We all think ‘sex-for-money’ when we hear the word prostitution. Forget that. That’s not my focus here. I’m talking about archetypes, an ancient and universal concept of what it means to prostitute one’s self.
Wha…? A Couple Definitions
To Prostitute: To sell parts of one’s Self in order to gain physical security.
Archetype: An inherited idea or mode of thought stemming from the experience of the human race, present in the unconscious minds of the individuals of the human race.
I’m reading a body-mind-spirit book by Caroline Myss right now, Sacred Contracts, and everything here in this post is inspired by my reading, thinking out loud about the concept she describes in the book and relating it to the mindset of post-dysfunctional families. (I would say that I believe that Ms. Myss would approve of my discussion of her ideas, but as I’m an ex-approval-seeker who knows that ideas cannot be copyrighted, I’ll stop at saying that I’m in awe of and deeply appreciative of her amazing contributions; I’ve been freed on account of many of her ideas, and I’m thankful that she continues to write, speak, and sing her particular, unique song for the universe.)
If you’re interested, here’s the book: Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential
Am I Whoring Myself?
As a society we have contempt for whores. It’s quite palpable in our society. Right now the U.S. Secret Service is being investigated and criticized in the public media for shacking up with prostitutes on the eve of a workday (prostitution is legal in Colombia). With this case, one issue at the core is respect. From one Colombian prostitute’s perspective, not being paid for sex by the Secret Service man she had sex with was disrespectful. From the man’s perspective, my guess is that the opposite was true — paying someone for sex is treating them like, well, a whore.
So, just saying: Prostitution is, and has always been, a dicey topic. I’m sure it’s because we all have, inside us, the potential to whore.
What Will You Trade of Your Self to Ensure Physical Security?
Now, buckle in and grab those eye drops, this is going to knock you down and shift your focus!
When I read the chapter in Myss’ book about archetypes, and got to the one discussing the Prostitute, I was like, “Oh, it’ll be interesting to read about those poor troubled souls….” Then I recognized myself! Tee hee. Humility is always sitting around the corner, ever patient, ain’t it?
I delayed not a few work, life, and love decisions in my life because my self-respect was minimal in relation to my fear of losing my physical security.
What about you…?
Have you ever stayed in a relationship solely to maintain your physical security (that nice house, country club, rent, mortgage, car payment, etc?)
Have you ever failed to report a manager or coworker because you didn’t want to rock the boat and fall out (of a boat you believed was your only boat, a safe boat, a necessary boat)?
Have you ever said, “I love you, too,” when you weren’t so sure because the person looking at you could “fix” you, save you?
So, just saying: We’re but humble humans wanting to feel safe, and we tend to prostitute ourselves when we sense that our security is vulnerable — and when our self-respect is hiding in the back seat.
“The Prostitute thrives most bountifully in subtle ways and in ordinary, everyday circumstances. It comes into play most clearly when our survival is threatened. Its core issue is how much you are willing to sell of yourself–your morals, your integrity, your intellect, your word, your body, or your soul–for the sake of physical security.”
It’s quite a brainfull to consider, huh? A painful brainfull.
This Stuff is Made for TV
In the television drama version of all this, the bully is saying to the person prostituting themselves, “You’ll be nothing without me!” Or, “You’ll be out on your ass and no one in this town will ever hire you again if I have anything to do with it!”
Or, in a manipulative and abusive relationship they’ll say, “You’re going to be alone the rest of your life!” Or, “I’m going to take everything from you if you leave–I’ll sue you into homelessness!”
Wake Up Call for My Inner Whore
My mother dropped me off at her parents’ house “for the weekend” when I was three-years-old. She didn’t come back. That was my first introduction to the Prostitute archetype–of many, many, many–as a child. Keeping a caregiver around and a roof over my head was paramount. Another time, at six-years-old, I was asked by my father to OK my stepmother’s adoption of me so that my mother who lived in the same town wouldn’t interfere with our new family so much. I learned from an early age to sell-out my self-respect in exchange for physical safety. I didn’t want to be abandoned again. Once had been enough.
Well into adulthood I seemed to operate according to the rule that selling out was what enabled my security. A vacation from all that emotional whoring felt long overdue.
Faith is An Antidote
There is so, so much more to say about this concept, my mind is brimming with examples. But let me close on the idea of self-respect and faith. If we’re whoring ourselves on some level, we can investigate that in a few ways, but the key mode is questioning your faith. Faith in yourself, faith in the universe, or faith in god.
What, in the situation, is testing your faith? What belief is missing? What about your faith is weak?
Have you lost faith in your worth?
Have you lost faith in your options?
Have you lost faith in your own abilities?
Have you lost faith in your ingenuity?
“Confronting the Prostitute within you transforms this archetype into your guardian. It will watch over your relationship to faith. Think of the Prostitute as the ally who puts you on alert every time you contemplate shifting your faith from the Divine to the physical. Anytime you are in a crisis of faith, try to become mindful of your thoughts and fears. Name exactly what you are afraid of, especially those fears that try to talk you into compromising yourself in any way. The Prostitute appears when you begin to believe that you could order your life if you just had the money to control the world around you–and to buy just a bit of everyone in it.”
As always, we must actually do the work.