In 2006, I wrote, “My secret is this. I’m a broken confused tired woman. My past is creeping into my nightmares. My present lingers like stagnant water because I can’t get out of the funk of losing him. I wake up with scratches all over me because apparently I’m ripping myself apart in my sleep. My body is tired. My eyes are heavy. ”
Because I knew my life was on a sharp decline, I decided to take matters into my own hands and seek out healing, knowledge, my own unique perspective of spirituality, therapy, a new career and more. It was a lot of work. I’m still working on it, thus this challenge and it led me to the book Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential.
The book is long. It’s a lot of work. It’s like a 1,000 page workbook of looking yourself in the mirror and looking at all parts of you. I filled two notebooks with all of the assignments and while bringing order back to my apartment while being away for almost 2 months, I found my journal from 2006 with one of the exercises in the book. I find some of my words to be interesting, fortutious, consistent and challenging.
In the exercise, after figuring out your 12 archetypes…4 of which Carline Myss insist we all have…Child, Victim, Prostitute and Sabouter, you were to write a letter to each one answering to questions.
It may be froo froo to you. It may be a waste of time. For me, her book gave me another filter through which to process some of my ongoing issues such as complacency with men, dissatisfaction at work, boundaries with family, grief of death and more.
The book is described as, “an insightful and ingenious process for deciphering your own Sacred Contract—or higher purpose—using a new theory of archetypes that builds on the works of Jung, Plato, and many other contemporary thinkers. Myss examines the lives of the spiritual masters and prophets—Abraham, Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad—whose archetypal journeys illustrate the four stages of a Sacred Contract and provide clues for discovering your own. Myss explains how you can identify your particular spiritual energies, or archetypes—the gatekeepers of your higher purpose—and use them to help you find out what you are here on earth to learn and whom you are meant to meet. Exploring your Sacred Contract will shine a light on the purpose and meaning of your life. You are meant to do certain tasks, you are meant to have certain relationships. In coming to know your archetypal companions, you also begin to see how to live your life in ways that make the best use of your personal power and lead you to fulfill your greatest—in fact, your divine—potential.”
The assignment: Interview each archetype with “Why did I choose you?” and “How do you serve my contracts with other people.”
Sheena: Why did I choose you, ADVOCATE?
ADVOCATE: Much of your life work has been dedicated to social concerns. You chose me because of Cabrini Green, because there is something in you that desires justice but also being a voice for the voiceless. I serve your contract with other people because your desire to advocate draws you to people. I connect you with the voiceless, underrepresented and others. Remember your poem about the guy with the mo-hawk?
Sheena: ARTIST, why did I choose you?
ARTIST: You chose me because I move your soul and stir your spirit. I open your mind to what you didn’t see before. I serve your contract with other people because I help you connect with people through your words and other artistic expressions. But I also open your mind where it hasn’t been before. Remember who you were before Tennessee Williams, Angels in America, Kokaina, Dirty Pretty Things, Magnolia, The Laramie Project? I touch your soul.
Sheena: Why did I choose you, MAGICAL CHILD?
MAGICAL CHILD: You chose me because I am your pain reliever. I take you to your happy place. I am a coping mechanism during some difficult times. You chose me because I support the artist in you. I am so vivid, I birthed it. You see beauty and inspiration in “mundane” things that shift people’s perspectives. Remember, “The Kindness of Strangers,” “Waiting on the Jackson Park 6,” the essay on Todd Skinner’s obituary? You always come back to me.
Sheena: Why did I choose you, DESTROYER?
DESTROYER: “There is beauty in ruins.” “To create you must destroy.” “Chaos and Order.” Blah. Blah. You chose me for many reasons. The artist in you needs me. I aid the creative process. But at times I am a shadow. You use me to destroy yourself in unhealthy ways. You’ve used me to fuck up relationships just for kicks. In relation to others, your spirit takes you to the ruins ~ Cabrini and you create beauty ~ the relationships. We will work together more.
Sheena: Why did I choose you, FEMME FATALE?
SIREN: I like Siren better. I have charisma, charm, sex appeal and sensuality. Everything I do is suggestive. I help with first impressions and harden hearts. You love my shadow too. Maturity will teach you how to channel me. You will charm nations which will help your love of advocacy. I serve your sacred contract with others because I give the electricity to those encounters.
Sheena: Why did I choose you, GODDESS?
