When I was young, I remember asking my sister this question one day. We were in the kitchen. I was about 10 and she was 6.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
(pause, deep thought, and then) “I know! A Bunnyrabbit!”
What a great image! And do you know, my sister did grow up to be a bunny rabbit, in her way. She is very active and holds a lot of responsibility that helps a lot of people. Plus she has a tremendous group of very active friends, and most of all for the last several years she has been our family’s primary caregiver for our 89 year old mother who suffers from late stage Parkinsons at a nursing home near to my sister’s home. My sister’s home has become, because so near to Mom, the nucleus for our family visits. So, she is always hopping!
How did or might you have answered this question while you were young:
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? (You may print this out and use the space below to journal in.)
Now then, WHY (did/would you have answered this way)?
I have found an interesting pattern from asking this question, and then following it with: “How would you answer that same question today/ What do you want to be now when you ‘grow up’ (and, ‘Is there a difference between how you would have answered as a child and now/ Why?'”).
The way people answer this question reveals something about the dominant ARCHETYPE influences they identify with. Here’s a list of The Twelve primordial persona archetypes identified by the late Dr. Charles Bebeau of the Avalon Archetype Institute (as adapted by Debra Breazzano, MA/LPC) :
ELDER LEADER ARTIST TEACHER
LOVER IDEALIST COMMUNICATOR
WARRIOR GOLDEN CHILD HEALER
NURTURER DESCENDER MYSTIC
For example, I have found that people holding a childhood dream of becoming an Aviator or an Astronaut show when they complete the life mapping process I offer that they have a strong IDEALIST archetype orientation. People who say they wanted to be a Superhero (a common childhood ‘fantasy’) later often show a strong WARRIOR archetypal persona. And those who wanted to become a veterinarian, for instance, tend to embody and gravitate to the HEALER mode, etcetera.
Which of these twelve persona archetype figures do you recognize as primary personas within yourself?
People (Adults) often say the difference in how they would have answered this question as a child, and now, is that now they have “matured” to accept more “realistic” limitations. To the extent that some of these early archetypal influences may be less strong in later life (many are still present but expressing in more subdued form), some of these archetypal impulses could be suppressed or repressed. That is why it is good to renew this question and see how you FEEL about pursuing your ‘childlike’ Dream from here forward.
You can still BE that Superhero; you still ARE that airy-fairy inner Explorer/ IDEALIST. It can help to get in touch with all of your inner “parts of Self” that relate especially to the significant Themes in your life (e.g. Parent / Teacher/ Lover/ Spirituality oriented/ Artist, etcetera). Jung would say it benefits us all to attend to and to INTEGRATE these various sub-selves, to orchestrate them, I would add, in pursuit of our Life Mission and goals.
images are from pixabay.com
This month, October, is associated astrologically with Libra and the LOVER Archetype. This is an opportunity to call your own LOVER forward to partner with you this month. Get to know your LOVER persona. How does S/HE express in your life? Is S/HE in Strength mode (positive outlet) or in Shadow (if so how/ why?) What does S/HE, your Inner LOVER part-of-Self, want of you or for itself? How can you include your Inner LOVER in your outer life more fully? These are some questions you might explore.
I invite your comments and stories!