For some reason we always associate a heart with an arrow sticking through it as a symbol of someone stricken by love. It does actually mean that but even further, it means a heart that has been tormented by a love that has caused agony. The picture doesn’t have much appeal anymore does it? Who would want to be tormented by an attraction to someone? When I think of a sign with an arrow I think of the “one way” sign. Being tormented by an arrow in the heart makes me think of a love that is only one way and not mutual.
In legend, the arrow is supposedly one that has been released by Cupid, the god of love. Legend has it when someone is stricken in the heart by Cupid’s arrow the first person they gaze upon they will fall madly in love with. It would be an inescapable love for all eternity. It just so happened that Cupid was very attracted to a goddess named Psyche. His mother, Venus, the goddess of love, did not like her so much. So she sent Cupid to go and strike her with an arrow and had planned on her gazing upon a horrible monster so she would fall in love with him. Cupid went on his journey alright, but he was pricked by his own arrow just as he gazed upon Psyche and fell inescapably in love with her forever. According to the legend they married and had a child named Pleasure.
None of it sounds very pleasurable to me. Being stabbed in the heart and brought to agony by love is not my idea of any type of romantic love but one that is forced. True love can never be forced but is gifted to two people who are stricken but not by an arrow. Love is not supposed to be painful nor is it supposed to entrap anyone. Real love brings freedom of expression and delight. It can be for all eternity. In fact, our marriage vows tend to echo that sentiment.
My hope for you is a love that will find you and embrace you for all eternity! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Loving you from here,
Dr Jenine Marie Howry