How to use your* prostitute. (*yes, you have one regardless of your sex)
I’m different. I’ve always been different, always felt different, but didn’t always have peace with it. Sometimes I fought it, bumped heads with others because of it, and even embraced it. It’s a sordid past I share with it. As I matured, though, I began to appreciate the fact that I was different. I eventually found it odd that most of us spend so much of our youth trying to fit in before usually spending the rest of our lives trying to distinguish ourselves. After all, aren’t we all different?
My official occupation for the past five years should read ‘nomad’. I’ve lived in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Antonio, St. Louis, and even in an L.A. suburb. Right now, I’m on my way to South Korea. Each line of my resume places me in a different state and/or in a different industry so it’s quite likely that most companies seeking a long-term employee will immediately discard it upon review despite my qualifications; it doesn’t exactly scream company loyalty. Here’s the thing: I’m okay with that. Why? Because I’m different. That fact is evidenced not just by my thought process, hairstyle, interests or style of dress; my journey and choices are highly reflective of my individuality. My path hasn’t always been easy or glamorous, but it has been true to my essence as a free spirit.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a little something else: you’re different, too. You have dreams you haven’t followed, thoughts you haven’t shared, passions you haven’t explored. In short, you have a life you haven’t lived.
I’ve received both criticism and praise for living my life the way I have. Some well-intentioned people have urged me to “settle down”. Some folks seeking company in their misery have urged me to “settle down.” Some onlookers have told me I inspire them. However, nothing I do is for the acceptance or condemnation of others, but simply because I have to live on my terms. I could certainly make more money as I do so, and have started taking a greater interest in being more future-focused in terms of my personal economy. Yet, I don’t have too many complaints about this random and unpredictable lifestyle I’ve embraced. This journey has taught and exposed me to a lot. I’ve embraced a sort of freedom some don’t experience until retirement. The money that’s supposed to come along with retirement has often been missing thus far, but I’ve developed a pretty strong will against recklessly using my inner prostitute. You have a prostitute, too. It works a job you hate, but the money’s good or at least regular. It exchanges your energies with others in unfulfilling ways to serve some end, but would really rather not in a perfect world. It gives away your time, money, intellect, integrity, word, or self altogether for some form of physical, emotional, or social security. It may have led you down a path you truly seek to escape.
According to Caroline Myss, the prostitute is one of the four survival archetypes active in all of our lives. Its goal is to develop and protect our self-esteem and self-respect, but it’s easy to misunderstand the lessons we experience through this archetype. The prostitute archetype has taught me that it’ s much better to take less money and be in line with my core beliefs — even if it’s a lot less money. It’s highly unlikely I’ll be endorsing a traditional diamond or gold retailer or become the poster child for a pharmaceutical or fast-food company. I’m unwilling to compromise my beliefs about the lack of integrity these systems represent. Just as unlikely is my submission to the appeals to normalcy in the shape of a “normal” job, a “normal” life, or “normal” choices. Normal simply means common. Common isn’t different. I embrace my difference, which can frequently exist outside the consideration of “normal”. Still, I don’t condemn normalcy. If it works for you, great, but I’ve found that it actually doesn’t work for a lot of folks. What I do, however, condemn is the pressure or criticism those embracing norms subject to those who don’t — most especially by those who have yet to analyze their compliance.
Undoubtedly, you’ve been in situations that have revealed your prostitute — its strength or weakness. The key is to make it work for you. It’s in all of us, but that’s not to say it works the same for all of us. Let yours serve your highest good. Let it support your dreams, security, self-esteem and self-respect. Let it teach you that there’s more to life than money and social acceptance. Find the good in its lessons — even the difficult ones — then begin or continue to live in synch with your values, passions, and purposes.