Day 322: Abandoned/The Orphan

Yesterday, I witnessed somebody I love very much, experiencing a primal, human feeling.

He was expecting other people to show up and, for a while, it looked like nobody was coming. Nobody.

He was trying to make meaning of that.

But what I saw, most of all, was pain.

I tried to provide, as I do with anybody in pain, witness to the hurt and — when appropriate — inviting room for the hope.  The hope that people would come, eventually.  The possibility that the abandonment, while painful, was temporary.

And the abandonment was temporary.


Carol Pearson, in this book …


writes about 12 archetypes — primal human roles we go through on our journey through life.

The first archetype is the The Innocent.  That is how we enter the world.

The second archetype is The Orphan. Into every Innocent’s life, disappointment will come. Abandonment, of some form.

Orphans feel helpless, powerless, confused.  They try to make meaning of this new perspective on life, but the new feelings of loss and pain are … overwhelming.

The world is not as safe as they thought.

We all feel orphaned, at some time or other. We think:

Nobody is coming. Nobody cares. I am alone in this.

This is what we cannot see, when we feel orphaned:   The people who are around us.

Maybe they don’t know about our pain.

Maybe they are on their way.

That’s what I witnessed yesterday, with somebody I love.


I know that feeling of being orphaned. Abandoned.

I still feel it, at times, today.

This post is a reminder for me and other orphans, of all kinds.

I may feel alone, in pain. But, truly, I  am not.

Okay!  Time for a Google Image, for “archetype orphan.”

And here it is.

When you’re feeling abandoned,  people are there, even if you cannot see them. In the meantime:


Love yourself.

Thanks to the Buddha, Carol Pearson, orphans everywhere, and to you — especially — for visiting today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Day 322: Abandoned/The Orphan

  1. Very interesting – I learned about them as sub personalities when I studied Voice Dialogue. Beautiful post. Susan x

  2. Lawrence J. Siskind

    Thanks for thanking me Buddha I didn’t do nothin’.

  3. I’m glad people who cared showed up for your friend–starting with YOU.

  4. carol Goodman

    One of the very striking features in Buddhism is the perspective on hope. Hope is seen as the opposite of fear. And that they both cause imbalance. …”We go back and forth between hope and fear We hope for happiness, we fear pain. We hope for praise, we fear blame. We hope for gain, we fear loss. We hope for fame, we fear infamy. We live in a state of alternating between hope and fear. We experience these hopes and fears because we understand happiness and pain and so forth in terms of the self.” My mate is studying and practicing Buddhism and the first time he explained this to me, I found it very offensive and upsetting. I’ve thought about it, a lot. I like the idea of being in the middle of the boat a lot of the time, instead of turning about and having to race from one side of the boat to the other to keep it afloat. As with hope and fear? I don’t know. But I am interested in how we are never the same ever for even a split second, that all of these feelings and states of being are processes, or weather, as Ann, you know I like to call them. Abandonment and humiliation are linked together for me. I think they are connected very much to hope and fear, in my “weather”. Anyway, these are the thoughts that blew through my head, reading your post.
    But the best and most moving part for me, was the compassion, threaded into the description of your friend’s experience and your awareness of it. That is being a witness. That is listening, and that is you.

  5. That sounds like a really interesting book! It’s very true what you said about the orphan stage– you feel alone, you feel like you’re the only person who understands what you’re experiencing but you’re NOT and if you can just hold on for a bit longer there is hope on the other side.

    Now I am curious about the other archetypes…

  6. Pingback: Day 323: Grieving old losses | The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

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