The Caregiver Archetype may sound familiar, but have you delved into what qualities the Archetype really offers? The Caregiver is altruistic, generous and compassionate. Their gifts are nurturance, empathy and fostering community. The Caregiver’s goal is to help others.
The shadow side of the Caregiver
However, there is a shadow side to the Caregiver. They can be the suffering martyr who controls others by making then feel guilty. “Look what I sacrificed for you!” They can be manipulative and use care to control others. It is also found in codependence and a compulsive need to rescue others.
The shadow side can also be the ‘enabler’ which describes someone whose behaviour allows a loved one to continue self-destructive patterns of behaviour. Many people who enable others don’t do so intentionally. Maybe they excuse troubling behaviour, lend money or assist in other ways. Enabling doesn’t help as it can be difficult for someone to get help if they don’t see the full consequences of their behaviour.
Why do I need healthy Caregiver energy?
The Caregiver energy is a crucial part of ourselves and our community. It helps us raise our children, provide for those in need and to build structures that support our vitality. The Caregiver gives themselves freely, but it’s important that this compassionate expression has strong boundaries. We need to be the Caregiver to ourselves first, as we can’t give from an empty cup.
If you want to explore the Caregiver Archetype and open yourself more fully to compassion, patience, generosity, nuturance, community and empathy and dissolve issues of the shadow side, join my workshops: Caregiver Archetype