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35 Affirmations For Shadow Work to Illuminate Your Shadow & Help You Heal

Shadow work affirmations are a powerful way to illuminate and reconnect with your inner shadow.

Shadow Work Affirmations Can Be Intense, But Effective

Shadow work affirmations | Image shows a woman writing. She has a cup of herbal tea beside her and there's green foliage outside of the window.

Unlike other kinds of affirmations, shadow affirmations are still a form of shadow work. This means that while their objective is ultimately positive, they may not appear quite so uplifting as others.

Over time, and with some perspective which may not come easy(!), you should begin to appreciate the integrity and value in these statements too.

Remember, shadow work exercises are about identifying and bringing your shadow into the light; this is not usually easy and is not for the faint-hearted! These affirmations are designed to be challenging, and that means that working with them may feel uncomfortable to begin with.

You may also like these 50 shadow work journal questions.

The first time you read through them, you may resist the sentiments of many or even all of them. That’s not surprising, and probably even to be expected. (If you find all of them palatable then perhaps I’ve not done my job well enough!)

An example is number 13 on the list; the first time I heard this concept, I was indignant – perhaps even a little outraged. But gradually, I’ve come to understand its truth; it’s now one of my favourite pieces of wisdom.

Over time, and with some perspective which may not come easy(!), you should begin to appreciate the integrity and value in these statements too.

The ultimate goal of these shadow affirmations is that they facilitate a feeling of liberation.

How to Use Shadow Affirmations 

Affirmations can be used in a variety of ways depending on what you’re most comfortable with, including reciting them or via shadow work journaling

A woman with red painted nails and leopard print sleeves writes in a notepad. She has a cup of coffee on the wooden table top beside her.
Read my post about self loving affirmations for more on this.

35 Powerful Affirmations For Shadow Work

  1. I am special, but no more so than anybody else.
  2. It hurt me, but they did the best they could at the time.
  3. I accept that I will never receive the parenting I wanted and deserved.
  4. I am not responsible for what happened to me as a child, but I am responsible for how I deal with it now.
  5. Everybody is capable of love and destruction, and everybody deserves compassion and forgiveness.
  6. Bitterness is understandable, but it is not helpful and does not serve me.
  7. I choose forgiveness because I deserve peace.
  8. I accept that I have made mistakes and I can do better.
  9. My mistakes do not define me; how I try to put them right does.
  10. The only approval and respect I need is my own.
  11. It is my choice if I stay in a destructive relationship and I am free to leave when I’m ready.
  12. The people who ask for love in the most unloving ways are the ones who need it the most.
  13. What other people think of me is none of my business.
  14. Relationships that leave me drained are not worth investing my precious time in.
  15. Praise and approval may feel good but they are essentially meaningless.
  16. My background is not an excuse for a poor attitude – it’s my reason for striving for better.
  17. There is nothing to say that my perspective is definitively the correct one.
  18. Our experiences shape us into the people we are; if I am good and kind then I am privileged, too.

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  1. I will embrace my imperfections.
  2. I will continue to learn and improve where I can.
  3. I will work on sitting with my uncomfortable feelings.
  4. I will not actively seek feedback when what I am really seeking is validation.
  5. Regardless of my childhood and other experiences, my happiness is my own responsibility.
  6. I choose to be courteous and respectful to those who hurt me because my dignity demands it.
  7. I am grateful that every difficulty I’ve experienced has taught me to be more compassionate.
  8. I will continue to work on personal growth because others deserve the best of me.
  9. I will continue to work on personal growth because I deserve to make peace with my demons.
  10. I am grateful for the people who forgive me when I’m not at my best.
  11. I accept that there are some people whose opinion of me will never change, and that it has very little to do with who I am or what I do.
  12. I will break the pattern of abuse/neglect in my family because my children deserve better.
  13. My life is only as sacred as everybody else’s.
  14. Life is not fair and it is my responsibility to accept and be okay with that.
  15. I will reframe when life feels hard.
  16. I will work on being more present, because the past and present do not, effectively, exist.
  17. There is always something to be grateful for if you look hard enough.

If reading through these affirmations feels too intense, it may be that you’d be better suited to more positive affirmations instead.

But if you’re ready to work on your shadow then the ideas here will provide you with some compelling challenges to help you grow.