The Caregiver


The week we meet The Caregiver, the other side of the pair to The Warrior.  We could think of these two as the internal father (warrior) and mother (caregiver).

The Caregiver calls us to nurture and care for ourselves and others. The Caregiver is the story of the transformative quality of giving, and even at times, of sacrifice.

The caregiver is the one that is (usually) automatically activated as we become a mother and also in situations where we consider something or someone else as our "child".  This could be a baby, but it can also be a pet, a friend or a business. Frequently we here of people talking about a  new business or hobby as "my baby"  The caregiver is the part of us that takes care of others and ourselves.

The gifts of the Caregiver are:  nurturance, compassion, generosity, community.

The goal is:  to help others - i.e to help others by taking care of them.

The fear of the caregiver is: selfishness / ingratitude.  (If someone has high caregiver in their makeup the worse thing you can accuse them of is being selfish)

The task of the caregiver is to care for oneself......and then, for others.

As with all of the archetypes there are different levels of evolution of the caregiver.  At its highest level the caregiver has a willingness to care for and be responsible for others, outside of their own family, whilst still taking full responsibility for themselves and caring for themselves.  At the lowest level. the caregiver is being a martyr and guilt tripping.

We can see the archetype of the caregiver in professions such as nursing, primary school teaching, caring, nursery nurse, in some retail staff and in good managers!! Someone with balanced caregiver energy will care for others without enabling them to stay stuck in unresourceful patterns, and at the same time will take care of others without depleting themselves.  You will often hear me saying about the analogy of when the oxygen masks come down in case of emergency on an aeroplane.  The instructions are to put on your own mask before attempting to do so for your children.  If we don't look after ourselves, then it is harder for us to take care of others.

An unresourceful caregiver will help and give to others, but carry resentment  - "Well I have to do it, who will look after me?" but that same person will often not accept help even if it is offered.  Some people do not know how to take care of their own needs, they are so other focussed.  On my retreats, I always say in my intro speech, I invite everyone to be selfish (which actually means to look after yourself) and ensure you give yourself what you need, as long as you are mindful of others processing.  For some, caregiving (constantly) can be an avoidance technique for what is really coming up for them.

The caregiver, like its counterpart the warrior can have a susceptibility to burn out.  A caregiver may carry on giving and refuse to accept any help until they become completely depleted.  Only then will they allow themselves to ask for help or look after themselves.

This is the last of the 4 ego archetypes that build our foundations.

Next week we will move onto the soul archetypes, the creator, destroyer, lover and seeker.