“I suspected that myth had a meaning which I was sure to miss if I lived outside it in the haze of my own speculations. I was driven to ask myself in all seriousness: “What is the myth you are living?” I found no answer to this question, and had to admit that I was not living with a myth, or even in a myth, but rather in an uncertain cloud of theoretical possibilities which I was beginning to regard with increasing distrust. I did not know that I was living a myth, and even if I had known it, I would not have known what sort of myth was ordering my life without my knowledge. So, in the most natural way, I took it upon myself to get to know “my” myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks…” C.G. Jung
I return to this subject over and over again, in my personal life and with the people I work with. Your personal myth is the story you have for making sense and meaning of the world. It is the story you are living. Keep in mind that myth is our story about our experiences as a human. It is not something that is false or unreal. Discovering and exploring the myth you have been living opens the door for editing and changing the story. And in changing the story, you change your life.
Your personal myth might develop from myths you have read and heard — stories of Greek or Roman gods. Or it could be that you find your myth in fairy tales. Or try writing your own fairy tale — begin with Once upon a time…
Years ago when I was early in my own analysis, I began to write a fairy tale. It was a new experience for me, though I had long kept a journal. I sat down one evening and began to write , starting of course with “Once upon a time in a far away land…”. I didn’t have a preconceived idea about the story or where it would. I simply let it write itself and when the words stopped coming, I stopped. It was nowhere near finished after that first bit of writing and I didn’t pick it up again until the urge to write more came to me. The process continued like this — write until I had no more to write, stop and out it away, start again whenever the urge stuck again — for seven years. I was tickled by the length of time it took to complete the fairy tale because somehow 7 years felt like it belonged to the realm of such stories. In the years since then I have revisited the fairy tale, made minor revisions, reflected on it. Just this past week I have been with it again, this time contemplating a major revision.
Here are some ways to get started writing your own myth:
1. Take the lyrics to a song you like — change them and add lyrics that tell the story of your life’s journey. For example, consider the song “I Would Do Anything For Love” — could that be your story? How would you change the song?
2. Think of a favorite children’s story and put yourself into that story.
As your write, consider what is the story your are writing? How does it end? Is there a spell cast over you? How do you break it? And what do you feel as you write?