Aphrodite, enraged by her son's love of Psyche, forced Psyche to marry a monster and left her bound to a rock in the sea. Psyche is rescued from her fate by her new husband, whom she does not know is Eros. Psyche is happy in her marriage to her kindly saviour, but she longs to know his true identity. She listens to the doubts expressed by her sisters and decides to betray the promise she made to Eros, which was never to look on his face. She creeps into his bedroom at night and looks upon his face - this is when she discovers his divine nature.
Eros abandons her in his disappointment. Psyche resolves to search for her husband and in order to bring him back she goes begging to Aphrodite. Aphrodite sets her impossible tasks, which she takes on and completes due to her commitment to Eros. However, this does not appease Aphrodite, who orders that she be sent into the Underworld, which really means sent to her death. Psyche has no choice but to let go and accept the situation. She must go on her journey without knowing what the outcome will be - whether she will live or die, whether she will be with Eros again. Eros rescues Psyche when he sees the depths she has gone to to save the relationship and they are reunited.
The important thing about the story of Psyche and Eros is the process. Love is a process that one must follow - a journey of growth and transformation that you must be fearless to undertake. Laying your soul bare, stripped of all defenses and pretenses.
It is a story most people must surrender to, but sadly many give up on. To be rendered powerless in the face of someone's rejection, to be stripped of all superficial qualities that usually make you attractive to others, and left standing bare. Money, position, looks - even the most loving, compassionate nature cannot save you from facing the same destiny. To bear your heart as Psyche did and face the pain of the process in order to create the beauty of a real relationship. Dealing with these emotional challenges can become easier when you know the path you are treading. Instead of drowning in self-doubt and confusion you can follow the path the ancients did so many eons ago.
How to be a Goddess in love...
First of all, learn to accept valid feedback about yourself. When someone you love sees you through their eyes in a loving and desiring light it is the most heady and nurturing experience. We all look for this acknowledgement from another. When you are seen through the eyes of love, all your special and unique qualities light up. What happens however, when your lover turns and begins to stare into the darker side of your nature. This is as big a fall as the loving acknowledgement is a lift. How do you bear this with grace and learn from it? The first thing is to deal with your own defensive reactions to such knowledge. Very few people can take feedback, particularly critical feedback in an open and balanced way. Especially when these words come from a loved one, it can pierce the soul and lead you into a frenzy of self-protective reactions. All defenses give rise to further defenses and attacks, and before too long, you are dealing with a character assassination (probably on the side of both parties!).
In order to avoid this pitfall, create some space where you can be open to the truth. That does not mean you have to take on board a whole negative image of yourself. It means having an intention to discover, whether there is any truth in what your lover is revealing to you. Or conversely, applying your mind to discovering why your partner is reacting to you as they are. Imagine if Psyche spent her time aggressively attacking Eros when he discovered her betrayal? It would simply have made his discovery more difficult to overcome. Not only had she gone from being an idealized woman in his mind, who followed him without question, his emotional adjustment to this could have been further complicated by her anger, neediness, acid tongued comments, vengeful tactics, dramas and all the other various (ineffective) ways we have of protecting ourselves. Accept the feedback and evaluate for yourself what truth there is in it. Thus begins the journey of healing.
How to bring out the good in your 'god'...
Naturally, in all relationships there are two parts (and sometimes even more than that!) and you can only be in charge of your part. This is very difficult when someone runs off and refuses to engage with you. So what is to be done? How can you nurture a deeper level of response from your partner when he retreats into a judgemental, black and white position? People take judgemental positions in order to avoid confronting all the shades of grey that exist in our emotional experience.
If your lover has trouble connecting with and communicating about his emotions, then there is a good chance he will adopt a similar attitude to yours! Encouraging open communication can only happen when both parties are open to that. This brings in the second element of nurturing your love relationship: time. Insisting on communication to clear things up, when the other person has already cut off, will at best be sabotaged by your lover and at worst elicit a further negative reaction. Like Psyche, you will have to make your journey into the underworld on your own to begin with - starting with yourself and facing your inner issues, and leaving the relationship drama to simmer down and become calm.
Psyche's journey into the underworld is a metaphor for the journey of return to your origin - the silent space in yourself where you can re-create yourself, connect with your real spirit, renew your feeling about the world and heal. It is like resetting your heart and mind, letting go of the conflict and fears and returning to a place of peace within yourself. It is from this place that the real you shines through.
Sometimes it takes a while to find this place within, but if you keep traveling, you will find it. You will find your true self, your inner peace and your heart will be as strong as ever. Then, when you are ready and your lover is ready to connect, you are a font of real feelings and positive attitudes - the real you who captivated him in the first place. Being the goddess you truly are makes changing relationship patterns much easier!