• Brian E Pearson

Myth Masters

As I wade deeper into this memoir I've started writing, I am reminded that we are all the tellers of our own tale. The stories we tell ourselves about our life, and the stories we tell others, are stories we have woven from the great trove of memories we have at our disposal. Many details we have conveniently forgotten, because they don't fit the story we want to tell; and many others we have magnified, because they do.


Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld, 1861, oil on canvas, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Narrative therapists tell us this is both good news and bad. Our lives tend to conform to the stories we tell about ourselves, either to our advantage or to our detriment. Our stories reinforce, for instance, whether we see ourselves as victims in life, or victors. By changing our story, we actually change our life, which is why our stories are so important.


I am discovering, for myself, that I have fudged, or repressed, certain details of my life in support of the grand guiding myth I have created. I was both a better person than I tend to think (there was less recreational drug use in my teens than I like to tell) and worse (I was, for years, oblivious to the hardships of the other members of my family).


Our stories matter. What details have you excised from your own story? To what details have you given dominion? Because we are the makers of our own myth; and therefore the masters of our own fate.

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