What is Personal Mythology?

Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell

Every once in a while I will write about this guy I used to be totally head over heels for.  He’s one of those people who, after much Facebook-stalking, many years later you come to ask yourself “what the hell was I thinking?  Why did I even like him?”  The truth of the matter is that the fact remains that I experienced the most incredibly ridiculous, intense, blissful, and most wonderful feelings when it came to this person.

Need a visual?  You know those romantic movie scenes when time seems to stop altogether and the two main characters are just staring at each other in a room full of people?  THAT, my friend, is what it felt like.  And for the last seven years I have been desperately searching for that feeling much like a junkie goes through dope withdrawals.

I got to thinking about what I experienced in light of meaning-making and my current relationship status–single.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not making a case against being single or in a relationship.  What I want to invite you to do is to take a step deeper than the shallow realm of your Facebook “single” or “in a relationship” status.  I want to invite you into the realm of personal mythology.

What is personal mythology and why should you care about it?

In a nutshell, your personal mythology is the meaning you have made out of the world around you.  However, personal mythologies are pretty much outside of conscious awareness and direct our behavior, our perceptions, and pretty much define every aspect of our reality.  For example, ever notice that you always seem to attract the same kind of man or woman?  Or maybe you believe everyone is out to hurt your feelings and so you make sure not to have intimate relationships with others… The thing about personal myths is that because they are our reality, we hardly ever think to question them.

In a sense, personal myths are the narrative you have given your overall experience.  They guide us and help us make sense of our lives in order to adapt to reality.  Typically, when you feel stuck, or when you are experiencing conflict, it is a result of a personal myth that has become obsolete.

When it comes to relationships, personal myths color and define our interactions with others as well as the expectations that we hold of them.  They create the framework of the relationship itself in an attempt to give meaning to the different facets of ourselves as we mature psychologically.  This is because interactions with individuals in our past form the basis of these personal myths, which in turn affect how we interact with others in the present.

This makes me wonder what sort of personal myth I was living back in 2005 and whether I have grown at all.

Good news is, personal myths are like software updates–I have an app update in my iPhone almost every day.  It does get annoying having to update my apps so often, but when it comes down to it, the updates allow my already glitchy phone to run a little better.  So yes, you are correct in assuming that you can also update your personal mythologies, and consequently transform your life.

How do we do that?!  Stay tuned to find out next week!


4 thoughts on “What is Personal Mythology?

  1. How about allowing the universe to have a love affair with you? Not in a weird way, just notice that the flowers that are blooming are sending you love. The love song on the radio is the universe telling you how much you are loved. Thanking “That Which Is” for all the little kindnesses, like that up front parking place.

    Desperation ends and living begins. Then, so many new types of people come into your life, because a blooming flower attracts many more positive admirers than any pity-party.

    • that is a great tip! Will most definitively get to work on it. thanks for sharing, taking the time to share your thoughts and visiting my blog. much love!

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