Of Arrows, Psyche, and Moments of Empathy, Grace and Redemption…

empathy by PoetArtbyErin
empathy, a photo by PoetArtbyErin on Flickr.

The outset of the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche, shows Eros leaning over the sleeping mortal, Psyche, and fervently prepared to strike Psyche with one of his arrows and create a wound that will command her to fall in love with a beast.

Eros‘s mother, Aphrodite sent him on this mission out of her jealousy of the beautiful, young Psyche.

And yet something about Psyche and/or her beauty evoked sorrow in Eros.

A silent knowing moved between them even with Psyche asleep and her eyes closed.

Perhaps he saw himself, weak and driven at the merciless hand of his mother, Aphrodite’s less than virtuous and ethical desires.

Though Eros is careful and quiet, he accidentally grazes Psyche‘s shoulder.

She awakens, and despite his cloak of invisibility, Psyche looks directly into Eros‘s eyes.

Startled, Aphrodite‘s son instead pricks himself with the arrow he had intended wound Psyche.

The potion on the tip of the arrow meant for Psyche enters Eros‘s own system, and causes him to fall madly and hopelessly in love with Psyche.

How many times have we entered a situation determined to remain unshaken and undaunted and committed to carrying out a task based on our preconceptions of usually a person or persons we have never met?

We heard a rumor or someone gave us the heads-up concerning the people are persons we are about to meet.

Our minds have settled into a conclusion, nothing will alter our expectations, usually for the worst.

Perhaps we arrive late for our appointment.

And based on our previous entrance into a situation of similar context tardiness equaled the same as acts of treason again our nation.

The situation is hopeless.

Displeasure and dissatisfaction rule our thought processes and emotions.

About to commit the same high sin, despite the best we did to honor the time, we have failed once more. The scolding received from the person in the previous situation left us feeling less than human.

We hold it a foregone conclusion that the individual whom we imagine sitting at her or his desk ceaselessly tapping their thumbs in continual succession, will do even worse.

And then we come face-to-face with the person in whose hand our fate lies, at least for these present moments of angst and fear.

We see them.

We look into their eyes.

And we see ourselves through the lens of actions we intend upon them.

Perhaps they smile.

And so do we…but not before tears paw at our throat.

Grace.

Redemption.

Atonement.

No two people are alike.

How hard it is to learn or remember this.

The myth tells us that despite an enormity of toils and snares, Eros goes on to love Psyche for eternity.

Quite possibly his act of atonement for being mislead to seek to harm her.

This is the lesson of Eros and Psyche…among the many.

_________________________________________________________________

What do you see in the myth involving Aphrodite’s son, Eros and Psyche?

How many times have you felt like Psyche, Eros, or both?

Do you know any Aphrodite(s)?

How many times has you jealousy or envy of another or something owned or possessed by another activated the Eros within you?

Where was your moment of grace?

 

 

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2 Responses to “Of Arrows, Psyche, and Moments of Empathy, Grace and Redemption…”

  1. DeBorah Ann Palmer Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    This is a wonderful post. I work in a museum and have the opportunity to see many paintings and sculptures depicting Eros/Cupid and Psyche. I did not know Aphrodite was Eros/Cupids mother. Since my job is really boring I often listen to the tour guides and lecturers as the lead visitors through the museum explaining the various artworks. I’ve heard them say that the marriage of Eros/Cupid and Psyche is the joining of emotion and intellectual. From Psyche we get the word psychological. I guess you could say their union would be the uniting of the right and left brains. I’m far from being an expert on Greek mythology or any type of art history but I’m fascinated by how painters and sculptors from the 17th to the 19th centuries depicted Greek gods and Goddesses.

  2. Anjuelle Floyd Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Wow!!! You really got into this.
    I’m glad it interested you in such a powerful way.
    Thanks for reaching out, visiting my sight and taking the time to comment.
    Peace and blessings.

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