You’d think the Damsel in Distress would be a rare breed in this day and age. But then I live in Ithaca, New York, a more progressive and idealistic community. What is it they call us? Ten square miles surrounded by reality? Here you will find some strong feminists, and the feminist’s feminist – the ones that aren’t afraid to say they actually find ironing or vacuuming meditative.
Lest we forget, there are no “good” or “bad” archetypes. We are born into our archetypes, such as the Damsel, because we entered this lifetime to learn to overcome a challenge, and in this we know that we are perfect as we are. When you encounter a difficult archetypal energy, we should remember that it isn’t personal. They have a different journey from ours.
About a month ago I had a rather disturbing exchange with a real-life Damsel in Distress. For clarification, if needed, the Damsel, even as a child, dreams of her Knight in Shining Armor. He is the One that will always be there to carry her off and save her from all of life’s trials. No problem is too small to call on her Knight Archetype. The shadow side of the Damsel is an energy that keeps her perpetually powerless and reliant on the strength of others. The other side, naturally, is she learns to accept and conquer challenges from within – from her own strength.
In my encounter with the Damsel, she publicly made comments utterly void of compassion regarding women who avail themselves to the services of Planned Parenthood. Predictably, a Warrior Archetype publicly came to the defense of those slandered. Just as predictably, the Damsel’s Knight came to her defense and she retreated in a symbolic puddle of tears to let him wield his sword to slay her naysayers. Stepping back to view the situation symbolically caused me to make an impassioned plea to the Damsel to consider compassion. Though it took me a full 24 hours to digest the rancor of her public proclamation, the Healer in me needed to, as a start, help her to understand the offensiveness of her statements. My hope is that she will first and foremost, consider that people have their own journeys, and secondly, learn to find her own power.
We’re each born with our own archetypal patterns, and although respecting other’s patterns can be challenging, we need to remember that life isn’t happening to us, it’s happening for us.