Have you ever felt like you were selling out? That you were giving up a part of yourself for some sort of material gain?
Every day you will see people flocking to the local coffee shops before work to grab that caffeine and sugar fix that is going to get them through their morning. Then they take a deep breath, square their shoulders and steel themselves to enter the trenches again, leaving behind whatever part of their person is necessary to conform to that job.
The artist sells his creativity to draw products for a company catalog. The inventor sells his autonomy to work for a corporate lab. The writer sells her imagination to write dry technical copy. The pop musician sells her self-respect for fame and fortune.
When you find yourself selling a part of yourself, this is an indication that a part of you is playing the role of The Prostitute. Before you freak out, let me assure you that the archetype of The Prostitute doesn’t mean that you are necessarily dressing in short spandex selling your body on Hollywood Boulevard – although it could mean that. Selling one’s physical body in exchange for money is what comes to mind for most people when they hear the term prostitution. There are also the people who are selling their body for a drug fix, food for their children, to keep a roof over their head, or to keep themselves decked out in diamonds and designer clothing. Think ‘Trophy Wife’.
And it gets even deeper. From the soul’s perspective, your body is not limited to the physical form; you have a mental body, an emotional body, and several layers of spiritual body all overlapping your physical body at the energetic level.
Emotional prostitution could be as simple as hating your job, but selling out your feelings in favor of a 6-figure salary, good benefits or a decent 401k. It could be obvious, like staying in a loveless relationship for the sake of the children. Or, it could be very subtle and sneaky, like holding back words to keep the peace when the in-laws are visiting.
Mental prostitution could be selling out your brain, your values or your beliefs – the college graduate who is making minimum wage flipping burgers, the environmentalist who is working for a company involved in creating heavy pollution, the intelligent person who commits tax fraud for personal gain.
Spiritual prostitution could be ignoring the will of your soul in order to conform, appear socially acceptable or keep up with the Joneses. Spiritual prostitution often appears in the form of a fear – fear of failure, fear of growing, fear of change. People sell out spiritually all the time in favor of staying in their small, safe, secure little comfort zone.
In my own life, I discovered I was acting the role of The Prostitute in both of my marriages, selling out physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually out of fear of losing financial support for my children. At some point, I withheld sex because I had some sort of inner boundary about physical intimacy without the emotional connection, but it took me a long time to muster the courage to leave the relationships.
I also prostituted myself mentally and spiritually by holding low-paying jobs that I was over-qualified to do for many years while avoiding doing the work of my soul. My path just felt too darned scary. I did my healing and spiritual counseling on the side, usually for free, until I became so ill, so broke, so drained and so depleted that I finally surrendered to following my soul’s guidance.
Is there any area of your life in which you’ve been playing the role of The Prostitute? And, if so, how’s that been going for you? Be willing to look deeply at yourself.
If this is challenging for you, see if you can feel the energy of resentment in your body. If there is no resentment, it may be softer, such as the feeling of disappointment in yourself or resignation. Personally, I found resentment, sometimes deeply hidden, wrapped around every instance I’d been selling myself short.
Caroline Myss, Author of Sacred Contracts, says that every human holds the archetype of The Prostitute, and that we are all acting this pattern out in some way. Fortunately, once you discover where in your life you’ve been selling out a part of yourself, it is just a matter of becoming committed to your whole self. Say, “I am now fully committed to my whole self. I now honor each and every aspect of my Being.”
Many Blessings of Joy and Vibrant Freedom
Action Step ~ Drop the role of The Prostitute and begin to honor every aspect of your life as valuable and worthy of healthy self-expression.
Declaration: “I am now dropping the role of The Prostitute. From here on, I say ‘no’ to selling out or settling out of fear. Every part of myself is worthy of being honored, acknowledged and respected, including my body, my feelings, my beliefs and my soul. I am now fully committed to my whole self on every level of Being.”