Many a time, when love comes into our lives, we don’t know what to do. Even if we are suspicious and shredded because of frustrating experiences, we want to give ourselves a new chance and bet "this time it will work". However, good intentions are not enough: it is necessary to overcome the patterns which keep us stuck into frustrations. Without noticing, we put the universe against ourselves!
Myths are maps indicating the paths to be crossed in order for us to learn how to love maturely. The myth of Psyche, for example, teaches us to practice four basic tasks to overcome the illusory nature of romantic love, and, even so, have a life of passion. One curiosity: the first register of this archetypical legend goes back to the 2nd Century A.D.
The myth of Eros and Psyche is the expression of Love between a mortal and a god. In Ancient Greece, Psyche was a woman who couldn’t awaken passion in a man, because no mortal considered himself worthy of such a beauty. She was venerated as a new Aphrodite, which caused the real Aphrodite to get very angry. Aphrodite ordered her son, Eros, god of Love, to ensure Psyche would be eternally unhappy.
However, when Eros saw Psyche on the cliff, doomed to passively await her weeding with the most terrible of the creatures, he desperately fell in love with her. He took her to his palace as his wife, under the condition that she kept her eyes blindfolded not to see his face. Thus, they only met in the dark, and he used to leave at daylight.
When her sisters visited her and asked about her husband, Psyche described him as she imagined he was. But when they asked the same question again, Psyche contradicted herself with a different description. Outraged, the sisters provoked Psyche and told her that she was sleeping with a disgusting snake, reason why she was forbidden to see him. This part in the myth shows how aggressive and curious we become when facing relationships, when we want to see who we are really dealing with.
One night, while Eros was asleep, Psyche, holding a dagger, went to look at him by candlelight. When she saw the most beautiful of the creatures, Eros – her Beloved – she lost her mind and fell passionately in love with him.
But she forgot she was holding a candle and a drop of wax fell over Eros’s chest. He woke up in pain and in fright but, when he realized Psyche had disobeyed him, he left her and asked his mother, Aphrodite, to accomplish the curse of the oracle.
Abandoned by Eros, and completely out of her mind, Psyche first tried to kill herself by drowning herself in the river which threw her back to the banks. She then wandered desperately from one city to another, looking for her husband. She finally got to the palace of Aphrodite, who had not calmed her anger yet and gave Psyche four tasks apparently impossible to be fulfilled. However, with the help of the forces of nature, Psyche was finally able to accomplish them.
In the meantime, Eros managed to get Zeus' invaluable help. The father of the gods interfered in the issue with divine simplicity: he turned Psyche into a goddess and told all the gods he approved her marriage with Eros.
Thus, Eros and Psyche, Love and Soul, could stay together for eternity.
As first task, Aphrodite ordered Psyche to build a big stack of seeds in such a way that each was placed in its "appropriate place" before sunset.
Psyche cried in despair. Her tears attracted hundreds of ants that came to help her. This task teaches us the first step to love: it is necessary to trust our innate capacity to select, analyze and evaluate. We should unleash our instincts; listen to disconnected sentences that explode in our inner self when we innocently contemplate our beloved one and not be afraid of abandoning that pleasant sensation of being merged in the other.
This sensation of well being is caused by the production of dopamine and norepinefrine, two of the main brain transmitters in the organism. They accelerate our pulse and increase our perception. The alchemy of love is a blessing, but we cannot allow the witchcraft to turn against the witch.
We need to keep things clear and in order and know how to separate ourselves from our partners when we face our differences.
As we consider the other as he really is and not as we would like him to be, we stop being overwhelmed by the magic of romantic love, but become capable of loving deeper without getting lost in the other.
A relationship becomes richer when we manage to classify "where I differ from you". So, we should not be afraid to show the differences between people, which prevent relationships to be based on self-annulment. In this step, we learn to separate ourselves from the other, aiming at a complementary union.
But be careful not to fear that, if you deny your needs, you will turn into a selfish person! Later on, you will see that this will give you the possibility to exchange and add many things with your partner.
See you next week, when we will give some thought to Psyche's second task.
Bel Cesar é psicóloga, pratica a psicoterapia sob a perspectiva do Budismo Tibetano desde 1990. Dedica-se ao tratamento do estresse traumático com os métodos de S.E.® - Somatic Experiencing (Experiência Somática) e de EMDR (Dessensibilização e Reprocessamento através de Movimentos Oculares). Desde 1991, dedica-se ao acompanhamento daqueles que enfrentam a morte. É também autora dos livros `Viagem Interior ao Tibete´ e `Morrer não se improvisa´, `O livro das Emoções´, `Mania de Sofrer´, `O sutil desequilíbrio do estresse´ em parceria com o psiquiatra Dr. Sergio Klepacz e `O Grande Amor - um objetivo de vida´ em parceria com Lama Michel Rinpoche. Todos editados pela Editora Gaia. Email: email@example.com Visite o Site do Autor