Heart, Lover and Loss- a story of a broken heart that heals

Lover is the archetype of love, tolerance, compassion and empathy.  Lover shows us the beauty of connection, humanity and our capacity to care for ourselves, each other and the world.  Through intimacy, Lover shows us how we are all the same.  Sometimes, the hurts of life are too much.  Lover cannot always keep the heart open.  There are times connection is too hard.  When this happens, we close down and withdraw.

And it is right to do so.  Sometimes, turning inward allows the reflection, synthesis and transformation required to open again with more strength.  The broken heart requires tenderness, care and nurturing to heal.  Sometimes, the compassionate thing to do is take time for self-care.

Heart Matured

The recent passing of my Mother has been a case in point.  There have been moments when I have withdrawn- taken myself for long walks, fire gazed and dissolved into films late at night.  I feel Lover fiercely protecting me as I process the loss and adapting to life without Mum in it.  Short bursts like these of contemplation and self-soothing give me the chance to resource myself, so that I am more resilient.  It allows me to be there for others in their pain.

Heart in Innocence

But in the distant past, my Lover was not so capable.  When my brother took his own life, Lover went into overwhelm.  I totally closed down.  I numbed and armoured myself without let up so that I could survive.  I did not have the emotional maturity to be able to process it any other way.  Nor did anyone in my family have the capacity to nurture me through that pain.  They too were hurting more than they were able to bear.  And they closed down too.  Leaving me to figure it out alone.

I stayed in that numbed and armoured state for about 30 years.  My relationship with myself suffered.  Stress, anxiety and tension disconnected me from my body and emotions.  I lost power and movement in my left arm all for the sake of protecting my broken heart from further pain.

Protected Heart

I did not feel safe to be myself.  Nor to give time and space to myself to nurture and heal.  As a result, my relationships with my parents, siblings, partners and friends also suffered.  My relationship with life was very fearful.  Though I had hope, it was easily quashed.

When Lover left a vacuum, the other archetypes stepped in to compensate.  In my experience, they took on roles for which they are not suited.  Warrior guards the heart, but often without compassion.  Therefore, Warrior stepped in with harshness and cruelty.  Sovereign can care for the heart by taking on responsibility that was not mine to take.  And Magician can ignore the heart and emotions through control and distrust.

In that closed down space, there was no place for forgiveness.  No room for compassion, tolerance or empathy.  For myself, or others.  And in that disempowered space, Lover acted as a victim, a people-pleaser, a conditional Lover pursuing validation and reassurance.

Breaking Free

How did I break free?  How did I find my balance and ground?  Martial arts taught my Sovereign, Warrior and Magician how to live with honour and respect.  Which placed the emphasis on Lover to take ownership of my heart.  I had to listen to my heart.  The spirituality of martial arts paved the way.  Combat taught me the way to peace.  With others and within myself.  And I took guidance and nurturing from counselling, life-coaching and The Samaritans.  In spite of all the pain I had been through, Lover guarded my heart fiercely.  With slow, gentle steps, my heart told me who I could place trust in and connect to as well as how to forgive and prioritise self-care.  My heart told the other archetypes what it needed from them so that I could live a heart-centred life.

With self-love, it became progressively less necessary to be loved by another at all costs.  I began to trust with discernment, to connect with care, to forgive for my own sake.

As my Lover relaxed more into loving unconditionally, Lover’s true power shone through.  Loving fiercely, protecting the heart fearlessly, courageous vulnerability, empathy without fear of being lost and consumed.

An Open Heart

Because fear is the gate-keeper of the heart when Lover withdraws.  The entire Kingdom of Sovereign is bathed in fear when the heart breaks and is unable to heal.  Fear is what sends the Kingdom to sleep in Sleeping Beauty and the forest grows around the castle to keep everything out.  It takes Lover to bravely face the forest of fear and awaken the heart again.

Where can Lover be brave so that you can live with an open heart?  For me, it is the daily little kindnesses I can offer another and myself.  A smile in the street.  Sending a message on LinkedIn to reach out for a conversation.  Responding to a social media post with care and attention.  A rest to collect my thoughts before a meeting.  Quiet moments with a book or in stillness.  Kind words to myself when I make mistakes or appear to fail, acknowledging my desire to get better.  Accepting the kindnesses and generosity of others and sharing my appreciation.  Saying “no” for my sake which has a way of serving the other as well.  Living aligned to purpose and values so that Lover can offer the heart without fear of being used up or consumed.

Lover shows up in so many different places, bringing heart, love and compassion to the moment.  How many ’s do you send yourself each day?

Over to You

If anything I have written here resonates and inspires you to share your own story, I would be delighted to hear from you.  Please feel free to do so privately by e-mail or by DM on LinkedIn or Facebook.  How is your relationship with your archetype, Lover?  What do you do to keep your heart open?

If you’d like to explore the archetypes in a safe and confidential space, we are resuming our Embodying Archetypes Embodiment Circles Online series from March 18th- May 6th, 2021.  You can register at Embodiment Circles Online and then follow the Zoom link to the Embodying Archetypes Circle every Thursday morning at 8am.

You can also join the Embodying Archetypes Facebook Group where you can interact with other embodied archetype fans and get involved in conversations.

Pass it on

What are you taking away with you from this blog?  What resonated?  Do you know a friend, family member or colleague who might benefit from a similar insight?  If so, please forward the blog to them.  Show them you care and that they are in your heart.  Thank you.

Ready to find out more about how the Lover archetype can serve you?

Book a call and we can begin the exploration together.