It’s been a hard number of days. Nothing catastrophic. No deaths, no hurricanes, no hunger, no disasters. From the outside, it probably seemed like we were doing ok. Inside, the turmoil was palpable and intense. Inside, for all of us, its been hell. Well maybe not hell, but worse than purgatory.
For a while, I have to be honest. I gave up entirely. Worse than depression – was apathy. I didn’t care. All the momentum that had gathered, all the excitement and insight and connection – turned to stasis. And I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t even angry. I was just nothing. There were moments of despair certainly. But nothing changed. Despair gave way to detachment.
I couldn’t figure it out. I was always the fixer. When faced with an emotional or logical problem, I would experience a short burst of empathy and then it was “ok, what do we do?” I’ve been accused of being cold or bitchy or lacking understanding. As being odd. Not fitting in. “Why do you have to be like that?” “Can’t you just support me without trying to fix it?”
But the pressure and the constant battle just never seemed to end. With everything I had learned and all I had studied, why couldn’t I fix this – see the pattern, change the behaviour, create a new system???
So I stopped caring for a while.
It wasn’t freeing. It wasn’t this great story of letting go and finding myself.
It fucking sucked. I never understood suicidal thoughts, that level of despair. But I do now.
Its clear to me now, I’ve been operating under a paradigm – and assumption – my whole life. One I never thought to question.
There is a theory is that in order to survive as a species, we needed four personality archetypes. The caretaker, the communicator, the coordinator and the hunter. Its a fascinating theory. And all you have to do is look at a newborn human compared to almost ANY other animal in the entire kingdom and you know, without evolutionarily derived tendencies to work as a team, we would be totally screwed. Even kangaroos have pouches. All we have is a brain and a handy thumb – neither of which we are born with the ability to use.
I have always assumed from the depths of my being that I was a true caretaker. A person whose very soul purpose is FULFILLED in the role of care taking. Who stands in the room with the dirty diapers and the screaming babies and the endless, repeated tasks and finds bliss there. We need these people, evolutionarily we would never have survived without them. I know some of these people. They are amazing and I grew up surrounded by women who were told they were caretakers and so took on the roles therein. I was added to the pile.
Some of them were true caretakers. But I don’t come from a long line of caretakers.
We are Evolutionary Hunters.
Evolutionary Hunter Definition: Physiologically sensitive, momentum based beings that are highly reactive to constraint. (Alex Charfen)
I didn’t come up with this term. But it has rocked my whole world.
I’ve spent years working on changing my “core belief” that I was not good enough. But what if this whole time I was actually just using the entirely wrong paradigm FOR ME.
Imagine an entire generation of women who were told that they were caretakers. Emotional, empathetic, selfless and always FULFILLED by engaging for the greater good. The key word there is fulfilled. A person who is hardwired that way.
Now imagine that woman (or man) is actually an evolutionary hunter. A personality type that can understand the binary of love and fear but doesn’t care for the nuances of emotion. A personality who’s brain is HARD WIRED to find solutions to problems. A person who’s very physiological basis requires momentum – physical, mental and emotional. Where the bliss comes from the chase and the kill – the solving and the solution.
One isn’t better than the other.
But if you have spent your life judging yourself as a caretaker but you are in fact a warrior, then I don’t need to say anything else to you. You get it. You can breath now.
I know SO MANY OF THESE WOMEN. I am one of them.
This isn’t to say you can’t be a mother and an entrepreneur. But you might need to do it differently that expected norm. And if you don’t recognize this fact, you will spend your life judging yourself and always feel judged by the expectations of society. You can be a caretaker part of the time, but don’t worry if you aren’t blissfully fulfilled with the prospect of staying at home with your kids. Its just not how you are wired. You might be easily frustrated when things aren’t done a certain way and have a really hard time stopping to smell the roses. Its ok. Now you know why. (this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop to smell the roses, but you will probably have to force yourself to – it isn’t going to come naturally 🙂
“If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
The thing is – if you choose to ignore your need for momentum. If you create a life where you are naturally constrained – you will break down. Your health will suffer. Your mental acuity will decline. Your spirit will break.
And for those people who are caretakers but struggling to be hunters and the spear never felt right – perhaps we can work better together. It takes a village.
For all your hunter caretakers out there – fear not. There is an easy solution.
Your soul craves momentum. You need it as much as you need sun and water and food and oxygen.
Just keep starting.
I walked the kids to school this morning. I kissed their heads and felt it all in. And then I went for a run. It hurt. Its been a long time. But holy shit did it feel good to move.
My dear hunter. You are a revolutionary. And there has been a time in history when we needed your creativity more. We are hunting to change the world.