Emotionally grieving “life with the wrong currency” will be a long process. As I shared with the Algonquin process, in addition to the dedicated time spent in deliberately looking at the story line, life casually bumps the bruise randomly. I drove back to the office this afternoon after a short errand and was reminded of how much I have poured into relationships in the complex where we are, only to be roundly spurned. Whatever the currency is that works there, I don’t seem to have any of it in my wallet.
Sadness. Anger. Frustration. No denial at all. Powerlessness. Sadness. Stay there for a while and actually feel it.
I am a long way from processing the emotions of a life time of “wrong currency” but Prophet was getting restless, wanting to be unleashed to go hunting for the culprit. Our mantra is, “Every effect has a cause.” Someone, somewhere, did something, and it has resulted in THIS.
Being a new effect to me, I had no clue where to look for the cause – and no assurance I would recognize it if I looked straight at it.
I started with the generational question, as usual.
Looked at Mom first.
OUCH! On a scale of one to ten, Mom was and is a 9.7 in terms of having the right currency at the right time for a wide variety of situations. Astounding. So this sure wasn’t any of her junk!!!
Dad didn’t score so high. I gave him an eight, but noted that he carefully controlled his playing field. He was like the kids who will never play a game unless they were sure they could win. Dad edited his environment to be sure his currency worked. I made a mental note to look at whether I have made a series of really bad choices over time, but it didn’t feel compelling.
Still, you note the possible culprits, because if you run out of good ideas, you circle back around and revisit the lame ones!
But for now, I exonerated my family line and assumed it was my stuff.
So I explored my childhood bit by bit. To my surprise, there were some really good patches of my currency matching the circumstances. There were other patches where things were pretty baseline. Nothing positive or negative in terms of social currencies. But with the exception of that one school year, nothing was significantly negative.
It would be easy to write off the school year (as I had for years) as just a culturally expected dynamic. A missionary kid who has been home schooled and isolated from US culture is dropped into the senior class two years younger than his peers. Of course there would be a lot of disconnects. Utterly non-surprising.
That is how I have viewed that year all this time. Highly painful. Not a mystery.
Life throws you a curve ball now and then.
So I moved on down the timeline, looking for where this pesky thing came in and stayed.
Eventually, I found a smoking gun.
In my early adult years, I made a decision that was socially unpopular. Lots of people tried to talk me out of it before I did it. I stubbornly insisted I could pull it off, even though I admitted it was, on the surface, a long shot. They were very clear I did not have the moxie (i.e. needed currencies) to pull it off. I admitted it looked that way, but assured them I could grow into it if they would give me the chance.
In the end, I made my choice, bucked the world, engaged in an immense endeavor and was hugely proved wrong. I didn’t have what it took. I fell short with miserable consequences for a long time to come.
The boo birds piled on with their “I told you so” commentary. To this day, there are still people around who remember that episode and still frame me today as the person I was then, and clearly articulate the message that my judgment cannot be trusted on much of anything, as proven by that debacle.
So . . . A smoking gun. Is it THE smoking gun? That incident didn’t happen on any of the 15.5 multiples. Just randomly in between the first and the second. Could that have triggered the subsequent issues, or am I looking at it all wrong?
Furthermore, how could those judgments made against me have stuck like a tar baby for so long? I certainly have gone back and revisited that event many times, with and without professional help. One would not think the boo birds should have been able to define the rest of my life.
Nonetheless, the correlation on my timeline was hugely obvious. From that time on, my currencies always seemed to be a little or a lot off.
It didn’t seem like a compelling conclusion, but certainly one that needed to be revisited again. Surely there is a way to get the tar off from a decades-old decision.
There was another thread to follow and that was the Exhorter gift. The school was an Exhorter school, I think. I know the church and the ministry were Exhorter gift. I don’t think Algonquin as a whole is Exhorter, but it is certainly possible that the lake and portage that took me down might have been.
Seems as though there is something there. I don’t immediately see it. I think I will take a day to scroll through the Exhorters in the Bible and the ones I know to see if there is a clue there. Do any of them have a pattern of having the wrong currency, or is there something about the twisted Exhorter that causes those around them to not have the right currency?
Need to look at that long and hard. Goodness knows, there is a lot of data. I should be able to come up with an answer.
Copyright August 2016 by Arthur Burk