We all possess the warrior archetype. It lives in us when we set and display our physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries at home and at work. A true warrior does not fight unless they have to fight. A balanced warrior fights with weapons of peace. Honor, a calm mind, prayer, and wisdom when to speak and not to speak. Warriors set boundaries and clearly define right and wrong. Modern examples of true warriors include Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, and yes, women CEO’s.
As a certified nurse midwife, I used my warrior archetype to protect families. The word midwife means ‘with woman’, and I believe ‘with families’ as well. One of my important roles was to establish safe boundaries in a sometimes-hostile environment to protect women’s desires to give birth in a calm, natural, uninhibited manner. The hospital birth room was kept quiet, lights were dimmed, soft music played, and a special essential oil blend was rubbed on the laboring woman’s back as she coped with the contractions. The room was peaceful and safe. My warrior also made sure the baby was safe when born. No drama in the birth room, just calm clear thinking and strong, yet calming actions from everyone present.
The warrior archetype can also be seen in prayer warriors — those people you know who pray constantly. You may be one of those people. Those on prayer chains, those who meditate, prayer groups, cloistered nuns, monks, sisters, brothers, churches, all are true warriors who assist with the health of the people and populations they serve through quiet prayer.
The shadow side of the warrior archetype is evidenced when warriors lose discipline and resort to violence. It need not be physical violence either. You can kill one’s spirit with mere intentional words or actions. Sarcasm, drama, gossip, and deadly silence between two people show the shadow warrior archetype. The aggression can be felt when warrior energy is not disciplined. You need not look further than the addictive misuse of social media.
The good warrior is aware and harnesses the warrior power without drama. We all have violent tendencies to some degree – after all, we’re human. But the key to using warrior energy is to pause, discern, and respond, not react to perceived threats. Simple? Yes. Challenging? Definitely. We realize true warrior energy when we mature and harness wisdom, not violence, each time we face real or perceived threats in our lives.
Managing the warrior in us possible. A simple way to tap into the light side of the warrior archetype is to clear our heads. Each time we feel fear, anxiety, or anger, use wisdom, not to block but clear those feelings. It can be as simple as taking a deep breath and slowly exhaling. This moment gives us a few seconds to clear our mind and check to see if our boundaries were truly crossed, or if we’ve been truly harmed. In most cases this simply isn’t true. But if it were, your discerning heart and mind would know what to do next. You can choose to walk away from a threatening situation or an angry coworker, stay quiet as your teenager yells that there is nothing to eat in the house, or redirect a gossiping friend into another subject to dispel the drama.
Tap into the warrior within. Set safe, healthy boundaries, increase your awareness, and respond, not react. Make choices that are helpful and healing. May you continue to be discerning, wise and mindful as you keep working to know yourself and your power as a responsible warrior.
Myss, Carolyn,2003. Sacred Contracts, Awakening Your Divine Potential; New York; Harmony Books.
Gillette, D. & Moore, R. 2000. King Warrior Magician Lover; Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine. Australia; Harper Collins Publishers.
Estes Pinkola, Clarissa, 2011. Untie the Strong Woman; Boulder, Colorado, Sounds True Publishing.