“The Voldemort Phenomenon” is a term I coined in reference to an archetypal pattern I’ve witnessed in the evolving love lives of many. This phrase attempts to capture an archetypal journey from suffering to empowered liberation and magical intimacy. It’s particularly relevant to a codependent’s journey from powerfully unhealthy attachments to empowered liberation (says the woman who’s been there). Those who have gone through this archetypal journey are more adept at manifesting intimate connections that are free from bondage and grounded in love.
You might be asking yourself, “what the heck am I talking about?”
Let’s start with Voldemort. Voldemort is a Harry Potter character who tested our hero to no end; pushing him to grow, evolve and claim his power. Voldemort refused to perish until the day Harry willingly stepped into a death portal himself. Years of pain, suffering, loss, chase and pursuit finally came to an end when Harry made the exquisite and powerful decision to embrace death. He knew that stepping into this unknown portal was essential to cutting the magical ties that bound Voldemort to Harry’s existence.
Even though Harry surrendered himself to death, his absence on the earth plane ended up being only temporary. He came back to life; liberated from a powerful force that attached him to his tormentor. He was resurrected as a new, liberated and empowered force of nature. Whole new possibilities opened up before him and all beings in his story.
A Codependent’s Liberation
This 'Voldermort Phenomenon' echoes the journey of many beloved humans prone to codependent tendencies who freed themselves from their spellbound attachments by willing embracing the sensations of what can feel like death.
I’m saying this from experience. My Voldemort was a 6 foot tall bald acupuncturist with a severe under earning habit. I fell in love. The attachment turned into a source of suffering and torment. At the time, the thought of breaking up with him invoked sensations of terror and feelings of certain death. After some impressive trauma healing lessons learnedI cultivated the capacity to be with and lean into the sensations of intense vulnerability. Only then was I finally able to break up with him. After 3 days of tears and pain I came out the other side magically liberated, free and wondrously happy.
That was 10 years ago. Since then my love life has been a seriously delectable and empowered dance of deep connection and beautiful liberation. While certainly not perfect it's been far more free of unhealthy attachments. I can now embrace the natural beauty of death and, as a result, my life is far more alive.
This isn’t only my tale. While not all recovering codependents have a bald 6 foot man in their relationship history, many of us have been entangled in unhealthy attachments where the price of freedom required our willingness to embrace what felt like a death process.
Mini-deaths- Stepping Stones to Liberated Love
Here’s the takeaway: if you want to manifest a grounded, liberated and alive love life you need to be willing to die (at least metaphorically.) In light of this phenomenon, when I work with clients who want to cultivate deep and meaningful intimacy, I intentionally help them learn how to lean into the exquisite and intense vulnerability that gets stirred up in the face of a powerful bond.
There are many metaphoric deaths in the dance of intimacy you can willingly face. They included letting go of cherished ideas and expectations about relationships, willingly changing the structure of a relationship, allowing your ego to be sacrificed and more. Internally, the feeling of facing a “death” can conjure sensations like pounding hearts, sweaty palms, knotted bellies and heart constriction. Feelings such as fear, grief and anger can also get stirred up.
The whole-making path is to be present to these feelings of vulnerability as you untie the bonds that spellbound you to a state of disempowerment. This can look like feeling the pounding of your heart as you share a scary intimate truth about your sexual preferences to a partner.
By facing vulnerable moments over and over you will increase your capacity to be present and empowered while cultivating deep and loving relationships.