I think I alluded to my healing journey in some past blog posts. Well, it's really starting to heat up now. I have come to the conclusion that my foray into technology and website development over the past 14 years or so has in-large been driven by the benefit (or, perhaps the illusion) of not having to rely on other people. In web development, one can simply read books to become technically proficient. I was the expert. Other people came to me for help. I solved their web problems and got paid. If I didn't like a client or employee, I fire them or piss them off so bad that they fired me, and then I could easily get another job. And, I didn't really cared if I pissed people off, because I was goal driven and not relationship driven, which is generally the tendency for males, but nevertheless, truer for some than others. Now, CADEC was a whole different ball of wax. I really enjoyed working with the team at CADEC. I really connected with the men and women there. This was not only a reflection of my own healing and my growth in relational skills, but it was also very much a reflection of the great of men and women who make up the company called CADEC. And, perhaps, being 350 miles away and working from home also helped me to like everyone a lot also. You know, "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and all that.
I think back to a key early defining experience at Bloomberg Financial markets back in the 1990s. His name was Juan. He got hired after me and was given responsilbility over the Y2K preparations which meant that he had a certain authority everyone in our team when it came to Y2K. I was a team leader and he and I just clashed big time. I had all kinds of nasty feelings towards him like he was treading on my turf or something. My way of relating was that if you like me, I was loyal to you, but if you didn't like me, then I would try to "out do" you. So, Juan and I had our battles, but I was also getting frustrated because I was beholden to programmers who wrote the computer applications that I needed and felt powerless and at their mercy. There was also a point where I was dabbling into programming on the UNIX servers in order to find more efficient ways of doing things, but my supervisor did not approve of this "unauthorized" behavior. So, I was frustrated all around, because I could not control the variables around my job: powerlessness. Now, I had recently married Joanne Nerger whose father had successfully started and built his own business and that was a new paradigm for me that it was possible to make that choice to run one's own business rather than working for someone else. So, it all came to a head, and I decided to quit and start my own business. I quickly discovered that I could learn technology on my own and people would pay me for web work even though I had little experience. As my experience grew and technical skill sets widened, I became more successful and I actually started to sound like (and, perhaps, even see myself as) a web development authority in the Microsoft.NET world. The feeling of success, the ability to control many parameters in my work environment, the freedom to be able to make big technical decisions without having to be dependent upon other people, all of this felt very good. I had power, control, and I did not have to worry too much about relationships.
My web development work successfully distracted me from any journey into my heart. As my healing journey has picked up speed, I have begun to discover the crucial aspect of relationship, the need of the heart to give and receive joy. I have also become acutely aware that my chosen career had nothing to do with giving or receiving joy. And my own healing journey has lessened my need to control, because now I see my path of healing as building joy in relationship, not controlling my work environment. Basically, all the root causes of my choice to be a web developer have disappeared.
When I pray, I always come up against what psychology calls "attachment pain," and most other people call loneliness. Loneliness is the predominately feeling in my heart most of the time. So, nine months ago, I was praying into this pain and asking the Lord about it, and he answered me in one word: "counselling." Counselling, Lord?
Anyhow, this post needs to come to an end so let me shorten. I started my path towards a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northcentral University via the Internet (http://www.ncu.edu/). I gave 2 months notice to CADEC and my last day at CADEC was October 4.
I just came back from a wonderful conference. It was the International Conference of the Association of Christian Therapists in Baltimore, MD, where I met all kinds of people, including Dr. Karl Lehman, his wife Rev. Charlotte Lehman (see www.kclehman.com) and Dr. Jim Wilder (see www.lifemodel.org), plus a lot of other really incredible people. And, I am feeling led by the Lord into a new chapter in my life of participation in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. After my Masters degree, my plan is to seek licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of New Jersey.