OK, now don’t get mad at me, but you’re probably a Prostitute.
I don’t mean that people pay you to have sex with them. I mean it in a broader, archetypal sense.
We all start playing the role of the Prostitute when we are very young. We make trade-offs to secure the things we need from our caregivers. We learn to be a good little girl or boy so that our parents will love us and take care of us. As we grow older, these trade-offs can become increasingly tragic. Like the actual street-walker who sells her body for sex, we sell our integrity, dignity, self-respect, freedom of choice, creativity, passion. We sell these things for recognition, emotional security, prestige, social position, and of course, money.
Maybe I’m being a little dramatic. Let’s use “Sell Out” instead of “Prostitute.”
Some examples of Sell Outs in our modern culture might help:
- The artist or writer who can’t find the time for their passion.
- The salaried employee afraid to strike out on his own.
- The entrepreneur who second-guesses herself and thinks about getting a “real job.”
- The young couple pressured into parenthood.
- The son or daughter who studies what their parents want them to.
- The recording artist who gets locked into a music contract.
- The business executive who has golden handcuffs (i.e. big financial incentives not leave the company.)
- The actor always hired because of his biceps and winning smile.
- The engineer whose employer owns all the patents.
- The spouse who forsakes their own desires for the sake of the family
- The spouse who works in a soul-crushing job to meet their partner’s expectations
- Basically anyone who feels trapped by their compromises, believing they can’t go after their dreams because of a commitment or due to scarcity thinking.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t provide for your family or be responsive to your partner’s desires. I am suggesting that there are many ways for you to do just that without compromising away the very things that would light you up. I’m saying you can serve others in a more powerful way when you, yourself, are turned on. But you can’t serve when your lights are off. Put on your own oxygen mask first.
How do you know if you’re a Sell-Out? It might not be as easy as “you just know,” because typically this is something we’ve buried deep down below our awareness. Take the assessment to see if you’re exhibiting the signs.