A myth is a story that’s told again and again and serves to explain why something is the way it is. (vocabulary.com)
Our stories, the stories that emerge from living our lives, are myths. I tell a number of stories that my grandmother told me, from stories her grandmother told her. My Yiayia shared stories of life joys and life tragedies. She told stories of her losses and her fears. In tears, she told me about weddings and funerals, birthdays and name days. She told stories of faith and worship. She told me about all the ways God ordered her life.
Her stories, from her tiny island of Aperi in Greece to her later years in Alabama, became her life myth. So as I retold her stories and they became mine, my myth. It’s interesting that both my grandmother’s stories and mine tell of loss and pain, of dark moments that indelibly mark life.
Those dark moments make us who we are. They become an eternal part of our myth, our story that is told again and again as the years pass. The myth we tell reveals why life is the way it is. The telling is the cleansing that makes life bearable and meaningful. The myth we tell is full of the kind of power that propels us and gives us wings.
The truth is that we are our tragedies, even more than we are our joys. Joseph Campbell writes about the power of myth.
One thing that comes out in myths is that at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation. The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
(From The Edge, a beautifully written blog; https://theedgeishere.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/contemplative2017-myth-ix/)
I will always tell my myth, because in the telling, I find boldness and perseverance for my life. In the telling, I find inspiration. The myth I tell definitely speaks of “the bottom of the abyss.” It also tells of the transformation that I find in the abyss. My myth proclaims with strong certainty that, in my darkest moments, I always found the light.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
– Psalm 27:1, New International Version