What I wrote about Psyche's 2nd task last week just hasn't sat well; and so I'd like to share with you my amended and additional thoughts.
1) Psyche doesn’t want power. In my last entry, I implied that Psyche sought power, but she doesn't. Gathering fleece off the brambles isn't simply a clever means of gaining power — she doesn't want to be a power-broking, head-butting ram — she's just doing what needs to be done to safeguard her husband. Perhaps it's when we begin to seek power for power's sake that we become the ram in the field.
Can you think of a time when who got the credit was irrelevant; you only cared about getting the ‘good thing' done? Perhaps your children weren't getting what they needed at school. Or maybe you had taken on a project to improve your school, community or church.
As you dare to dream, is it accurate to say that you dream so as to safeguard your self?
Photo courtesy of Akimeth on Flickr
2) Acquiring the fleece is about dis-covering and being true to our selves, not about ‘grabbing the ram by the horns'. I wrote earlier that we don't want to be deemed a villainess, but the fact is, when we are really daring to dream, perceptions of us may not be universally favorable.
Let me give you an example.
Several years ago, after having a very good year at work, I indicated to my bosses that it was important that I be paid well. However, when I brought up the topic again a month or so later, he told me that I was being too demanding, and that I should stop asking.
When he said this, I was quite embarrassed. Even though I had done my homework and knew I wasn't asking for something unreasonable, his telling me that I was demanding shut me down. Feminine women don't ask, and they certainly don't demand — that's what power-grabbing villainesses do.
Can you think of a time when you were ‘daring to dream' and as you began to metamorphose into more of who you are, there were those who didn't like you?
3) Psyche employs whatever type of power will best get the job done. When Psyche sorts the seeds, her power is direct, and involves delegation to the mythological ants. In acquiring the golden fleece, she employs informal power, attending to relationships, even as she achieves her objective. In filling the crystal flask, she delegates to the eagle, as she did with the ants. In the fourth and final task of obtaining beauty ointment, her power is direct, and must be carried out by her personally.
What power do you employ as a daughter, wife, mother, friend, neighbor, worker? What power will best serve you as you dare to dream?
4) Being a hero is about keeping our promises — As Psyche embarks on this journey, she finds out very quickly that she is in over her head, becoming so fearful that she doesn't want to continue. But she does. And not particularly well, which makes her all the more compelling.
As I first wrote about Psyche's 2nd Task, I wanted so badly to come up with a tidy ‘here's what you can expect‘ formula for this task: if we do X, then Y will happen.
But Psyche's journey, and our daring to dream, is ultimately about the process, about walking into the unknown, and staying the course, no matter how afraid we are. Because we've made a promise to others, and especially to our selves that we would.
What are your thoughts? Where do you agree? Disagree?