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.