Today within this article I am going to talk about the Caregiver Archetype, both the good qualities, along with some of the Shadow aspects of The Caregiver. Before jumping into the deeper qualities of the Archetype, I would like to mention that each and every archetype has its positives, as well as its negative aspects. This important thing to take away from this article is to know that, being made aware of both the positive and negative aspects can help you in your personal growth and development, and can help you transform your world. It is also important to state that we will usually have a primary archetype within our lives that often takes president and becomes the natural role that you play.
Also within this article I will share a story from one of my personal experiences, as I play the natural Caregiver in my world. Like with every archetype, it has its positive aspects, both problems to overcome and also learnings. In fact, throughout your journey, you will grow through the different layers of the archetype as you change within your life, you take charge and learn from different experiences. I will speak more about that later…
The Goal of the Caregiver is to Help others, and make a difference through love and sacrifice. As a therapist, a coach or a healer, the caregiver has some great qualities. From looking at this archetype, you could say that it is the ideal archetype for a coach, therapist and healer as they often put the needs of others before their own.
The caregiver though it is concerned about the good of others as well as ourselves. It may well be a form of Ego that looks out for the survival, not just of the individual, but of the family, tribe, community or species. The Super Ego will push us to sacrifice our own good for others so that ultimately the group can survive.
The Shadow aspects of the Caregiver can been seen as over giving and being taken advantage of, this can result in you becoming the suffering martyr or victim. This happens in situations when the Caregiver goes too far and will end up as victims. It is when the Caregiver takes the role of enabling behaviours, that of other peoples addictions, irresponsibility, or narcissism.
With that in mind, let me share a story of one of my not so fondest experience of “When a Caregiver goes to Far”
It was an experience many years ago now, where I carried out some work for a client. I would often help them out with little of nothing in return as I just wanted to help and support them as they were growing their business. It was my way of giving back and making a difference. After all, my help could go a long way and create a lasting impact for them.
After some time, I was asked to produce some work for them which was much more than I could do for little or no fee. Due to the demand of that work, I had little choice but to charge for the work I was to produce. Once I did charge for the work, I could sense some resistance straight away and immediately had this bad feeling and energy come over me, I knew something was not quite right. Them out of the blue towards, I was demanded to stop my work with the expectation for a full refund. I knew right away that it was not the quality of the work that had produced but rather the fact that I charged for my time.
It was only a week later that I realised they had spread nasty rumours about myself and my work. All of which were fabricated, with no truth behind them. Within an instant I became the martyr and victim, and I wrongly took responsibility for all the things that went wrong. This experience haunted me for a long time, all I wanted was to help and make a difference, little did I know the consequences. The truth though, is that there were many lessons that I learned from this experience. This is what brings me on to the levels of the Caregiver.
Level 1: You have a conflict between your own needs and the needs of others. You have a tendency to sacrifice your own needs to what other needs or want from you! You play the role of rescuing. Level 1 is where I find myself with the story above.
Level 2: Learning to care for yourself, so that caring for others is enriching not maiming; learning “tough love“; empowering and not doing for others.
If you find yourself in situations like myself, it is important for your to find that balance within yourself so you are not being exploited or taken advantage of.
Level 3: Generativity; willingness to care and be responsible for people. (and perhaps also for animals and the earth). This then goes beyond the needs of self and others to then extending that to community building.
There is also one last learning, and this is not specific to the Caregiver but more so to your Hero’s Journey quest. Throughout your journey, you will also encounter other archetypes some that become part of your team and others that provide you with lessons for you to learn and grow. The Trickster archetype is the archetype that springs to mind here when looking back at my experience.
The Trickster is an archetype that represents both Trust and Mistrust. On the surface, they are seen to have your best interests at heart, yet on a deeper level they have their own agenda and intentions. The couple in my story were a perfect example of the Trickster archetype as they represented trust and mistrust but also gave me a very important lesson. This lesson for me was to learn to have that balance between caring for others and caring for yourself. The other lesson in this situation was for you to learn to trust your instinct and intuition. Your intuition is your inner guidance system that supports you on your journey. And as the saying goes “Always let your conscience be your guide!”
Thank You for reading, I hope you have found this to be useful. If you have any questions or comments, make sure to leave them in the comments below.
I wish you all the best on your journey to success.
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