Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Psyche did not start out as a goddess.  She was a princess.  She was a really beautiful princess.  She was so beautiful that people started saying she was as beautiful as Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

Here's the thing.  You are not supposed to think you are as good as the gods.  That's hubris, and it will get you in a lot of trouble.  Personally, Psyche may not have thought she was so great looking, but she didn't refute anyone who said she was, so her hubris was sort of implied, and that was enough for Venus.

To put Psyche in her place, Venus told her son Cupid to go shoot one of his magic love arrows into the lamest, ugliest guy in town so that Psyche would fall in love with him.  But Cupid didn't do that.  He decided he wanted to take Psyche for his secret lover, which he did.

Blah, blah, love, love. Venus finds out and decides to keep them apart.  She locks Cupid in a room.  Psyche's all, "Wah, wah, poor me, I lurrrrvvee him.  Please let me be with Cupid."

Venus is all, "Ok.  You want him so bad?  Then do me a favor.  Go to hell.  Ask my friend Proserpine, the queen of hell, for a jar of her special Eternal Youth Beauty Cream.  Bring it to me and you can marry Cupid."

Psyche climbs to the top of a tall tower and prepares to throw herself to her death so she can get into hell, but then Athena (enthusiastic frienemy of Venus) comes and shows Psyche how to get into (and out of, that's the hard part) hell without killing herself.  Journey, odyssey, wild times.  Psyche gets the beauty cream, brings it to Venus, and Psyche and Cupid get married.  Psyche moves on up to Mount Olympus and becomes a goddess.

I'm telling you this story because it exemplifies why you don't want to be a hero.  Until Athena stepped in, the only way Psyche could deal with a hero's journey was to fling herself from a tall tower and die.  Traditionally, women are called heroes when they sacrifice their own lives.  Men are called heroes when they slay monsters.

Don't be a hero.  Be a goddess.  Own your life.

Channel this goddess: When you must!  When you need to say no, when you're being asked to give up that which is intrinsically you.  You are worth more.  You are a goddess.

Need a goddess: I've got goddesses!  Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess for, and then check back in a week or two and see what you got.  It's fun!  It's free!  It's better than flinging yourself from a tower!
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Olga said...

One of most cherished mementoes of my teaching days is a paper badge that a student gave me..."goddess of special education."

Lori Webster said...

Brilliant! "Wah, wah, poor me, I lurrrrvvee him. Please let me be with Cupid." So. Funny.

Thanks, Margaret!

Word in the Hand said...

Good advice - don't jump from tall buildings - there's always another way.

Jean Spitzer said...

Got it: goddess, yes; hero, no.

Rois said...

Lesson reviewed,holding head up and learning to walk that talk.

Petrea Burchard said...

Zowie, Margaret! Sexism of the gods! I need to read this one every day with my coffee.

Ms M said...

Good retelling and interpretation of this story! Yes, choose to be a goddess!

Daisy said...

A great lesson and one to "take to heart"

goddess yes, hero no.

Bec said...

So, the idea of women being self-sacrificial martyrs isn't new? Great story!

Alison said...

Have to say that I didn't realise Cupid had a woman/Goddess of his own!
Alison xx

Susan Campisi said...

This is such an empowering message, Margaret. What a great way to start the day. Thank you!

TheChieftess said...

Love this story! And your interpretation is "da bomb"!!!
Great advice too!