The Peter Pan syndrome and the archetype of the Eternal Daughter. A deep subject to work on but one that can illuminate important issues such as financial, professional and relational and addiction issues.
I have been noticing these days the difficulty of taking charge of one’s own life. Which means that there is resistance to accepting that there are difficulties or that things sometimes don’t go our way. But also the power to move forward even through obstacles. What is it that makes the modern age full of people who have surrendered their power to others and people who exploit it and impose power? What is it that makes us always want to stay children, without having responsibilities in our lives? And ask others to solve our problems?
The Peter Pan syndrome
Peter Pan syndrome is the behavior and mindset of an adult who behaves like a child who doesn’t want to grow up. We have the first description of it in 1983 by psychologist Dan Kiley. It is not officially recognized by the World Health Organization but there have been studies that show the effects: Inability to take responsibility and make decisions, immature behaviour, tendency to narcissism, difficulty in accepting reality, and the use of drugs to escape reality is not excluded.
How do we recognize it?
He is a person who tends to change jobs very quickly and not stick to any one, the same with interests and relationships. Goals and dreams are usually utopian and unrealistic and therefore there is very frequent frustration. Also wherever he goes, in whatever context he finds it difficult to adapt, he is in a constant state of procrastination, while expecting everything to be perfect. And because it’s most likely not to be perfect it leaves. So you are not bound to anything. And of course he would like to live in a utopia.
There may also be financial and not only dependence on parents. Who are overprotective and have some privileges in their lives. The search for a partner is done in order for the partner to take on his/her own responsibilities. Like he’s looking for a mom or dad, not a partner. The more serious issue is the relinquishment of his power, will and action to create a mature adult life with a healthy body and soul. And the renunciation of being an active citizen who asserts his rights.
The female archetype of the eternal Daughter
The feminine archetype of the eternal Daughter does not only apply to women, but to every human being. Like Peter Pan syndrome. As we all have within us feminine and masculine qualities. It is the refusal of the female to go through the initiatory processes of the soul and become Mother. Mother of herself/himself. That is, to take responsibility for her own life. To live with the consequences of her actions in a mature manner. Knowing that if she engages in what she loves, she will thrive.
Otherwise the Eternal Daughter has the constant demand from others to take care of her. She is looking for a daddy or mummy companion who will dress her, feed her, shop for her and she will sit on the princess throne. Or else she will be the one who will never accept the mature feminine side, who creates, who cares, who shares. It is a soul that does not assume its mission and as a consequence its power. And here too there is resignation.
Where does this lead?
Since we are in a society where everything is to be done quickly and effortlessly there is a strong Peter Pan and Eternal Daughter phenomenon. Application that bring it all to your door. Devices for every need and every kind of service. Can you tell me what the problem is with that? It’s that then the same becomes a demand from the family, both in work and in relationships. Relationships become fast food and people become expendable in every way. People stop claiming and become at the mercy of a screen that seems to offer everything effortlessly. And even in therapy they come and expect the therapist to solve their issues. That’s where the change starts, when they really get into the process of realizing how this is affecting their lives. And how everyone takes care of the inner child.
All human beings have some fundamental needs. Like wanting love and prosperity in our lives. When it is understood that these can only come through our own will then things change. Awareness is very important. And the will to return the power to where it belongs, to the self. But also the recognition that the inner child exists, but the inner adult is in charge of meeting its needs. Not the others. Then there is healthy relationship with the inner child! And then it is released and fills the soul with joy!
Yes, life has its difficulties. But it has many beautiful gifts when we take it in our hands. When we learn to use our powers. And when our word has substance. When we become reliable. And others can trust us. When I make food with my hands, it has a different taste. When I create my own sole proprietorship it has been very satisfying. Or when I write the book that was my dream. When I feel I am ready to have a family and have children. And how beautiful when I enter a healing process and see myself changing, setting boundaries, making my own nest with my own materials together with my loved ones. But also how it will be a society in which you, you and all will actively participate as mature adults, not allowing power to trample on us. And laying the seeds for a mature society.
If you are interested in working with yourself and what is preventing you from being at your strength, I would be happy to work with you on this through individual sessions.