Here is a quick and clear explanation of what is shadow work and inner child work.
Shadow Work is the process of integrating the parts of your personality that you’ve disowned and repressed.
Throughout your life, family and society teach you to embrace some parts of your personality while hiding away others.
This typically happens through some form of shaming; “That’s not okay!”.
The child learns to discard the qualities that are “not okay” to feel accepted by their parents and secure in their survival.
This necessary process makes you a civilized human being who can function in society when you become an adult.
However, you can’t eliminate who you are. Instead, these parts of yourself are only tucked away, left to grow dense outside your awareness.
This becomes what’s called shadow, or your shadow self.
Shadow holds all of your neglected and repressed qualities that your ego had decided not to identify with.
Especially those from your “shadow-making” years. Those initial ~20 years of life where you learn which of your behaviors is not okay.
However, this process implicitly teaches a person that they are existentially “flawed.”
Depending on the child’s upbringing, they can either learn that they are loved regardless of any “flaws”—
Or they will develop unhealthy, dysfunctional beliefs about their own existence. Also referred to as shadow beliefs.
Which leads to a pattern of unhealthy relationships when the child becomes an adult.
This pattern indicates an inner child wound from their formative years.
The inner child is the true, uncontaminated essence of who you are, that which is spirited, creative, authentic, and accepting.
Inner child wounds result from the emotional trauma you endured as a child but never got the chance or love and support needed to fully process.
An inner child wound is a moment in time where your psyche is in arrested development.
Unable to fully process and grieve, the experience imprinted into your psyche resulted in a shadow belief.
Here is a list of common shadow beliefs:
- Nobody can be trusted
- I’m blameless & you’ll always forgive me
- I’m always wrong
- I am pure
- I am helpless
- The world wants to dominate me
- I’ve always been a loser
- Everyone is ungrateful
These existential positions repeat until you become aware of your unconscious beliefs.
Inner Child Work, or inner child healing, is doing the griefwork to digest and process the emotions you carry from the past. While also becoming conscious of the underlying beliefs that have been driving your existence.
By doing this, you become more emotionally mature and experience universal Love.
Essentially, the way you believe yourself to be is the ego. The side of yourself you don’t identify with but is still a part of you is shadow.
Your inner child is your bridge to your higher self—after you mend your wounds.
To heal your inner wounds requires you to admit, acknowledge, and integrate your shadow qualities via shadow work.
Accepting not “who” you are, so much as “what” you are as a whole being.
This is because shadow is the part of your inner child left behind to grow up in the unconscious.
Ultimately, shadow work and inner child work are where psychology meets spirituality.
When the ego and shadow are in agreement, they meet. You become fully present and whole. Although you can’t become God, you can bear witness to Him as Him. Without attachment to past, future, or stories. Because everything is perfect as it is, as you wanted it to be.innershadowwork.com
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.