As I was reflecting on 2016, I gained some clarity about the divisiveness of our nation. As we lost one 80's icon after the next, it occurred to me that my children will probably not experience the same collective grief we seem to be sharing right now. I wondered what that might mean for us as a nation and whether my kids would ever feel united under a common myth.
When I was a kid, we all watched the same shows, because there were only three channels on TV. We all listened to the same music, because we either listened to the radio or bought what we could find in the record store. We all watched the same movies, got our news from the same source and found out about our world through printed versions of Encyclopedia Britannica. We felt unified, for the most part, about what was important.
Now, with technology allowing us the gift of individuality, we find ourselves gravitating to the niche media that suits our interests. While this helps us live more fully into the wonderful distinctness that makes us unique, we find ourselves lacking in common national heroes, which interestingly leaves our collective storyline a little flat. Even the myth of the American Dream seems to have vastly different meanings for people, as we've seen in the course of our presidential election.
Myths give us a reference point to identify where we are in life. We can look at the arc of a story and point to where we are in the journey: are we being called to adventure, being challenged by monsters, receiving wisdom from sages or returning home with the great treasure? As you think about our nation, what overarching story do you think we're living? What wisdom can myths give us about what might come next? What great call will band us together and build unity?
What's Your Myth?
As we move forward into 2017, I invite you to think about your own myth. In his late 30's, psychiatrist Carl Jung realized the power of myth and decided that figuring out his mythic story was his most important task. You see, when we finally understand what story we're living, we have the ability to become the author. Until then, we wade around life without an arc, not knowing where we're going, and blind to the demons (internal or external) that we need to slay to reach our happy ending.
When we uncover our myth, we become the author, agent and publisher of an awe-inspired story. With myth, we can plot ourselves on the arc of our lives and create the next chapter. We receive clues about when to look for wisdom. We gain courage to tackle the obstacles that stand in our way and we know that the setbacks are all a part of finding the real treasure.
Uncover Your Myth
Unsure of your myth? If you want to know what storyline you're living, we can help! Register for our Flourishing Workshop Series. There you'll identify your storyline, inspired purpose and unique way of being in the world. With these guideposts, you can live a more purposeful, inspired and meaningful life.
In 2017, we have workshops for Midlife Seekers, Entrepreneurs and Veterans. In the near future, we'll launch programs for Retirees and Recent College Graduates. What could be a better way to launch the new year than to become the author of your life?