What’s the Word? Effluence

Writing

I have to be honest: I had to look this one up. As I was walking one morning, I saw this sign and I can’t let an unknown word go unexplored. Some people are like that with hiking trails or mountains. It’s like that with vocabulary for me.

Effluence: Something that flows out or forth, especially:

a. A stream flowing out of a body of water.

b. An outflow from a sewer or sewage system.

c. A discharge of liquid waste, as from a factory or nuclear plant.

Now, I’m not suggesting that this golf course is allowing nuclear waste into the pond on the 10th hole. I am suggesting, however, that this may be a great picture of what our lives can be like sometimes. What seems clear and beautiful on the surface may be hiding something ugly, the source of which isn’t obvious.

Have you ever had a reaction to events that was unwarranted? Why am I so angry or sad about this? Sometimes those unexpected emotions can indicate something ugly underneath. I’m upset that someone else got an account or a promotion that I didn’t get because I’m really quite jealous underneath. I’m furious that the cable guy didn’t show up on time because I really think my time is more valuable than his.

Oh, I’m competent and polished on the surface, but underneath there is ugliness lurking. Where does it come from?  What’s the source? It might be a scarcity mentality, i.e. there isn’t enough for everyone so I’d better be tenacious about getting my share. Maybe there are events and relationships in my life causing underlying stress.

Whatever the reason, it’s probably not a bad idea to take some time to evaluate our responses when they seem disproportionate to our circumstances. If I’m going to have effluence, I want to know where the flow is coming from!