Who’s Life Am I Living? A Thought About Myth and Reality

I wasn’t exactly brought up in one of those Norman Rockwell paintings you used to see on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. —Reggie Jackson

By: Hazelden Meditation Series

We have many myths about other people’s lives. When we compare ourselves to these stories, we come up short. We have the TV families in our minds. We may have stories our father told about his moment of glory and how he met his challenges. Any of these images selects part of the truth and highlights it, creating a myth that might be worthwhile if we don’t take it too literally.

Living a real life never feels as serene as our fantasies. A myth lifts us up, carries us away to other possibilities, but we should always take it with a grain of salt. Recollections or a Norman Rockwell painting romanticizes a piece of reality by omitting the drudgery and confusion of life. Myths are meant as inspirations, not as measurements of our lives.

The difficulties and confusion I feel may just be part of real life. Serenity comes when I accept the mixture that real life is.

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