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Personal Mythology: Memories and Lies

I have some early memories – being told I was a changeling, going down into a cess-pit, escaping my garden and even trying to get on a bus with my toy horse in hand. But all memories are lies, some are made up to cover trauma, some are embellishments of real events, some are second-hand retellings that you have transformed into your own memories and some are snatched recollections of dreams.

Once these lies become your memories they metamorphosise into truths and depending on your psychological make-up these truths are flattering or destructive. They have now become your known existence and shape your actions.

Memory or Lie?

Take an early memory of mine, for example, it has become the truth of my first introduction to changelings. The memory is this – I am a small child and in a fit of temper my mother said that I was a changeling. That was the extent of the conversation and the memory. I picture this happening in our house at Canewdon so I know that I can be no older than four years old as we moved from there when I was four. But how true is this memory?

It doesn’t provide enough detail for me to understand what a changeling is. That might have come later as as I was a prolific reader especially of fairy tales. I may have heard someone talk about changelings as the village I lived in was a superstitious one even in the 1960s. Would my mother have said this? it seems an unlikely phrase for her. So where did this come from?

Most feasible is that I read about changelings, decided that I was one and wove it into my personal mythology.

What’s a Personal Mythology?

I was first introduced to the psychological concept of Personal Mythology through the book “Personal Mythology: Using Ritual, Dreams, and Imagination to Discover Your Inner Story” by David Feinstein and Stanley Krippner.

This book is a guide to exploring our personal mythology, along with exercises and techniques for examining these personal myths. With these techniques we can evaluate them and adapt them for our own personal growth.

Am I a Changeling?

In many ways, yes, but not in the historic way and not in the way my mother intended (if she did actually say that). Through examining this personal myth I have been able to embrace the notion of being a changeling and fashion a cloak of otherness that suits my lifestyle.

What’s Next?

Why don’t you examine your own personal mythology, embrace or adapt what works for you and ditch what hinders you?

Please let me know how you get on.

Published inChangeling

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