A Woman’s Journey to Herself
You are invited to the 2nd of 12 Archetypal Voyages in discovering the depth of your soul.
Continuation of “How Might Your Life Have Been Different If…”
Have you ever experienced the fear of being left out, or fear of incurring the disapproval of another, or fear of being abandoned in relationship? Were you betrayed, abused, dismissed as non-existent, or demeaned by a close family member? If any of these examples resonate with you, there has been an orphan part living inside you all of these years. In the Internal Family Systems method of counseling, this part is called an “Exile.” In the ancient world, “exile” was considered a greater punishment, a more severe punishment than even execution. To be excluded from the community was the ultimate punishment.”
How long has your internal orphan been excluded from the other vital aspects of your life by your walled off parts? This exile, is a wounded part living inside, and is waiting for the protector parts to set her free from the internal prison that has kept her soul captive.
If you have ever experienced this pain, you do not have to imagine the internal turmoil an orphaned exile feels; you have lived it. As you emerged into adolescence and adulthood, you may have developed “Protectors” which were unconsciously formed, creating a strong outer persona in effort to protect your heart.
Looking at you from the outside, there is a chance that most people would not understand the inner terror that haunts you. Sometimes the “Protector” manifests differently, who externally appearing very needy and victimized. Of course, there are other ways that our internal protectors adapted to keep us safe when we were defenseless little girls.
If this is your first time exploring the 12 archetypes, it may be difficult to immediately identify with being an “Orphan.” Simply think of the word metaphorically, not literally. Oxford defines, “An archetype as a recurring symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology.” Today’s inner passage is designed to share characteristics of the Orphan, and offer examples to assist you in writing your prose of healing by offering journaling and art examples.
Metaphor provides a symbolic visualization to express the unconscious energies that reside within. “The [archetypal] Orphan offers a gift to our lives and “reminds us of our interdependence with others who do sometimes let us down; [our orphan] also helps us become more compassionate and empathetic.” (Pearson, C. (1997). In Invisible forces II: Harnessing the power of Archetypes to improve your Career & Workplace. essay, Type & Temperament, Inc.)
Being able to identify our different mood energies allows us to notice where the moods originate from. When it feels frightful or constrictive this is usually tied to past trauma. If the energy shift feels positive, we usually think little of it and embrace the experience. The archetypal energies are already in us, and you will become more skilled at “noticing and naming” them by the end of our inner passage of 12 voyages. I anticipate that you will accumulate treasures by learning a new soul language. Metaphorically, it is time to don your diving helmet accessorized with a head lamp for optimal illumination as some of our dives may take us into unknown depths.
Carol Pearson has identified various Types of Orphans: ~Realist ~Cynic ~Sensitive ~Bereaved ~Lost soul ~Wounded healer ~Person in recovery ~Adult child of an alcoholic
There are many other variations of Orphans that have not been named here. Going forward in our voyages, you will notice the introduction of the word, “Shadow.” The shadow is part of our unconscious realm. Remember from the introduction voyage, I provided a handout regarding the deep unconscious realm that we all have.
Our shadow is unknown to us until it shows up in a projection upon others, or something we might say with a tone of irritation and sarcasm. For example, when we say something in like, “I don’t care” while internally you care more than you want to admit to yourself.
Keep in mind that not all of these shadow types will fit you. This is where you will need your inner illumination to discern.
Shadow Orphan: ~Victim/Victimizer ~Abuser ~Addict ~Sadist ~Paranoid
Also remember we do not manifest all of the types that are listed above. The list is provided as examples of different types and shadow of the Orphan archetype. It is up to you to name what you identify as your experience in life.
Another example is the unconscious drive of the “Voiceless Little Girl Orphan,” who feels exiled and inadvertently exiles herself to avoid further pain or betrayal; in addition, there is a tremendous fear of being abandoned and/or exploited. These energies are not good or bad, they are simply emotions and emotions are invaluable intel for us to listen to, like sonar offering directive. A seaworthy expression we are familiar with is, “Don’t Rock the Boat.” Yet, Orphans inadvertently do just that. And their motives are not usually nefarious, rather, from an impetuous act of self-protection.
In early-stage life development, “All hands on deck” are not a resource that the Orphan soul knows. An Orphan’s inner protectors can create an independent, self-reliant persona. We carry a deep fear of being exploited, and seek to regain the comfort of the womb, but would never admit it. To fulfill our voyage we must go through the agonies of developmental stages missed in our formative years. Our strength is the interdependence and pragmatic realism that we had to learn at an early age.
To discover more about the gifts and the shadow of the Archetypal Orphan, I encourage you to connect with the works of Carol Pearson who has devoted her energies to exploring archetypes and their origins.
For those still flailing in deep water, being totally without a life raft, remember all of the Archetypal Orphans who have gone before you and left their treasure maps and a personal message in a bottle for you to find. We all found safe harbor with our instincts…we encourage you to continue in your journey with more resources in your treasure chest.
Sink or Swim by Waterdeep is a beautiful Folk/Indie music song from the late 1990s. It brings great joy to share their sound with those who have never heard their music, as it speaks to the core of the heart of an orphan’s voyage. Sink or Swim is an inner mantra of the Archetypal Orphan.
Always remind your weary and exiled heart, “Coming home to myself is an actual journey, although inward, and like any journey, it takes facing the things I once ran from. Maybe, maybe today is the time to come home to myself.”
Music Credits: Nightbirde ~ It's Okay Legend of Vertigo ~ WaterDeep Walk Off the Earth ~ Cover: Bob Dylan's A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall Sink or Swim ~ WaterDeep https://www.waterdeep.com/sink-or-swim
The reticulated feminine imagination of Firefly Horizons and aesthetic architect of its contextual nature. Crystal establishes artful metaphor and metonymy in interpretative language to convey abstract questions to easy answers. Through sovereign reflection, she initiates imaginative beginnings. Read more about Crystal • Articles by Crystal