Archetypes can help us shed light on the dark or little-known corners of our souls and amplify our own brilliance and strengths.
Rebel (Anarchist, Revolutionary, Political Protester, Nonconformist, Pirate)
Our images of the Rebel may be too closely aligned with cliches of youth culture to let us see the deeper significance of this valuable archetype. Whether politically inclined like Martin Luther King, Jr., Betty Friedan, or Lech Walensa, or an artistic innovator such as Van Gogh, Joyce, or Coltrane, the Rebel is a key component of all human growth and development. The Rebel in a support group can be a powerful aid in helping the group break out of old tribal patterns. It can also help you see past tired preconceptions in your field of professional or creative endeavor. The Rebel can also lead you to reject spiritual systems that do not serve your inner need for direct union with the Divine and to seek out more appropriate paths. The shadow Rebel, conversely, may compel you to rebel out of peer pressure or for the sake of fashion, and so become mired in another manifestation of conformity. The shadow Rebel may also reject legitimate authority simply because it is asking you to do something you find difficult or unpleasant. Be especially careful in evaluating your rebellious impulses; even if the Rebel is not part of your intimate circle of archetypes, you probably have it to some extent and should pay attention to its urgings. - From Sacred Contracts by Carolyn Myss
I have spent much of my life on the shadow side of rebellion. Even the event of my birth was utter chaos. After putting my mother through 24 hours of labour, I chose to make my appearance at the exact moment that the nurses changed shifts. No one was around, and I'm told that my mother had to scream bloody murder to get some attention back in that 1970s era Seoul hospital.
Perhaps this untimely entrance into the world marked me formatively, for I have shown up late, more often than not. My rebel's disregard for "legitimate authority" figures manifested into years of floating through work in total (apparent) apathy. In fact, I'm not sure if I have ever shown up for work on time. It's a wonder that I haven't been fired more than once.
This is nothing compared to the years I spent not showing up at all though. To not be present in your own life is surely the worst disservice you can do to your Self. How many years did I spend in a drug haze, running from the voices within? How many needless arguments and fights with parents, sister, brother, friends, bosses, co-workers, strangers? How much energy did I willfully disperse struggling against what is? All of this in the name of rebellion.
Look for the gift.
Those years feel like a waste. But of course, they are not. For every experience you have is a gift you've given yourself. Those experiences taught me that fighting what is, is just another form of conformity. Participating in the act of rebellion does not help you seek out your own path. All you are doing is reacting to everyone else's path. You are effectively scattering your creative power and energy uselessly to the 4 winds.
Thank you Rebel. You have taught me well. But you shall no longer own me. From Now on, I will own you and use you well.