GODDESS: Well Sheena is the Queen of the Jungle. I give strength, grace….Sheena means grace. Power and sensuality. I help your inner siren. I have a wisdom beyond this world. A vision of beauty and life beyond imagination. I serve your sacred contract with others because I provide a radiance, a light… I help progress the new movement. I will serve as an example of the new enlightenment, a new being.
Sheena: Why did I choose you, HEDONIST?
HEDONIST: I’m the reason you have friendships the the “Steph’s” in your life. That phrase, “I like pretty things”…..it comes from me. I help center you in the middle of darkness. I along with your magical child. When you go to your happy place, its full of luscious foods, captivating smells, vibrant colors, beautiful spirits and men and their cologne. Your contract with others…your passions and desires will excite them in ways they never imagined.
Sheena: Why did I choose you REBEL?
REBEL: I help aid in a new way of thinking. Complacency and Apathy are not in my vocabulary. I help make the familiar…unfamiliar and vice versa. You chose me because I am a natural leader, a different voice in a desensitized, over-stimulated era. There will be moments when you will have to forsake your comfort zone, whether that be location, situation or relationships. I give you the strength and inspiration. The spunk and the feisty.
Sheena: Why did I choose you, STUDENT?
STUDENT: There was a statue given to you on your 20th birthday. A little figurine sitting with a book. The person who bought it for yous aid specific things. Remember? That is why you chose me. You have a natural inclination to the pursuit of knowledge and understanding and you serve your contract by sharing that knowledge. You share in your blogs, stories, conversations and life.
Sheena: Why are you a part of my core, VICTIM?
VICTIM: You once wrote how its a choice to stay where you are or thrive past your victimization. You could never write that without the experience of me. But we still have to work on personal boundaries with certain areas of your life. Your contract with others…we will help, assist, aid…others in thriving past theirs.
Sheena: Why are you a part of my story, PROSTITUTE?
PROSTITUTE: You gave away a bit of your soul today. For what? The last word. ha. You sold your soul for pride. Is it what you imagined?
Sheena: The victim in me needed to stand up for myself.
PROSTITUTE: And I hold the thirty pieces in my hand. In the future, use me as a guide. A pricing plan. A budget. A measure of worth. Your soul hangs in the balance.
Sheena: Why are you in my story, SABOTEUR?
SABOTEUR: Don’t discount your worth. When he calls you beautiful, take joy in that. Enjoy the little moments and take the opportunities. Take courageous actions in your life. Complacency can be a shadow. You are wonderful. Embrace the goddess that you are. Throw a “private party.” If you don’t take advantage of what I can offer…you will miss opportunities with others thus derailing your sacred contract.
Immediately after this exercise, we were to pick one area of our life that was unresolved and go through a series of 30 questions. I decided to deal with the lingering issues I had with my childhood pastor. Each question was asked in relation to its association to each chakra. So I’m presenting these questions of of context. Even still, some of the interesting questions that peak my interest today are.:
- Do I have to forgive myself? In relation to the situation and what I wrote eight years ago, my notebook says, “I was a child. I should give myself grace and be gentle.”
- What would I have to do to retrieve my spirit? Eight years ago, I wrote, “Let go.”
- What control issues do I have? Eight years ago…and the reason my ass was in therapy, I wrote, “I like to hold the key, the cards, the upper hand and play it when it suits me. I have had ambivalent and controlling issues with men.”
- What fear do I allow to control my mind? <– I wrote nothing. I was just speaking with my best friend today about this. “Fear” really isn’t a thing for me except fear of bugs.
- Have I sold my integrity for physical security? I wrote, “As a child I did that with my abuser. As an adult I’ve done it with people I’ve chosen to live with.”
- Who has made me feel dis-empowered? My ex step father. My childhood pastor. (The rest we will redact.) I also wrote, “I have harmed others esteem when it came to sex and power.”
- Who is in therapy getting over me? <— Oh Lord. Let’s not get into that. But the point is awareness.
Caroline has a new website, ArcheTypeMe.com. It might be worth checking out. Or she may not be your cup of tea. I like her flavor. And its time to revisit her book and see some of her new work.
This post is part of my 30 Days to 30 birthday challenge, #WDW2014 where I write and muse on topics that challenge me to crack my self wide open. My desire is to let go, let loose and tap into my raw nature. I want to get even more in tuned with my soulful knowing, my deep intuition and I want to be intentional, communal and to share my spirit. There are 30 days until my 30th birthday and I’d like to spend this time breaking myself open as I delve deeper into what it means to be a Wild Magical Woman.