[Note: First, my apologies for the confusion: I have corrected the chapters and parts breakdown for the headings. The blog will flow from here. Thank you for your patience.]
The Phases of Transformation
Archetypes are wonderful healing tools. If you have studied Carl Jung or read Carolyn Myss, then you are aware of how archetypes are at work in our lives every day. Understanding and working with archetypes allowed me to gain perspective very easily because just like symbols, archetypes resonate with me, and I am very easily able to recognize them and intrinsically tap into their inherent meanings.
We are all familiar with Shift, Karma, and Rebirth. We talk about these ideas all the time; they are also frequently at play in our lives in one respect or other. As I worked through the process of transformation, I was shifting, ripping up every single karmic seed; misaligned thought, belief, behavior, and emotion; and throwing them out of my garden. I rebirthed myself from wounded, unwanted infant to a fully realized adult – a goddess, a queen, a warrior, a witch, a healer, a student, a teacher, and a wise woman, who is humble enough to admit mistakes, learn from them, and continue forward.
Just as there is the cycle of seasons that bring change to the outer world, my own inner world undergoes cyclical changes, a renewal of self as I unwind things that no longer serve me, or fit me, and wind things into myself that do. I renew myself through imagery, specifically archetypes, as I reimagine myself into each new phase of my life – child, daughter, woman, wife, mother, entrepreneur, teacher, healer, and creator. I learn new things with each phase, I envision all the amazing possibilities, and I work to create them, to fully realize them in my life. Passionate purpose is a wonderful phrase my mentor uses; being a healer is one of my passionate purposes.
I remember as a child being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It seemed like everyone from my teachers to my parents wanted the answer. Mine like everyone else’s evolved as I was exposed to new things: a marine biologist, a doctor, a teacher, a mother. These answers all actually fit into the fabric of my adulthood, but they morphed, parts falling away while other tidbits remained as I shifted my focus. However, there were parts that didn’t fall away and morph.
When we have trauma in our lives like I did, the psychosocial development gets interrupted. I didn’t learn how to individuate or differentiate. To my parents I was always an appendage, like an arm, not a separate person with her own feelings, needs, and wants. As an adult I had to learn what children learn naturally as they grow within healthy families. I had to grow up the rest of the way. I used archetypes hugely as part of this process. I could understand them. I could relate to them, and I could learn from and heal the shadow aspects of them within myself.
The child, victim, prostitute, and saboteur are archetypes that helped me identify where I was blocking myself in some way, the shadow I needed to face. There are a host of other archetypes as well to include symbols, such as the circle, square, triangle, and rhombus whose shapes showed me how I was holding or working with energy. As I moved through the stages of healing, I learned and worked through the energy of these archetypal forms until I had resolved an issue or part of an issue.
As I resolved issues, my self-image reflected the deeper changes of my true self in the form of new interests, ways of communicating, and self-expression because I adopted a new energy, a healthier energy with different ways of interacting with others. I began cycling up from shame and fear into willingness and hope.
Dropping the many fears, obligations, guilts, self-sabotaging, self-victimization, etc., my ego and my true self underwent a reorganization. This reorganization reflected the unwinding and winding of changes that I did all throughout this journey and continue to do. This unwinding and winding pattern is how I remain engaged with my life and become excited about new prospects, as well as how I release anything that doesn’t serve me.
When I was ready to begin a life of spiritual experience, I was forced to look deeply and fully at my programming, patterns, and strongholds to my true SELF for my answers and my truths – not my family’s, not society’s, and not the world’s or anyone else’s. I had to break myself apart; rearrange and in some instances trash the current order of my psyche so I could create a new, healthy one.
The spiritual experience for me was the goal to be healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically – to release everything that wasn’t serving me – the memories, the feelings, the beliefs, and the reactivity. I wanted to fill myself up with LOVE, acceptance, truth, trust, and contentment. I wanted to be present in the here and now, not stuck in memory bubbles of the past or in hypervigilance mode. I had to release the fear, obligation, and guilt that were all interwoven into the love of my relationships; the FLOG that I used to whip myself into doing and being what others wanted, demanded, or needed. Once I let go of the FOG, I had a much healthier relationship not only with others, but more importantly with myself. LOVE first and foremost is a gift I give to myself; filling myself up with it so that when it brims over, it is more beautifully and healthily given to others.
When I woke up, I set a goal to change myself. By degrees I became more aware of my unconscious patterns and programs. Once I began to become aware, I could start to engage with the process of renewal through compensating for all that I lacked, raising my self-esteem and self-confidence. I had to find compassion and self-love within me. I had to see my own worthiness, deservingness, and power. For me compensation came in the form of dreams and meditations of being a healer, but not just a person to person healer, but as in I could heal the whole of the universe and myself. I would heal everyone.
During a meditation I actually became a goddess, a goddess in an alternate reality in which good versus evil battled and raged. I went on this journey in this meditation to a world of golden light, souls in need of healing and nurturing, and a universe that needed righting. I would bring peace, end suffering, and end war. Coming out of that meditation threw me for a loop. It was weird, and it felt too big, too much.
I didn’t understand it at all; I mean, what the hell?
But there was also a part of me that was immensely pleased. Shocked pleasure. It took me a while to catch on to the real meaning underlying that incredibly grand meditation; the idea that my subconscious was trying to help me see. The universe and the goddess were real because they are me. I was the all powerful goddess that would heal her own internal universe.
I learned something pretty cool – I contain universes inside of me. Who knew?