I am an archetypal consultant and archetype embodiment facilitator. So a few weeks ago, I was just playing out with the ideas on how to captivate my Facebook tribe and provoke a live discussion on topics of archetypes. A friend of mine, a journalist who writes for a Slovenian family magazine with mostly female topics and readers, just asked me for a favor a few days ago. She wanted me to describe my personal ideal characteristics of masculine “Hero”. To be precise, her question was…What kind of man would be you hero, the on you trust in your home and also widely in society and the one to whom you would be ready to share your “best version of you”?
And I responded, truly spontaneously, without any self-censorship in this way:
“The hero I like is creative, he knows what his mission is, and he follows it. He feels the woman and listens to her. He is gentle, but hits on the table when needed. He is able to communicate charmingly and takes the lead when I need a safe direction. He has a great sensitivity for music, he loves traveling and learning about new cultures, he is an adventurer and a responsible hedonist. He has a sense of touch, a hug, a kiss .. He knows when and how deeply he can anchor himself in body and soul. He is patiently waiting. He Holds space for emotional storms and forgives quickly. He is stubborn. He meditates (one way or another :). He can change diapers and cook at least one delicious vegetable dish. He is attentive to children and takes his time. He has mastered the technical things, or at least pretends he can fix things when needed. He likes to read, or at least listen to a summary of what I read and debate. When he sees mess in an apartment, he smiles. He irons his shirts alone. He takes me to dinner, a concert or a dance show. He loves sushi. He is curious about who my friends are, he is respectful and honest with my family. He likes to dance, move, or do some sport, in short he is embodied and not just in his head. He is compassionate, helpful and does not judge people solely by their status. He doesn’t smoke because he loves himself. He plans, but can be spontaneous. He believes in the hidden dimensions of life, in the magical and the occult. He is not interested in the mainstream and does not trust the media 100%. He is distanced from politics, if he has to choose, he votes the left. He notices and appreciates simple things. He calls and asks how I feel. He can leave me alone when I need a break and doesn’t force me to be emotionally present always. He has a taste and he knows why he chose me. He is courageous enough to dream the impossible. “
After posting this into my Facebook wall, this is what happened…
I provoked a strongly critical reaction and verbally assaulting comment on my FB wall from a Slovene journalist that used to work for one of “the big & serious” local news-papers – like New York Times, but Slovenian. The post about the hero and my ideals invoked deep frustration and anger in her. I was surprised, because she went so far, that she used middle age rhetoric when stating that ” those kind of women magazines in which my description of ideal hero was published, should be burnt”. I scrolled down her timeline a bit and realized, that she is completely consumed by the political and social issues related to Covid19 and quarantine sitauation at hand.
Nothing wrong with that of course, but I was just curious why she felt so entitled to demand freedom of movement and speech from authorities, when at the same time she tried to implement some kind of “witch hunting” over my subjective, innocent and imaginative verbal journey on my personal FB profile? Why did she bother anyway?
But after contemplating for a while, I realized that actually I’m grateful to her, because she just proved how strong and powerful are archetypal forces within our every day realities. Superficial comments on how I’m living “in the air and ungrounded” have just proved not falling on a fertile soil.
As she is “ day dreaming” and “idealizing” on what kind of socially empathetic state with kind and compassionate politicians we should live in, I’m dreaming on a personal level on what kind of heroic partnership I wish to have. Anyway, what bothered me next was her pragmatic and “down to earth” approach in terms of relationships… to be precise, she stated: “ you should understand how dangerous and irrelevant it is to use the term “HERO” these days and write about your ideals and dreams as you should rather “ accept and confront the person like he/ she is”. That reminded me on my childhood memories, when we still had Tito’s communism and socialism and of course, the use of the word “Hero” in that times had political and precisely military connotations. I was truly in a awe how a simple use of an “arhaic” and “archetypal” word can shift people”s perceptions.
Is “accepting people as they are” just another excuse for staying in a “sleeping mode” instead of commit yourself to live in “awakened” consciousness?
I will explain now why i feel her statement is much more dangerous for exactly these times we found ourselves in. The easiest way in any kind of relationship (between lovers, friends, citizens & state…) is to claim that you aren’t ready to make any compromises and changes within and that people should accept you as you are.
In this case I’m kindly asking this lady: Why don’t you just accept politicians as they are? Why are you writing and destructively criticizing and addressing their decisions and provoking “their ideals” ? Why are you giving the voice to the speechless and defend their rights? Just accept politicians as they are, no need of protests and “bicycling in front of the government” – which is a current way of protesting against government in last few weeks in Slovenia and her wall was full of this activist posts. ”
You see, how dangerous and powerful is her kind of logic?
Can you imagine the catastroph of following her opinions and take “physically aggressive and abusive alcoholic” husbands as they are and stay within a toxic relationship for the sake of moral acceptance?…”Oh yes honey, I’m not gonna write and speak about my ideal fantasies, I’m just accepting you as you are and supporting you as a wife until death do as apart”. Is this what “ a heroine archetype “, a contemporary, free and liberated woman of today looks like?…
Archetypal “up in the air” consciousness vs. Cynical “down-to-earth” pragmatism
Her comments also justified and helped me to articulate within me, why am I so passionate and committed to the language and “rhetoric” of archetypal and it just proved how attached and chained we are unconsciously to the mythical on a personal and collective level. If just a simple word like “HERO” can drive someone’s imagination to depict Harry Potter as a demonstrative example and a role model for someone who is conquering his own ego and fighting inner demons; for others HERO is depicted in a Super Man, trying to save the world; then obviously romantics are entitled to depict their HERO in a “knight – lover – ideal partner” configuration right??
And that was my intention that day, to raise the debate, to unleash the fantasy, to uncover the dream. I think dreaming, fantasizing and idealizing are important dimensions of our lives also on collective level, even if they are unrealistic, because they make us rethink, contemplate, shake up and re-imagine our realities and create new values that we want to manifest. And yes, no one will take that from me. I also realized that I’m lucky to live in democratic country, where I’m entitled to freedom and privilege for public verbal express. Many women aren’t. So I’ll use this power to encourage other women.
For me, dreaming and fantasizing is the most innocent thing to do. It connects me to my inner child and keeps faith within me. It doesn’t hurt anyone and it’s not destructive. And these are positive qualities that need to be nurtured. My job and personal mission as an archetype consultant and mover-dancer is to provide people with a safe container for imaginative and authentic self-expression. Her job as “ social science” trained journalist is to be critical, pragmatic, socially active and cynical…it’s all fine until we manage to respect and value each other. And perhaps inspire someone.
I feel that it is important to understand that for many of us “ the traditional macho- warrior- hero” type of a man, who uses physical strength or mental tricks, lies and is hypocritical isn’t the relevant hero any more.
There is huge paradigmatic shift going on, in terms of balancing masculine and feminine power, as well as on political and community level. No it just doesn’t impress me, if he earned thousands of dollars with his super intelligent mind and master manipulations as “Billy Gatish” did and no she doesn’t impress me if she is super smartly cynical, destructively critical and politically direct, dressed up in some kind of “socially empathetic voice giving” shouter that thinks she is more important than me, because she stands in front of the parliament and I’m raising up my children and fantasizing about my ideal hero. Until she’ll realize that we are both equally important, the world isn’t gonna shift in a more sustainable direction and the power will not be equally distributed and balanced. I believe changing the politics starts at first with transforming within ourselves and within the four walls of our home. It starts with demonstrating to my 2 years old son, what is a true hero for me. And to conclude this story, the post I made has triggered a lively debate and many comments that brought me new clients.