Carolyn Myss talks about survival archetypes in her book “Sacred Contracts”. Of all her books that I have struggled to complete, perhaps “Sacred Contracts” is the most I’ve read of any of her books. She discusses 70 archetypes, however focuses on 4 key base archetypes for survival.
These are: the child, the saboteur, the prostitute and the victim.
While I don’t use archetypes the way she intends in her book, I found it incredibly enlightening that these ‘dark’ archetypes of the saboteur, prostitute and victim could be used for growth and self-awareness. She even has a range of different child archetypes.
When I think about survival archetypes, I think about it from the perspective of Patterning.
- Saboteur Pattern – where the person sabotages the outcome, and usually convinces themselves in the end that they didn’t even want the hot
- Prostitute Pattern – where the person sells themselves out, either by compromising in the process or accepting a ‘watered down’ version of the hot
- Victim Pattern – where the person feels and convinces others of their victimhood to another person or situation, and therefore ‘had’ to give up on the hot (usually by lack of trying)
The saboteur protects you by extracting you out of the situation. The prostitute protects you through the distraction of a false object. And the victim makes it not your fault (protecting you from yourself).
In actuality, all these survival archetypes are in each of our Patterns – in us. But when you read the survival archetype Pattern types, was there a particular one that jumped out for you?
And then there’s the child archetype.
Ignoring for now the magical and divine child – all Patterning is formed through a need to deal with a childhood wounding, whether that wounding was real or not. No one can determine the level of trauma you experience from a situation, except yourself.
So, your Pattern is the ‘solution’ for a core wound/trauma in childhood. In other words, as you carry out and get deeply involved in Pattern energy, you are in fact orientating from the wounded child archetype – and recreate that solution over and over again, as if it’s the solution for everything.
This forms a large part of your personality and how you deal with life by default.
Your child wounding and its solution can appear in a multitude of guises, such as: the naughty child, the good child, the needy child, the orphan child, the bossy child, the eternal child, and more.
And since it is your child archetype, it exhibits illogical and reactive behaviours – because who says the child has to be logical?
Ever know the child who hurts themselves to get love and attention? The child who gives up on what they want to get validated by their dad? The child who claims incapability so nobody pushes them to do anything outside their comfort zone?
The wounded child has some weird logic, with the intention of keep themselves safe and separate from pain.
Whereas the divine child is purely connected to everything, of innocence, in their heart. Naturally nestled in flow, in tune with the universe.
Your divine child archetype is born of greatness, this is the child’s true form. But we forget when the temper tantrums arises, the dramas, the intense emotional charge – and we forget that our limitations are merely an illusion made real by the power of our divinity that creates it all.
My drum teacher’s wife once told me some wise advice she was told, when dealing with teens going through the dark patches of hormonal angst:
"Don’t go into the darkness with them. Be the person holding the light for them when they reach the end of the tunnel…"
And it’s exactly the same with your Patterning and your wounded child archetype.
When your fears and angst arise, when you want to blame the world ~ be there for your wounded child archetype, but don’t be sucked into it.
Hold your true end result – and be the light-bearer for your own inner child.
Be the grown up.
People talk about clearing their wounds of the past, but would you clear a naughty child? Do you ignore it, suppress it? Avoid it or dispel it?
Instead, consider transformation and transmutation.
Take that horrible tension, take your wounded child by the hand, listen to what it has to say, no matter how illogical and silly – be the light for it. Give it that respect.
Shine your awareness down, bringing it to light – uncover these outdated strategies needing to protect yourself.
Transform the naughty child (the wounded child) into a divine child. Then magic can really happen.
Every wounded child has the propensity to be a divine child – if only the adult would take the time to hold the space for its transformation. Sometimes there’s nothing to do but be with it until the drama passes. Then everyone can move on.
The divine child is born of greatness. Inside of your wounded child is greatness untapped.