrayed is usually oblivious and unaware of the conditions they've set upon other people.

So when they experience feelings of betrayal, it comes off as very personal. Even when it isn't.

Illusions of the other person are shattered. Illusions of yourself are shattered.

Betrayal makes you question your judge of character and your ability to self-trust.

In cases of romantic relationships and cheating, you can end up feeling that you aren't worthy of love.

In my youth, I'd contemplate being cheated on and think: "Either there is something wrong with the world, or there is something wrong with me." At the time, I "deduced" that I was unlovable and was explicit about it in my thoughts.

('Tis the emotional drama of youth)

A betrayal comes off as callous and too casual to the person who is betrayed.

Because instead of coming clean and admitting that any ties must be cut, the betrayer chooses to skip this entirely.

As if they didn't take into consideration how much their decision will impact the other person, nor is willing to take responsibility for their decision.

Trust Issues After Betrayal

To the betrayer, their actions are "no big deal." But this is self-deception.

They are not being honest with themselves. Instead, they are being deluded by their own selfish desires.

This is denial.

Denial is what allows a person to deny responsibility for their own actions.

Denial, in these instances, is also indicative of a lack of integrity.

This is crucial because ask yourself this, "Would you rather have a relationship with someone who has high integrity or low integrity?"

The person who feels betrayed usually finds themselves feeling dead inside or filled with rage.

Not only that, but someone who is betrayed romantically will experience a distortion of their "inner woman" or "inner man" image; anima, animus.

This cuts off certain inner qualities within the person until they grief and move past it.

Grieving After Betrayal

Keep in mind that fantasizing about "winning the person back" prevents grief. Fantasizing about the person coming back is evidence that you haven't yet grieved and moved past this person.

The person isn't even who you miss. You miss the person you thought they were. The projections of your idealistic expectations of the man/woman image you contain in your psyche.

By doing the griefwork, you are bringing back those projections. Reclaiming them within yourself so that you no longer feel compelled to "win them back" or fantasize about your ex.

Many times betrayal isn't tied to infidelity but instead to an opportunity or a "calling."

An example of this would be an 18-year-old going against their parent's wishes and choosing to go to trade school instead of college—assuming the parent was very invested in their child going to college, despite their apparent reluctance.

This betrayal is necessary because it helps people become who they are meant to be, not living their lives for someone else.

Usually, there is a growth of consciousness on either side after a betrayal.

(Keep in mind that people betray themselves daily. Telling themselves they will work out and diet, but unable to follow through. This is because part of you is disconnected and doesn't align with your conscious goals.)

Tips for Dealing with Betrayal

  • Don't isolate yourself
  • Be around social support
  • Feel through all your emotions
  • Express your emotions creatively
  • Understand you will feel lonely, even when you're not
  • This is a universal experience. You are not alone

Check out Shadow Work Prompts for Trust Issues here.

Here are some resources I recommend:

Shadow Work Course is based on my in-depth research and personal experiences with shadow work, projection, sadomasochism, inner child healing, triggers, and all things shadow. This course is updated every year and gets new content at no additional cost. Learn more here.

A Light Among Shadows is a guide on self-love and being. This short course goes over consciousness, spirituality, philosophy, and makes sense of why people are the way they are. Recommended for people dealing with resentment and self-hate. Learn more here.

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.

Manifestation Manual: The Path of Least Resistance bundle teaches you some holistic and systems thinking along with how to mend your inner child wounds so you can align with your higher self and move forward in life. This includes 20 video clips as a free bonus.

Shadow Play (or “DsR”) is a small sister website that goes over “sensual” shadow work through my BDSM experiences. If you are 18+ and are interested, go here.

Inner Shadow Work on TikTok and Instagram.

Subscribe to get your free ebook 30 Shadow Work Prompts
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