The revolving ledger

The Revolving Ledger refers to certain periods of your life when important people (or even life itself) ran up a series of debits or credits in terms of what you needed or felt entitled to. Then the scene changed and you walked through life’s revolving door, and handed the bill to who was there.

In the earlier scenes you may have felt unfairly or unkindly treated, badly cared for, neglected or uncared for. If so, you may well have developed an emotional allergy to that kind of situation, i.e., one hint of similarity between then and now can trigger a reaction in you as if the past is present and you can present the person in your life now with the bill from your past.

In effect, you may say, “Prove to me you will not mistreat me as I was in the past” or “Make up to me for what someone else did to me” or “I’ll treat you as badly as someone else treated me.”

It may even say, “You owe it to me to make up for what was bad for me in the past” or “I’ll get even with you for the way someone else mistreated me.”

Since all of this is invisible to the person to whom you hand the bill and often even to you ‑‑ it makes for endless misunderstandings and disturbances. Certainly, if there was a credit balance on the ledger — it can accrue to the benefit of your present partner — in your ability to be loving, trusting, and sensitive, with a solid sense of self-worth.

What we are searching for here is the debit side of the ledger; those attitudes or behaviors that are being passed on into the present that put negative pressures on your relationship. What are they?

Reflect on the unique script of your own life. What feelings and attitudes emerge? Consider what you may be passing on now on your revolving ledger; expectations or behavior that are putting negative pressures on your relationship.

~ Lori Heyman Gordon

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