Anna’s Diary #4 – Mythbusting

I thought I would really struggle with the Mythbusting activities because I know there is a part of me that loves the stories I have grown up with about myself and the world.  That’s been a challenge for me in the past – trying to say “that just isn’t true” in the face of things that FEEL completely true and have been with me for literally decades.

But what I found when I used the materials from this lesson (the Mythbusting and Personal Mythology worksheets) was a sense of freedom that came from actually writing down my Myths and then having all that blank space to play with around them.  It feels like an invitation to think outside my normal boundaries rather than a flat-out “change or suffer the consequences”.  And of course taking real time to sit with the exercises is huge.  I think having permission to set everything else aside for 10 minutes and put all my attention on my inner life, and trying on different ideas about who I am, was enormously freeing.  We just don’t give ourselves that gift enough, do we?  Time that is all about ourselves and the vast universe of what is within us, time to really be with our inner lives – it’s so powerful and yet we are so stingy when it comes to allowing ourselves to have it.

So, what I found:  my two primary Myths:

  • I am completely unqualified to do anything, and I am a fraud.
  • I haven’t earned anything I have and have been carried by other people my whole life.

To keep people from finding these “truths” out, I have:

  • Avoided putting myself and my work where it could be widely seen and evaluated
  • Never felt proud of any work I’ve done, taken credit for any of it, or wanted to share it outside of friends and family
  • Lied and evaded to avoid breaking the illusion I’ve hoped to maintain about who I am

Because of this, I’ve missed out on:

  • Taking risks and opportunities to learn, and to really shine
  • Recognition and validation that would feel wonderful
  • Feeling pride and accepting positive feedback
  • Being bold and potentially benefitting financially from my work, connections with others, learning opportunities, etc.
  • Feeling authentic, honest, free of shame and anxiety

And this is a SUMMARY! – there was a whole lot more than came up for me, complete with tears and huge “wow” moments.

And now – drum roll, please – here are the newly-minted Myths that I am choosing to replace the old ones:

  • I am able to learn and use skills in a unique way, and combine them in new ways that more narrowly-defined paths don’t allow.
  • My work and “earning” have been in the form of loving, reliable support, nurture and care, in many special forms, for those I love.

When I put the old and the new Myths side by side as a visual reminder, it’s a stark example of how what feels so true is so NOT.  And it also reminds me that I know what’s true because

It.  Feels.  Good.

I can’t wait for Lesson Two!

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