Shadow Work and Abuse

This is about the shadow work aspect of abuse and how abuse can affect us on a soul level for people who constantly end up in abusive situations. As empaths, healers, highly sensitive people, compassionate souls, or all of the above, we are often out of touch with our own power. This can lead to us ending up in situations in which we feel powerless to change our circumstances. In order to better explain some things about abuse I am going to explain the importance of your internal environment.

I have a problem with the current detox/cleansing obsession that many people have today. As a professionally trained herbalist, I see many things wrong with this fad. For one, there is a time and place or cleansing for sure and many good ways to cleanse. However, the “cleansing” is often done incorrectly and for the wrong reasons. Cleansing may be the opposite of what you need to do to lose weight, or get clearer skin, or whatever your goal may be. Not everyone needs cleansing. Some people need to be built up and strengthened in different ways instead.

This is very true for parasite cleanses. A lot of herbs and diets really do kill parasites. But the issue is not with the parasites themselves. The truth is that the parasites would not survive in your body if the environment was not hospitable to them. What does this mean? We have to approach the issues of parasites from a perspective of “How can I make myself inhospitable to these creatures who want to leech of of my body and impair my health?”

There are many issues in a persons body that could contribute to the creation of a hospitable environment for parasites. However, the person did not consciously ask or parasites. They certainly didn’t want to have them. In fact, they may be trying to kill the parasites with many different methods. But no matter how many parasites are killed, more just show up because they are able to exist within that environment

The point here is that no one (a few people, but they have mental and emotional issues if so) asks for abuse. No one consciously wants it. It is not your fault if someone abuses you. It is not your fault if someone abuses you. Whether that abuse is some stranger pushing you to the pavement for walking too slowly or someone hitting you with a bat while hurling insults at you. You have every right to be upset, be traumatized, feel scared, want to cry, and feel like a victim – because you are.

There is a children’s toy called a shape-sorter (it is the cube with different shapes cut out and you have to fit the right shaped block into the right shaped hole). Dealing with the subconscious mind is a lot like this. The cube is your mind, who you are, what can happen in your life, etc. The blocks/shapes are things on the outside that can happen to you. If you have a triangle shaped hole, then the triangle block can go inside. Within your subconscious mind if you have a space for abuse it can exist within your life. This does not mean it is someone’s own fault if they are abused. It means that we need to help ourselves and each other take care of our internal worlds – emotionally and mentally – and stop normalizing abusive situations.


We are not powerless to our minds. We are powerless, however, to eliminating every single abusive person on this planet. We cannot control what others do to us. But we can notice if patterns of abuse keep repeating in our lives and look into the mirror and ask ourselves “How am I contributing to making a hospitable environment for abuse and in what ways can I take care of myself so that this environment can change?”

The way that people speak about abuse and negative experiences in general can make people feel powerless and even guilty about it. People use phrases such as:

  • There is nothing we can to to prevent this from happening
  • Once these bad things happen to you, you will never be happy
  • Those people are just evil we cant stop them
  • You should just ignore it and stop being so sensitive
  • We must eliminate all of them so that we can be safe
  • We have to get away far away from them as we can in order to be safe
  • There are people who suffer a lot more than you do
     The problem with these ideas is they are untrue in many ways and harmful. The truth is that we are not powerless to abuse and there are many things we can do to help ourselves and each other. It is much more empowering, in my opinion, to focus on the ways in which you can prevent and stop in abuse rather than to stay focused on how it feels everyone is more powerful than you and there is nothing you can to to prevent them from hurting you.

Issues that may contribute to the creation of an unhealthy internal environment:

No sense of self – Without this how will you have boundaries? How do you know what is and is not you? As sensitive people we are often confused by which emotions are our own (though with practice and knowledge, we learn to distinguish ourselves with others and understand our emotions) Empaths – especially emotional empaths – absolutely must have a well established sense of self or they will be prone to not only mistreatment from others but will also feel the emotional gunk of others.

  • White aventurine is perfect or when you need to understand where your power comes from. This crystal helps you get to know who you are on a soul level. Out of this understanding of the self comes the blossoming of your power and spiritual strength — things which are needed to rise above situations that make you feel powerless
You don’t know what is normal or what is healthy – This is a very big issue. It can be hard to tell when abuse is abuse when you are constantly surrounded by it. You may think that you deserve the abuse or that pain is good for you. There are many online resources for victims of abuse and resources that can help you determine if someone in your life is being abusive. It is very important to seek help and spend time around people who you know are emotionally healthy and trustworthy.
An obsession with being good or bad – by being obsessed about goodness,  you can have an issue if you think that it is your job to help everyone else and be nice. This can lead to you feeling as though by being abused you are helping the abuser in some way. You may also put yourself in bad situations because you are afraid of hurting the feelings of others. By thinking that you are a bad person you may think that you deserve punishment on some level.
  • Rose quartz is a crystal to consider working with when you feel a big need to be a good person at the expense of your own health. This crystal teaches what true love really is and can help you heal past what has happened.
  • Chrysoprase is also a good choice because it helps you have hope for new relationships. Chrysoprase is like an energetic bandage over a broken heart.

Questions to focus on during shadow work concerning abuse:

There are a lot of different things to consider if you find yourself constantly getting into abusive situations. Working with a therapist and doing shadow work when ready can help. Here are a few suggested questions for shadow work:

  • Where does my power come from? Who am I?
  • In what ways do I abuse myself?
  • Do I deserve punishment?
  • Do I deserve to be happy?
  • What is a healthy relationship?
  • What is abuse?
  • What should I do if someone treats me poorly?
  • How do I assert my boundaries?
  • What support do I have – whether this is support from friends, family, or organizations?
  • How can I make my life inhospitable to abuse?
        Abuse is frightening, abuse has the power to completely overwhelm you and drive you to harm yourself even more. Look beyond the external situations that keep repeating abuse for you and look for which voids inside of you the abuse may be filling – like with the children’s shape-sorter toy.
       In order to abuse there has to be tremendous mental and emotional disorder and lack of connection. In order to be abused that disconnection must also be present. It is disconnection from the soul, disconnection from source energy. When you have this disconnection someone comes along and tries to heal their own disconnection by harming you. But by examining this situation you can become aware of the ways in which you are disconnected from yourself and heal. The abuse can be like a terrifying tsunami wave that at different times can either completely engulf you or send you running back to the safety of your own soul, your empowerment, your healing, your love. because all pain comes from a disconnection or blockage of divine source energy which is love.
This post is not meant to be a replacement for any professional medical treatment – in fact if you struggle with abuse I believe you must seek help. This post is only meant to help with individuals who have been through many abusive patterns in life and wish to start exploring things in the subconscious mind that are associated with abuse.None of these statements or products have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This products and/or statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This is for educational purposes only and it is not meant to replace the care or advice of a medical professional in any way.