The darkest hour comes just before the dawn.
On the basis of its imagery, this card is easily interpreted in a biased and premature manner to mean painful experiences, particularly the pangs of love. While this is an important partial aspect of the card, it blurs the main message. The meaning of the 3 of Swords is primarily the decision that is made in opposition to feelings. Whether a questionable act is indicated thereby or if it is instead an act of liberation can only be judged by considering the background of the question and the rest of the cards drawn. When the tyranny of the mind makes a martyr of the emotional life, this card is certainly disquieting. But in cases where it shows that we free ourselves from dependencies and doubtful habits through the power of the mind, it indicates a painful, yet necessary step.