I was slow to wake up this morning. It took me a while to clear the fog of sleep and coax my eyes to open. As I lay there, thinking about yesterday’s tragic event got me thinking about friendships and then high school, a time when I always felt I was standing on the edge of things.
I had some great, really close friendships in high school, yet I never felt I truly belonged. In many ways, I felt too serious and deep. I wanted to be cool and fun. And I was, sometimes, but I wasn’t fun ALL the time. I wasn’t the jokester.
I was always up for a laugh and could come out with the wittiest remarks, but I was the smart one with her feet on the ground, the wise one, the one people turned to for advice or for sharing the more serious side of life.
And oddly enough, I realised I still feel like that now, much later in life. Like I’m not the one people come to for fun; I’m the one they come to for advice or to get stuff off their chest. I’ll be honest with you: I don’t always want to be that. But maybe there isn’t much I can do about that?
One thing I did last year that had a really big impact on helping me move forward on my journey of self-acceptance was Cerries Hickmott’s Alchemy Study, based on Carl Jung’s twelve archetypes.
My primary archetype is the Explorer. And no question about it, that couldn’t be any more accurate. This explains my constant need for freedom and movement, why I find it so hard to commit, even to just a black or white answer, why I’m constantly seeking, why I hate feeling tied down, trapped or limited. In fact, I remember filling in a questionnaire for a copywriting course about a month before doing the primary archetype test. One of the questions was: If you were to make a film about your life, what would you call it? My answer: Don’t fence me in.
A month or so later, when I did the primary archetype test, what did I discover? The Explorer’s motto: Don’t fence me in.
Knowing about my primary Explorer has helped me identify ways to work with it and around it instead of fighting against it, which has been really freeing for me and has helped me find some precious and much-needed inner peace. I still struggle, don’t get me wrong, but not nearly as much as before.
My secondary archetype is the Alchemist and this morning, after doing a quiz on Facebook !!), I suddenly understood why I struggle with it.
The quiz on Facebook was about finding out your Keirsey personality type. I came up as an Idealist:
“Idealists are abstract and compassionate day dreamers, activists, writers, diplomats, counsellors and healers. You’re the magician or medicine man of all the personality types. You’re a deeply emotional and abstract thinker with cooperative and communitarian goals. You long for deep, meaningful relationships and you constantly contemplate how you can help the common good. You’re guided by strong personal ethics, and you often have an ideology, cause, or way of viewing the world that you take very seriously. You’re easy going until someone challenges your values, at which point you can be the fiercest of opponents. At heart, you’re a natural healer with a great depth of empathy for those around you. As an Idealist, you’re in impressive company! Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Princess Diana, and Oprah are all famous examples of Idealists!”
It was spot on.
My friend Lotte posted her result: the Artisan:
“You’re an Artisan! Artisans are adaptable, tactile, creative, and playful. As an artisan, you pride yourself on your grace, creativity and ability to learn new techniques or systems easily. You’re a master improviser and you have a natural gut instinct that you can always trust. You live life a day at a time, and tend to avoid long term goals and planning. YOLO has always been your motto! At heart you’re a true performer, with a deep need to channel your creativity and natural playfulness through a medium in which others can view and appreciate. This may make you a brilliant actor or painter, or maybe just the life of the party. Either way, you’re unique and truly a breath of fresh air. Cher, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Madonna, and Donald Trump are all famous examples of Artisans.”
And that’s when it hit me. I’m an Idealist, but I struggle with an inner urge to be more Artisan. I thought about my archetypes again, and suddenly it all became clear:
My third archetype, the Jester, is always trying to overtake the Alchemist! And I often let it, because I struggle with the deep side of the Alchemist!
The struggle between these two is constant and throws me off balance.
Great! So now I’m going to have to find a way to reconcile them.
After all, the first step to solving a problem is to identify what is causing it
What about you? Are there aspects to your personality that you constantly struggle with because they clash?