Think your relationship is a failure because you and your partner aren’t following certain “rules” or meeting certain standards?
People’s beliefs about relationships can be even more important than their actual experiences in those relationships. We all interpret our experiences in terms of the schemas or templates within our minds that shape our perceptions. If you think a relationship should be full of romantic drama and intense emotion, you’ll regard the day-to-day rhythms of everyday life to be completely deadening. On the other hand, if you’re a staid and steady sort, you’ll run as fast as you can from a partner who is taking an endless roller-coaster ride of emotional highs and lows.
Our romantic experiences can be likened to mythic dramas that either brought us fulfillment or disappointment, and sometimes a bit of both. Think about your last love relationship and probably you’ll see yourself as a love-struck naïve heroine who fell hard and fast for someone, thinking it would last forever. Yes, your hero was like a god on Mt. Olympus in your eyes, a mythic hero who seized the opportunity to woe you, but fell short in loving you the way you deserved to be loved. Now that it’s over you may want to review the last few relationships or so to discover the themes that were repeated over and over again. Was it fate? Or were you so naive that you just kept picking the same kind of man because of blind attraction.
Your personal relationship mythology may be the reason why your love relationships don’t pan out, taking a wrong turn and leaving you wondering if some invisible force planned it that way. A subconscious script drives your experiences with men creating fateful scenarios that test your ability to remain true to yourself and to learn about the ups and downs of love relationships.
The term “personal mythology” was coined by Carl Jung, the father of analytical and depth psychology. Of his own personal mythology Jung wrote:
“Thus it is that I have now undertaken, in my eighty-third year, to tell my personal myth. I can only make direct statements, only ‘tell stories.’ Whether or not the stories are ‘true’ is not the problem. The only question is whether what I tell is my fable, my truth.”
Jung saw parallels between the mythologies of the ancients and the human dilemmas his clients faced in his day. What Jung realized is that underpinning storylines (myths) run through the fabric of the collective soul of humanity. Therefore, each and every individual can relate to the dilemmas, tests, trails and acts of fate befalling the gods and goddesses in the mythologies of the world. Persephone cast into the underworld with Hades is like any woman who is seduced by a “bad boy” and ends up emotionally abused and depressed. Any woman who has been abandoned by a man can relate to the myth of Ariadne and Theseus when Ariadne is left on the island of Naxos even after having faithfully served Theseus with her wisdom. A woman possessed by Aphrodite will probably only be seen as a sex object. And a woman attracted to Dionysus, the god of intoxication, is apt to have a string of alcoholics as a list of lovers.
Gaining Insights Into Your Relationship Mythology
The process of writing your relationship history as a myth or fairytale can reveal a great deal about your inner psychology and the psychology of those you choose to fall in love with. It will illuminate the storyline, the dynamics of the relationship that perhaps were hidden from view at the time and help you to examine the patterns that no longer serve you.
How to Begin Writing Your Relationship Mythology
Sit down with a pen and notebook and begin your story. Set the stage by defining and describing your own character at the time you met the first man on your list. Were you a sexy and a self-confident woman who saw yourself as any man’s dream only to be courted by a jealous controlling ogre who kept tabs on your comings and goings? Or maybe your character is a bit frumpy and depressed, who looked for someone to lift her up into the light so that she could see her beauty. Name your character something appropriate like, “Wilted Rose”, “Black Velvet”, “Pitiful Pearl”, or “Bewildered Sarah”. Go on to define the inner workings of your psyche to include your feelings about yourself, the dynamics between your father and mother that shaped your attitudes about relationships and perhaps what you dreamed of in a mate.
Write in the list of memorable romantic partners you fell in love with one after the other. Describe what attracted you to them and why you thought they were the one for you. Go on to describe each character’s personality and sum it up by giving each a title or name that best describes them.
In fairytale style, embellish your myth by adding details of interest to the storyline. You might include the lyrics of sappy love song, a dream that warned you all wasn’t right with a romantic partner, adventures you had together, or anything that adds a bit more meaning to your mythic story.
Describe the areas of each relationship that were in conflict with your self-worth, how things fell apart, as well as the last straw that caused you to part. Each will be a dramatic conclusion to a sequence of your mythos.
Once you have finished writing your relationship mythology read it over a few times to see how satisfied you are with it. Your love relationship patterns will begin to come into focus. When you are satisfied, read your myth out loud to one of your closest friends or to a group of friends who know you well and might have a bit of feedback to offer you. This process will help you gain even more insights in order to “right” your relationship mythology – the next step.
“Righting” Your Myth
Now that you have unraveled your relationship mythology, it’s time to learn from your mistakes and rewrite your mythos. Each relationship took a toll on your emotions, self-esteem and positive attitudes about relationships. Rather than feeling defeated and vowing never again to fall deeply in love, its time to rewrite your myth to attract someone who complements and completes you.
Begin with the phrase, “It was foretold” and rewrite you relationship mythology from a more enlightened perspective. Let the story flow from your heart and out of the mythic levels of your subconscious. It should take little or no effort.
Write your character as a true heroine who has learned from her previous mistakes and is ready to become the master of her destiny, attracting a soulmate who will love and honor her. Change your character’s name to reflect your inner transformation. After all, you have transformed now into a goddess who can stand on her own as well as beside a loving partner.
Rather than a repeat of your last partner, your new hero’s entrance will be marked by his readiness to embark on a romantic and meaningful adventure with you. Define his character, virtues, likes and dislikes. You will to tapping into a real person whose identity remains a mystery.
Write in the happily-ever-after sequences, adding a bit about how you will complement each other, what you both will have to offer your relationship and the destiny you will share.
Read your “righted” myth to the same friend or group of friends and ask them to support you with positive energy to make your new mythos manifest.
The process of “righting” your relationship mythology is a powerful exercise for self-transformation, helping you to examine, heal and complete the patterns that derail your hopes for a fulfilling committed relationship. The storyline will only transform however, when you have successfully learned the lessons your soul set forth for your psychological and spiritual evolution. There is no way to bypass the emotional and psychological maturity it takes to have a love-filled relationship. However, “righting” your personal relationship myth may be enough turn the page to a new chapter, one not about heartbreak, but about a lasting love.