Dictionary of Terms In Personal Mythology

Personal Myth

A Personal Myth is a story that affects your behavior. We call these stories myths because rather than being factual they are built from personal thoughts, feelings, and experience. This does not make them false. Personal Myths are neither true nor false but rather “true for you”.
“When I was 8 a dog bit me so I am afraid of dogs.”

They can come from true or false information. For instance the person may have never been bitten by a dog. They may have seen a scary movie as a child and taken on the story as their own, but this does not lessen the impact (the personal truth) of believing they had been bit. Personal Myths are in fact much more powerful than fact because they can override it.

Personal Mythology

Your Personal Mythology is the complete collection of your Personal Myths, a vast constellation of beliefs that drive every thought, feeling, and action you have and experience in life. Who you love, what you fear, what you buy, and what you wish to do in life are all directed by your Personal Mythology until you learn to work with your Personal Myths.

Mythic Statement

Mythic Statements are any short statement which conveys your thoughts or feelings about yourself or the world. For instance: I always hate this street; skating is the greatest feeling; I want to be a nurse; my dream is to help people.

There are many categories of Mythic Statements such as: beliefs, values, rules, fears, phobias, ecstasies, traumas, triggers, pleasures, displeasures, vices, virtues, sins, glories, likes, dislikes, loves, hates, preferences, obsessions, dreams, goals, affirmations, and more.

A Mythic Statement always emerges from a story that someone has experienced which now affects their behavior (a Personal Myth).

I would never go skydiving.”

This statement arises from an experience (personal, television, books, thought process, etc) that has influenced this person in such a way that they have created a rule about skydiving.

Countermyth

Another myth (chosen or imposed) which seems to challenge a currently held myth.

Dysfunctional Myth

A myth which is destructive or limiting in some way. Dysfunctional myths still uphold some part of your personality or world view, regardless of being destructive or limiting.

Mythweaving

Mythweaving is when you write or rewrite a fictional story about your life in to include more constructive and positive thoughts, feelings, and actions.

There are numerous ways to mythweave:

One is to rewrite your real history using very fictional (perhaps fantasy), archetypal characters, settings, events, etc. This can be very helpful for exposing the archetypal elements of your story which can be very revealing of your own thoughts and feelings.

Another is to rewrite your history from a more non-metaphorical, realistic perspective. This can be very useful for understanding where you went wrong in a past event, and how to prevent it in the future.

Personal mythology is the life story you gain from the interplay of archetypes.

Archetype?

An archetype is the essential concept of something; the blueprint of its meaning. For instance, tables come in infinite forms, but the archetype of the table is something flat which stands off the ground. By knowing this basic archetype of what a table is, we are always able to identify one no matter how strange of a table it may be.

Archetypes hold meanings. These meanings can vary person to person or culture to culture, but are very often shared among people. The meanings of a cup may include: being able to be filled; something which provides nourishment; the controversies of “half filled or half empty”; the act of consuming; and so on.

An interaction between archetypes creates a story. The personal meanings derived from those stories create Personal Myths. For instance a story about a family heirloom table which is used in a wedding and is broken. The story of archetypes interacting creates meaning. Not just any old meaning – the meaning of life. There is no meaning in your life that is not derived from the relationships between archetypes.