We are a construct of what others have told us we are. As a young man, I was told what to believe as true, about myself, my origins, the world around me. There was a childless couple who were leaders of my youth group. We became very close, traveled together to conferences, talked and talked about their beliefs for my life. I followed their guidance.
There came a tumultuous time in my late twenties when I did not follow their advice, made decisions that were unhealthy and hurtful to myself and those closest to me. I moved away from my home and family. They would come to visit me, talk with me, try to get me back into their constructs, their beliefs, their box. When I kept explaining I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing, it was just as confusing and hurtful to me, they suddenly stopped.
They stopped visiting, they stopping talking to me. They cut off all communications. If I did not get back into their box, their comfortable, addictive construct of beliefs, then apparently I had no value. I wasn’t worth their time to just talk to me as a friend, a person, a human being with a brain and emotions of my own. They went silent for twenty-two years.
Until my wife looked up their address and I sent them my book describing my journey of questions in Thinking Out Loud; Uncovering an Extraordinary Life. They responded. In a box of books and brochures and eight page letter, this couple, my educated guide and friends through the most formative of years, described why what I value in my children and family and life have no value and why I am going to hell.
They continued to be addicted to their box and anyone who chose not to sit in their box still had no value. But I was excited – they responded! We could have a dialog, an exchange of ideas. This was going to be great to relate to each other on an adult, thoughtful, loving playing field. What do you think was their reply to my desire for a dialog? . . .. Next