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Inside Modern Day Archetypes: Dissecting the Caregiver

Updated on April 9, 2014

Archetypes Can Unveil Your Strengths and Weaknesses

About the Caregiver Archetype

The caregiver archetype is also known as the nurturer, the mother, the sister, the teacher and the rescuer. Caregivers believe that if they don't say yes to every request from others, they will be viewed as selfish. They feel a compelling need to fulfill every request made from others and have difficulty making time for themselves.

The caregiver archetype represents a special type of person - willing to go to any length to help loved ones. Often, they care for others better than they care for themselves. This is the blessing and the curse of the caregiver. To live a fulfilling life, those who fit this archetype must learn the importance of self-care if they want to fully be available to those around them.

Who Am I? Discovering Your Archetypes

The Life Journey of the Caregiver

The caretaker archetype embodies the qualities of compassion, generosity, and an innate tendency to respond to those who need help. Though feelings of generosity and compassion are common to us all, these feelings are the core center of the caregiver and caretaker. Members of the Caregiver family include the nurturer, the mother, the rescuer, and the teacher - people who thrive off of helping others.

The life journey of the caregiver is to care for others in ways that help them get on with their lives. It is in their nature to respond the second anyone they love needs attention or help. The caregiver is a heart centered archetype, inherently seeking out the good in others.

Both men and women who fit this archetype mold tend to make fantastic parents. They give without a second thought. They may view life through rose-colored glasses, but the caregivers make the world a better place through their selflessness and generosity.

What Archetype Are You?

Unique Challenges the Caregiver Faces

Caregivers face a set of unique challenges because of their archetype - they live haunted by a deep-seated belief that any act of self-care or self-nurture is the truest form of selfishness. Caregivers are naturally compelled to reach out to others who put their own concerns on the back-burner in order to focus on the needs of others. This is the unique challenge of the caregiver - learning the importance of self-nurture.

If you fit the caregiver archetype, you have probably been told to take it easy by those closest to you. LISTEN! If you don't find the time to care for yourself, you will be unable to care for others, so focus on yourself and learn how to prioritize properly.

Universal Lessons for the Caregiver

Caregivers live a path of learning and growing - searching for their own innate capacity for caring to benefit everyone in need. A key aspect and eternal lesson for the caregiver is learning discernment - who to care for, who not to care for and how to care for others without forgetting about themselves.

A wise caregiver knows when to give, when not to give and how to give just what is needed, discerning when giving too much would be the worst thing to do for someone. This archetype gives generously and compassionately with clarity and wisdom - they are a powerful force for good in the world, but only after they spend time and patience learning where they fit in their long list of priorities.

The Caregiver's Defining Grace

The defining grace of the caregiver archetype is compassion. Grace serves a powerful function - it is a mystical force that can shift us into a more positive and empowered state of mind. The journey of life takes us through endless opportunities, wondrous encounters, and many adventures - but also challenges and obstacles. The grace of compassion can overtake us in the blink of an eye, when we stumble on a homeless person curled up in a doorway, a child who lost her parents, or a person who has hurt themselves. Grace gives us time to pause - breathe - remind ourselves that just for today, all is okay in our own world, and life is a wonderful journey.

Attributes that Apply to Caregivers

Archetype Poll

Do you consider yourself a caregiver?

See results

Inner Shadows of the Caregiver Archetype

The caregivers greatest strengths are also their greatest weaknesses. Their constant need to take care of others is the inner shadow that haunts the caregiver. Often, they have difficulty prioritizing and don't understand the concept of self-care and self-nurture. They have a deep rooted fear of being unappreciated for their efforts. Caregivers, who give and give of themselves, may themselves feel neglected.

A close archetype to the caregiver is the enabler - someone who latches on to another and feels as if their emotions and behaviors depend on the feelings and actions of someone else. This causes dependency issues, which can become an unhealthy downward spiral for the caregiver and is something that those who identify with this archetype must stay aware of at all times.

The Caregiver is often Associated with the Zodiac Sign Sagittarius

Identifying the Caregiver

If you still are unsure whether or not you fit the caregiver archetype, here are some common attributes of this archetype to help you see if you identify with this role:

  • Naturally compassionate and concerned with the well-being of others
  • Greatest strength is their ability to nurture others
  • Difficulty saying no to the requests of others
  • The source of emotional support for family and friends
  • Gives more than they receive
  • Serves as a model of compassion and generosity
  • Senses what others need even if others don't tell them
  • Works in a care taking field - nursing, childcare, social work or hospice

If you have identified yourself as a caregiver, it is time to embrace your archetype and tap into the powers that come with it. Here are some simple actions to take to harness the power of the caregiver:

  • Retrain your brain to say no when everything in you wants to say yes
  • Be discerning - ask yourself if the person who needs help will be okay if you don't help them; ask yourself if you are the only one in the world who can help in this particular situation
  • Trust that help will be there when you need it
  • Allow yourself to be unavailable
  • Take care of yourself and remember that you are a priority

The caregiver gains power when they consciously decide when and how to care for others. They care for others out of compassion rather than guilt and knows the importance of self-care. The caregiver loses their power when they put others before themselves, when they care for others as a quest for acceptance and when they refuse the help of others.

The caregiver is one of the most loved, and loving, of the archetypes. If this is you, realize that your destiny is to care for others. You will naturally draw you those who need your care. Recognize that when you help others, you are helping yourself, and always remember to take care of yourself as well.


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    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      6 years ago from Bridgewater

      Thanks so much cherylann!

    • Cherylann Mollan profile image

      Cherylann Mollan 

      6 years ago from India

      I'm really into these archetype hubs of yours! I identify with this archetype, completely and I caught myself nodding to a lot that was mentioned here. Discernment truly is something that I need to learn. Useful hub. Voted up!


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