Who am I and what is the purpose of my life is a question that people across the world have asked for thousands of years. Each of us at some point struggles with such thoughts, as we try to find a sense of self and a place where we can be happy and successful. You might have a vision of who you want to be and the life you want to live, but feel unable to overcome the box into which you have been put by the society within which you live.
Changing Your Perspective
Many of us have felt at some time as though decisions about who we are and how we live are made by other people, leaving us powerless to change things for the better. However, there are many examples of people who through changing their outlook on life have transformed the way that they live, to better reflect their true self. Creating your own imaginary version of the real world might help you to do the same.
Mythology helped individuals living in pre-industrial societies to find a narrative for their existence and in a similar way developing your own personal mythology might help you to find your place in the world. Within your personal mythology, you could represent people and places in your life in symbolic form, enabling you to think about them in a way that is outside of your real world relationship with them.
Writing Your Own Mythology
When writing your mythology, you could include famous, historical or fictitious characters and role models who you want to emulate. Individuals from your past or present could be included, along with magical creatures or monsters, representing positive or negative forces in your life. It can be difficult when confronted by real world problems to find a way forward and it might be easier when they are represented by a quest or journey, that you will undertake in this imaginary world.
When planning a journey, you can reduce the risk of becoming lost, by knowing where you are going to begin, your destination and the path you intend travelling. The journey could be physical, intellectual, emotional or creative, and the more that you understand yourself, possible obstacles in your path and who or what might assist you, the greater the prospects for success. Within your personal mythology you could define yourself as the hero and bestow upon your character qualities that you already possess, or those that you aspire to.
The mythical prize in your mythology could represent some real life goal, such as advancing in your career, becoming a successful artist or starting your own business. You might be dissatisfied by how far apart your idealised sense of self and the life you want to live is from the reality. A personal mythical journey could involve you overcoming demons, representing forces that have held you back, or discovering talents that enable you to make your life what you want it to be.
Benefits of Your Personal Mythology
Creating a personal mythology to overcome real world problems might seem to be an indulgence or waste of time, but it is intended to help you think about your problems in a fresh light and from different perspectives. Free from the limitations placed upon us by ourselves or other people in ordinary life, our personal mythology allows our imagination to explore new ideas and find solutions that we might otherwise never have thought of, or would have dismissed as unrealistic. Rather than dwelling upon what you cannot do, consider what you can do.
Try to motivate yourself, by finding an approach that works for you. When you represent challenges and problems in your life within a mythical world that you have created, they might seem more manageable and less frightening. Ultimately you must reintegrate your personal myth with your own life, so that you can apply what you have learned to real world problems. This could provide you with inner resources that strengthen your sense of self, give your life more structure and meaning, inspire you to take positive action and help you to live a better life.
You might like to read a sample of the book Island of Arts and Crafts