Medusa began as a fair-haired priestess, prized for her stunningly beautiful hair, serving Athena in her temple and fully committed to celibacy. That was before Poseidon flattered her and eventually took her, in Athena's temple....as if he didn't know how that would irk Athena. To punish Medusa for the betrayal, Athena took revenge by changing Medusa’s beautiful hair into snakes that turned to stone anyone who looked at her. Humiliated and shunned, Medusa eventually fled to Africa where she lived in isolation until Perseus killed her. Medusa represents the darker side of female wisdom.
There are two lessons to glean from this tragedy. One being that of female vanity, and the other female jealousy. Women possess the same strengths working for or against each other. Vanity and jealousy are traits women should earnestly learn to recognize and manage.
Jealous women will turn on each other before they even consider the source of betrayal or lies told by another in the committed relationship. No one can be stolen from anyone they are devoted to in a relationship. I don't care how seductive the 'other woman' is, it takes two minds to stay together. This notion that another woman's sex appeal can entrap and beguile someone into betraying a beloved is a myth. Oh, they'll happily use that as a reason when caught, believe that. But here's the truth; reasons are not excuses. In any committed relationship, both people are never under any spell to commit infidelity. So why is it when the one you love deeply has wandered, the first person you turn your anger upon is the other woman. And, as has happened more than once, the other woman is just as surprised to learn she is the 'other woman'. She has been lied to, as well. But jealousy requires only one victor. And it gets ugly and sometimes this hatred lasts a lifetime.
Will this stop the cheating mate? Doubtful. Someone deeply in love does not wander. Two people deeply in love will work to strengthen their relationship through trust and support. They will build a solid foundation on honesty and communication. Who wants someone who doesn't believe the one they are committed to is everything they need? Who wants someone constantly searching on the down low for someone better? Who wants someone who, when confronted, lays the betrayal at the feet of the betrayed woman, in the form of manipulative guilt trips? If your beloved is not happy, set them free. Let them wander the world looking for the woman who completes them. Wish them well, but let them go. The next woman is either going to boast of finally finding that perfect someone, or she will learn, as you did, that there can be no satisfaction with this one. Wasting time guarding your love from other women is a waste of your time and energy. Nothing can keep someone at home if they are not happy at home. We are all responsible for our own actions and choices. It really is better to be alone than to be with someone who makes you feel alone when you're around them.
The vanity thing I've never quite understood, frankly. Beauty is fleeting. And natural beauty is the result of a roll of the dice, genetically speaking. How do you take credit for what you had absolutely no control of from the second egg met sperm? But what is your doing, or undoing eventually, is choosing to use that natural beauty to your advantage again and again, until you no longer know how to get for yourself without trading on your looks. Manipulation based on exploitation of physical charms you lucked into is your shame, if this is your claim to fame. That beauty can only be maintained for so long, even with the help of needles and chisels. If you have spent your best years allowing others to fetch and carry for you, without benefit of sincerity or gratitude, you're in for a big surprise when the newer models hit the market. It begins when you can see for yourself that age is, indeed, marching on and understand no amount of botox can undo the damage for very long. Then you sense that you are becoming more insignificant to those you've depended on for so long. It's the realization that every thing you've created to fulfill your needs is superficial. The first time you experience invisibility when you have to leave the comfort of your superficial existence for any length of time can be crushing. You have not bothered to establish, nurture, or empower even one authentic relationship. You, yourself, don't know what being authentic means. People came to you and you simply rode the waves of adoration. It was so easy. You were beautiful. Past tense.
Take a good look at the real beauty of the woman who glows from inside out at the ripe old age of seventy. She shines. Wrinkles? Oh, yes. And she wears them like medals of honor. She takes time to share wisdom she's learned along the way. She is a survivor who holds no one responsible for her failures and mistakes. She is empowered to love life and freely share what life has given her. They are all around us, all the time. These kind of women are never alone. These women are prized in their communities. The world can't get enough of them and they are simply living authentically. Age is just a number to them. They have been through hell and back, in many cases, but they live in the here and now and start each day giving thanks. They embrace the universal truth that teaches everything that happens to us will make us either bitter or better; our choice. This is true beauty.
Medusa suffered from vanity and Athena exercised jealousy to get even. Both women were fools not to see what fools vanity and jealousy made of them. Women are so much better than this, when they want to be. Women, as a whole, are capable of moving mountains to help those they are determined to lift up. Women, as a whole, are showing the world they can't be stopped when they've made up their minds to do good for the world. If only we could learn to better negotiate those two speed bumps, vanity and jealousy, that invariably get tossed into the mix as we march on. Women have enough predators in life. Another woman should never be one of them!