The Five of Cups brings to mind the emotional regret I feel about something that I did or didn't do. It is such waste of energy, especially if I allow guilt to keep me stuck in regret. But as human nature as it is, we'll always have something we regret. The trick is not to dwell on regret and guilt. We can't change the past, but I can learn from the mistake, and move forward with the resolve and a hope to do better.
There is guilt, and then there is shame. Guilt is about making a mistake, shame implies that you are a mistake. Good guilt serves a purpose in that in acts as our conscience. Shame can perhaps serve a purpose in a similar way, but shame becomes bad guilt, if we can't forgive ourselves or others.
In the Five of Cups we see Eros fleeing from Psyche, who has betrayed her promise not to look at him in the dark. She desperately pursues him knowing that seeing him as he is, she has jeopardized their relationship. Psyche is fearful that she have lost Eros forever, and is full of regret, but seemingly to no avail, as Eros is running in the opposite direction and abandoning her. But there is one cup out of the five left standing, which is hope in knowing, that all is not lost.
We are the ones who decide what our boundaries are, the behaviours that we can and can't accept. Some things are real deal breakers in relationships, like abuse. We all have faults, and we all need forgiveness for mistakes made. And so, if we can forgive ourselves, we are more likely to forgive others for their short comings and mistakes, just as we would want to be forgiven. It's simply The Golden Rule. It's really so simple, but many of us find it so difficult.
Light and love need to be shone on our darkness and character defects, as much as our positive assets. Perfection is an illusion. No one is perfect, and no one is a mistake.