How can archetypes enrich your relationships?

Relationships are the most fulfilling part of life.  And simultaneously the most challenging.  How you show up in your relationships is essential to your life success and your personal sense of connection and belonging.  Be it at work, relationships at home as partner, parent and sibling, or with friends, archetypes can help enrich all your relationships.

Broadly speaking, there are three types of relationships: co-dependent, independent and inter-dependent.  Each archetype shows up a little differently and expresses different qualities, embodiments and levels of maturity in each relationship type.  Let’s explore the archetypes through the lenses of these relationships.

Co-dependent Relationships

These are limiting and often damaging relationships.  Even though they seem to be the model many people use to create the ideal relationship.  A sense of feeling needed, making compromises, giving up on what I want so someone else will love or appreciate me.  Or stating that, “If you loved me, you’d let me do that”.  I can’t live without so and so.  I am nothing without my kids.  Or kids feeling over-reliant on parents.  The micro-managing leader or the colleague that leans on others without taking responsibility.

Co-dependent relationships look controlling through the eyes of Sovereign.  It is giving power or sovereignty away or asserting power over another.  Either taking on too much or too little responsibility through leaking boundaries.  The boundaries and responsibilities are skewed, making the relationships dysfunctional.  For Lover it is all about the other person, leaving you open to abuse or to be the abuser.  Or it’s all about you.  And that can become brutal in the hands of Warrior as physical, mental and emotional abuse turned inward or outward.  Magician in co-dependent relationships shows a lack of trust in yourself and life, dis-empowering you with feelings of victim hood.

The embodiment of co-dependence is either withdrawn, contained and contracted or over-expanded and out of control as if compensating or covering up.  The relationships are toxic, harmful and unstable.

Independent Relationships

This is where you reclaim your sovereignty.  Here you are taking appropriate responsibility.  You have done the self-development to have a sense of your worth, values and where your responsibilities end and others’ begin.  You stand in your power.

Many relationships are like this today as a backlash to the pre-war relationship model of co-dependent dysfunction.  Where men worked and controlled their women through money and physical strength.  And women controlled their men through sex and emotional manipulation.  Or the gender inequalities in the workplace.  Children were meant to be seen, not heard.  They were miniature versions of adults.

Today, people take a more independent view of work, asking “What can the company do for me?”  In parenting, children are given more freedom to choose before they are perhaps mature enough to decide for themselves.  Or parents refuse to change their pre-children lifestyle once they enter parenthood.  And in intimate relationships, I maintain my independence at the expense of true vulnerability, intimacy and mutual support.

This focus, centred on self, is healthy from the perspective of self-responsibility (Sovereign), caring for oneself (Lover), intentional about my purpose and fulfilment (Warrior) and my growth and creativity (Magician).  The embodiment is grounded, expansive, centred and aligned, but it lacks the softness to give and receive, the hallmarks of inter-dependence.

Inter-dependent relationships are about thriving, flourishing, co-creating, being inspired, co-operating and creating relationships that are greater than the sum of the parts

Inter-dependent Relationships

The name of the game is thriving, flourishing, co-creating, being inspired, co-operating and creating relationships that are greater than the sum of the parts.

For Sovereign, this is about self-authority and responsibility and allowing others to take their fair share of responsibility and thus claim authorship of their lives.  We can all benefit from Sovereign’s wisdom, order, responsibility, groundedness, meta-view and strategy.  Sovereign opens its borders to allow exchange, sharing, collaboration and is clear where responsibility is shouldered and shared.

The boundaries of Lover are held strongly and compassionately, from a sense of serving you and other as you say “no” to what is beyond your capacity and capability.  And “yes” to what plays to your strengths and joy.

Warrior keeps you connected to your purpose and mission as well as what serves the greater good.  And gives space for others to live their purpose and celebrate in that collective fulfilment.  You see this at work when people chose the company they work for and the role they play based on their values.

Finally, Magician, uses our collective creativity, imagination and intuition to be inspired, and be inspiring.  We innovate, transform and view things from broader perspective.

The embodiment of inter-dependent relationships has all the qualities of independence, with an openness and softness that allows two-way exchange.  This permits the giving and receiving of our strengths, gifts and experience to and from each other, as we act as a collective humanity.

Can you see how the archetypes work together to either keep you limited in co-dependence, evolve into independence and ultimately grow to inter-dependence and full maturity?

Led by Sovereign’s unconditional love, Warrior protects, Lover nurtures and Magician inspires and transcends.  Collectively creating an embodiment that is loving, compassionate, fierce and connected.

Over to You

Do you recognise the co-dependent, independent and inter-dependent relationships in your life?  How are your archetypes showing up in these relationships?  How can you move towards more maturity and fulfilment in each archetype?  What will you work on today, or this week, to bring more kindness, openness, connection and compassion to your relationships?

If this topic has resonated with you and you’d like to know more, I will be speaking at The Embodiment Conference and introducing an embodied approach to archetypes that brings more awareness and fulfilment in all aspects of your life, including relationships.  You can register free for the conference here.

My talk is Embodying Archetypes for Personal Growth.  There are hundreds of speakers from across the globe, sharing the wisdom of embodiment for the benefit of many areas of life including relationships and intimacy, business and leadership, martial and healing arts, ethics, ecology and more. It would be great to see you there.

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