“I have long believed that it is impossible for us to know who we truly are unless we understand archetypes, and more specifically, our own personal archetypes.” ~Caroline Myss
Anyone with the experience of living with a health condition understands the unique challenges. The metaphor of moving to a new country where you do not speak the language captures the changes that you experience when living with a health condition. One must adapt to the new landscape of a body that now is unfamiliar. When you don’t have the tools to navigate though this unchartered territory it can be difficult to move forward. There are many tentative steps on a healing journey. Only by trying new things can we begin to feel like we are truly at home.
Without understanding the language of healing, a struggle ensues to begin living a life with ease and grace. This may involve learning about your health from a medical perspective, an alternative or holistic health perspective, and an emotional one. After living with a health condition, it became apparent that I needed something to hang onto that was connected to the inner strength of a woman.
Beginning to learn to live in a new way, a new body, and with new limitations is a common challenge especially if this is happening while learning to balance life as a mother and a woman.
In the face of adversity yearning for the promise of grace, beauty, and vitality is an overlooked desire. Connecting with these qualities within can be difficult; it is during this time that there are tremendous benefits in harnessing the power of a tangible representation. A most cherished item that has worked for my healing was the image of a Goddess with a lotus radiating from her pelvis. She represented my potential for healing and growth in the midst of the most challenging circumstances. Looking for a guiding archetype to identify with on your journey to reconnection can provide tremendous support in a time where you may feel alone.
Writers and therapists stemming from Jungian psychology refer to and use archetypes to help people to understand what it means to be a woman (Enns, 1994) and specifically the potential for transformation (Bolen, 2004). I now understand that my Goddess is the essence of me. She was the conduit for my accessing strength I did not know that I had. Through her I made the choice to be the heroine of my life and I know I would not be writing for Maternal Goddess if I had not evoked the Goddess within. Author and psychiatrist Jean Shinoda Bolen (2004) reminds us that Goddesses live in every woman stating, “Every woman has the leading role in her own unfolding life story”.
Bolen, J. S. (2004). Goddesses in every woman. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.
Enns, C. Z. (1994). Archetypes and gender: Goddesses, warriors, and psychological health. Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, 73(2), 127.