As I’m sure you all know, I’ve loved Greek mythology for as long as I can remember, especially Aphrodite because of her unshakable confidence in her beauty and sex appeal. After I wrote my last post, I thought of another goddess I admired, Psyche; I loved her because of her steadfast determination to fight for what she wants. When she lost her love, Eros, she happily completed the labors Aphrodite assigned to her, regardless of how demeaning and in the end, she married Eros in a great celebration blessed by all of the other gods and goddesses.
In today’s society, Merriam-Webster gives two distinct definitions of the word “psyche.” The first relates to the English translation of the Greek word, psychē, which refers to a person’s soul, personality and mind. Definition #2 refers the way everyone (especially clinical psychologists) have a proclivity to “anticipate correctly the intentions or actions of [someone.]” On the surface, these definitions seem to be polar opposites, but in truth they are interconnected.
A well-respected journal of psychology, “Psychology Today” does an excellent job of melding the two definitions. In my last post, I detailed the three critical aspects of a HEALTHY Aphrodite Attitude, the most important being an understanding that we are inherently flawed, but our flaws are NOT fatal. In fact, they are just as, if not more important, to defining who we are as our strengths. When properly understood and harnessed, your flaws can and will become strengths.
Many women have a broken psyche as a result of the many pressures we face from society. Think about some of the boxes we’re bombarded with from infancy:
- You have to be a certain dress size or you’re fat and ugly,
- If you don’t get married and have a family by this age, you’ll be relegated to the life of an unwanted spinster,
- Follow this career path and keep your opinions to yourself or you’ll be known as a bitch, and so forth.
Whenever I start to feel defeated by the pressures of society, I visualize two trees, one broken and a grand old oak tree. Every once in a while branches break off in a big storm, but that DOES NOT stop the tree from growing. Rather, the tree takes the time to get to know its wound and heals it the best way it knows how. When it is given enough time, the tree will replace that broken branch with two stronger, more beautiful branches. This is a tree after a massive storm:
If you’re willing to go on this journey with me and rebuild your Aphrodite Attitude, I want to make your psyche look like this:
Our goal is simply this: do as an oak tree and absorb whatever criticisms are directed at us and use them to our advantage. It NEVER frets over a broken branch… it studies it’s faults and then takes the time to not only heal itself but grow two bigger and stronger branches in its place. And just like an ancient oak, this will not happen overnight; it will take dedication, but EVERY step you take is important.