Archetype Spotlight: The Sustainer & Asking What Sustains You

March 5, 2021
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Archetype Spotlight: The Sustainer & Asking What Sustains You?

The Trio of Existence is a fascinating archetypal study. It includes the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Destroyer. Each plays a role in every lifecycle and energy flows one to the next. The archetype that is usually glossed over in this trio, in my opinion, is the Sustainer. We’re all familiar with creation and do it every day, and destruction is no stranger either. However, the bridge between should not be discounted.

The Sustainer Archetype

The Sustainer preserves the creation and keeps the peace. This is the part of you that takes care of day-to-day tasks and chores, the recurring things with no beginning or ending such as paying bills, cleaning, and cooking. The Sustainer isn’t just about mundane chores, though. Its tasks also include self-care, personal hygiene, dating your spouse, tending the garden, and playing with pets. There is no good or bad when it comes to daily tasks, just what is and being in the moment for life.

Light & Dark Aspects

The humble process of life does not discourage or bore the Sustainer. It approaches life in a mindful way, knowing that each piece is meaningful to the whole. When fulfilling the role of the Sustainer, you might find that your energy is generous and supportive.

However, the Sustainer can also become overworked, tired, and resentful when not cared for properly. Due to the drive to keep the status quo, the Sustainer has a tendency to hold onto things, even when they no longer serve. This archetype can resist change and sometimes requires extra patience and care.

Maintenance Vs. Sustenance

Sustaining and maintaining seem like synonyms at first impression. Embodying the Sustainer, though, isn’t quite the same as basic life maintenance. The subtle but noteworthy differences between the two are really where the magic is defined for the Sustainer.

Sustain is defined as support and nourishment. Maintenance is more about preventing something from going into a state of disrepair or saving something. Surviving versus thriving! Choosing to engage in sustenance instead of maintenance is choosing to thrive and live abundantly in even the small moments over going through life in autopilot trying to make it through. The energy of the Sustainer calls you to stop going through the motions and lean into life!

Archetype Application

Here’s your homework: make a list of what sustains you. What makes you thrive instead of survive? What breathes life into your day? Consider what actually matters to you in your life in the day-to-day, not just the major events or activities that are designated to be special.

Those are the things that should fill your days!

You might be surprised at what shows up on your list. Usually the things that sustain us aren’t big or expensive. It could be a text from your best friend, fresh flowers on the counter, or a face mask before bed. The lesson of the Sustainer? Do more of what nurtures you and embrace the joy that comes from it!

This article is a continuation of a series on exploring archetypes. To read the series introduction and discover other archetypes in the series, click here.

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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Federal Food & Drug Administration. These information and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.